Joni Brenner
Terra Rosa
A Meditation on Portraiture
6 September - 6 October 2005


Terra Rosa constitutes an immaculate installation of small oil paintings, clay sculptures, watercolours and photographs which explore and celebrate the human presence.

Joni Brenner's portraits engage with ideas emerging out of the genre concerning commemoration, mortality and death. Terra Rosa, the name of an oil paint colour, literally means 'red earth'. It refers not only to the intensely coloured pigments of the red paintings and the small clay sculptures in this exhibition, but Terra, 'earth' or 'terrain' also suggests the field of influence, conjecture and material meaning within the work.

The double portrait Gásh Gòld-Vermillion is of Wilson Mootane, the artist's long-time sitter for almost fifteen years. Here abstraction and the question of likeness or identity hover between our own and the artist's perception, but the fugitive presence lodged within each of Brenner's portraits opens our minds to the infinitely subtle inflections of human character that the shape of an ear, an eyebrow, a jawbone or a nose may evoke.

Joni Brenner completed her post graduate studies in Fine Arts at the University of the Witwatersrand in 1996. Her most recent solo exhibition, called Infra-red, was held at the Gertrude Posel Gallery (Wits Art Galleries) in October 2002. Her work is represented in public collections in South Africa, including Wits University Art Gallery, Sasol, Sandton Civic Gallery and the Johannesburg Art Gallery.