‘Half my life ago I died, and went, and came back. Between coming and going, however long that may have been, the invisible became visible, and the complex choreography that was energy itself, became evident. From that moment on, I stopped painting pictures and began the attempt at mapping out this intricate matrix of energised threads of light. My real work began. The anatomy of an electric being. The anatomy of an electric landscape. The anatomy of an electric void that had been revealed in all its complexity. No more clever ideas. No identity. No intellect. No culture. No learned conditioned response. Nothing less than the real thing.´
Illustrated, right: The artist, Paul Blomkamp, with his giant self-portrait: The Man Who Asked Are We Lost, acrylic on canvas, 140 x 140 cm
'Highveld Windveld' is the title of Johannesburg artist, Paul Blomkamp's new oils on paper. They form part of an ongoing series of works, inspired by his profound, almost obsessive fascination with the Magaliesberg mountain range in Gauteng.
The influence of Blomkamp's early stained glass windows is still evident in his latest paintings, which appear to transmit rather than reflect light. They have a transparency, clarity and sharpness akin to glass, and often appear to be made of coloured light rather than paint.
Blomkamp's works deals with the anatomy of energy. He is preoccupied with energy, what it is , what it looks like, largely because of an illness that left him without energy of his own for many years.
Now his paintings are celebrations of energised lines, shapes and spaces that throb and glow with pure, strong colour, existing solely for ways to illuminate the dark and the unknown. His reason for painting, he says, is' to make the connection with that subconscious passion and energy that sustains us and that moves us as surely as the wind through a field of wheat'.
His relationships with colour and energised line is an attempt, he maintains, 'to confront the subconscious, and to expose and bring into the light that mystery, that primal force, that may give us clues, affirmations - that existence on our little planet, spinning in this perplexing Cosmos, is worthwhile and meaningful, after all'.
Born 1949, Johannesburg, South Africa.
At the age of 19, Blomkamp was awarded the commission to make one of the
(then) largest Stained Glass windows in the world. Although primarily a painter, Blomkamp spent the following 20 years producing a spate of large, modern windows for churches, homes and large corporations.
Since 1993, he has concentrated exclusively on his paintings.
List of Exhibitions and Major Commissions
1977 Collectors Gallery, Johannesburg, Solo Exhibition
1982 J Walter Thompson, Sandton: Mural (acrylic on canvas) 4,8 x 1,6 metres
1986 New Germiston Civic Centre: 15 x 2 metre multi media mural
1986 Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg: Solo painting exhibition: "State of the Heads"
1989 Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg: Solo painting exhibition: "Scintillating Fields"
1992 Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, Solo painting exhibition: "Out of the dark"
1993 TELKOM, Pretoria: Mural (acrylic on canvas) 5 x 2,1 metres
1994 ABSA Bank: 10 Oils on paper
1995 Gallery on the Square: Group show: "Landscapes"
1998 Gallery on the Square: Solo painting exhibition: "The Wild Frontier"
1999 Gallery on the Square: Solo painting exhibition: "50/100 Images of South Africa"
2003 Gallery on the Square: Group Show, June-July
Rand Merchant Bank
J Walter Thompson
Civic Centre, Germiston
Artscape Theatre Centre, Cape Town
Ernst & Young, U.K.
Protea Hotel, Melrose Arch, Johannesburg
African Life Assurance
Numerous private collections (South African and international)