Today’s featured artist for the UJ Arts & Culture’s ‘The Pandemic Project’, is visual artist Heidi Fourie. Her artwork, entitled Õhtul, looks at how the lockdown has forced many to take better notice of their surroundings, reconnect with nature and find more time to focus on themselves.
Õhtul is an oil painting of a swing that Fourie built in her garden during lockdown. Fourie always wanted a swing and with lockdown, forcing everyone to stay at home, for time to move in a far different manner than what we are used to, she was able to build this place where the noise and chaos of the world was filtered out. From feeling like a child again, to recreating the sensation of standing in a dense forest or a playground abandoned after an evacuation, Õhtul is indicative of the importance of making time for forgotten things.
Fourie’s safe haven is symbolic of the reflective nature of a lockdown, a time to reconsider what is important in life, to appreciate the little things. “It became my personal safe haven where I can reconnect with myself between overwhelming news broadcast listening, work sessions and vigorous cleaning,” says Fourie.
The little bird grows silent as the wind blows. The small flower falls asleep caressed by the dew. Twilight blushes as she kisses the night. The forest trees sleep in memory and silence. They are wistful for my song, Now a silent memory, as it paddles far away. In this beautiful work by Estonian composer Uusberg, a poem by Ernst Enno speaks of evening and of the images we associate with dusk.
Take a look at Heidi Fourie’s ‘Õhtul’ and listen to the UJ Choir singing Õhtul – Pärt Uusberg.
About Heidi Fourie
Heidi Fourie is a fulltime artist from Pretoria and occasional guest lecturer at the University of Pretoria, whose work deals with the controllable and uncontrollable tendency of painting as well as subject matter of an organic and chaotic nature. Graduating Cum Laude from the University of Pretoria, Fourie has gone on to be a finalist for many prestigious art awards and has exhibited all over the country. Her most recent solo exhibition took place at Salon 91 in Cape Town in October 2018. Fourie became a fellow of the Ampersand Foundation in 2019 and travelled to New York for a residency. In her work, Fourie aims to create an alternate reality that that feels familiar yet novel, taking inspiration from the warm hues and sensations from her dreams.