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“ My whole life I have been inspired by nature, the colours and the shapes.. My life centred around creating a garden which brought joy to myself and others. Many years ago I was influenced by Francois Roux and latterly by Cyril Coetzee.
As my  eyesight deteriorated my paintings became more abstract in nature.”-Margot


"Thanks Tess, and thank you and Gail from the Cape Gallery for organising this show.

Good afternoon friends and family and welcome to natures wonder world as seen through the art works of Margot Gawith. It’s a great privilege for me to be saying a few words this afternoon in honour of Margot, the artist creator of beauty and my mother-in-law to boot! I can truly say that the admiration and respect I have for Margot as a woman is boundless.

It’s crazy to think about this but I’ve known Margot for 48 years. I met her when she was only 42! A mother of 4 children, one of whom I was in love with. Its true to say that from our very first meeting I was enthralled by Margot and maybe a little intimidated. Here was an incredibly beautiful woman, recently divorced, with a new man and a very large family at her side, entertaining almost every night, in the most deliciously flirtatious manner, providing fine dinners, travelling the world and creating a magnificent garden. And at the same time she was painting, painting almost daily. Here was an authentic artist. Someone with a calling in the fine arts just like mine, but older and way more experienced. It has truly been a great blessing and privilege for me to learn and grow with Margot over the past several decades.

Now Margot is a spritely 90 years young !! And here we all are with Margot and her 90 odd paintings on show - a painting for each year of her life. All this work a culmination of some for 55 years of diligently applying the work discipline of an authentic painter. And I am here to tell the story of her work to you all. It’s truly a great privilege and honour. Thank you, Margot.

The Margot we all know well is the entertainer, the painter, the garden creator, the mother and grandmother and great grandmother. She is all these things in grace and abundance. But when I think of Margot the person what her raison d'etre she is: she is above all a lover of friends and family and a creator of beauty for all.

Margot’s artistic journey has been shaped primarily by her study of a library of art books over the years and by the guidance of distinguished mentors Anton Uys and then Francois Roux and presently with Cyril Coetzee. Francois Roux, himself a trained artist from the Royal Academy of Art in London, taught Margot the formal aspects of art, how to prepare the canvas, mix colour, create compositions to frame the painting. Under Anton’s tutelage, she learned the power of 'mindscapes on a landscape format,' a concept that has become the hallmark of her work. This unique perspective, combining the ethereal landscapes of the mind with the tangible beauty of the natural world, has set her art apart and granted her work a certain timeless quality.

Margot follows a strict artist routine in her studio, which we all know to be the hall mark of any creative discipline. She paints regularly and always paints before her art class. She meticulously prepares the canvas, using an acrylic base colour, often choosing a complimentary base colour on which to paint. She is fastidious in her studio, each colour used often in its pure state, her brushes perfectly cleaned after each painting session, in preparation for her next canvas. And she combines painting with inspirational listening. When she enters her studio, she will choose a CD, often with the songs of her favourite songwriters or her classical music. The process of preparation of a canvass and listening to song creates environment, the studio context for disciplined creative work. Then she starts her creative journey of mindscapes becoming landscapes in her work.

As can be seen from her work Margot draws unending inspiration from the boundless beauty of the natural world. From the delicate petals of flowers to the majestic formations of rocks and dunes, from the rhythmic flow of the sea to the expansive vistas of beach estuaries, her art is simply a celebration of the natural wonders that surround us. It is a visual song of the echoes of nature, inviting us to pause and contemplate the profound connections between her art and the natural world that inspires it. This is her great timeless contribution. To see beauty everywhere, to draws her inspiration from the natural wonders of her garden and wild remote spaces, to re imagine these shapes and colours and to recreate them in her work. That is the great legacy Margot creates for us and leaves behind for us.

Margot calls herself an “intuitive painter”. It’s an apt and insightful description of self. But she is not just an intuitive painter. She is unique as a colourist. Her fabulous and bold use of colour is the most visible and striking feature of most of her work. Margot’s choice, balance and juxtaposition of colour is not because of what is on her palette, but because of the hours she has spent in her garden and her countless adventures into wild places. All of this experience informs her work and her colours. For example watching sap green merge to lime whilst a fern frond unfurls gives her unique greens. Or her knowledge of the sevres blue of the oxypetulum and the rose madder of the begonia seeps onto her canvasses somewhere. Margot can do this because she gardens with paint in mind and paints with her garden in mind.

At its core Margots work is her inner truth, her inner soul,  being materialised and made immortal. And so, in this viewing we get to celebrate her organic honesty and authenticity in each of her works. Many are not laboured over, they are dreamt, remembered and referenced and produced in a couple of days. Bold strokes, highlighted by a dash of Margot’s signature cadmium red.

In recent years Margot’s eyesight has deteriorated due to macular degeneration. For many amongst us this would be a reason to stop painting, but Margot has grown more resolute to continue to paint.  And now we see a new Margot : possibly because of her failing eyesight her work has become bolder and more abstract. I believe these more recent works are stronger and more intense and are truly more intuitive ‘mindscapes’, forcing the viewer to imagine the real from the abstract.

As we view the canvases before us, let us celebrate not only the art but also the life of this remarkable women that created this body of work. Margot the artist is a living testament to the enduring power of the human will, to the longevity of creativity and the boundless possibilities that art through the ages can bring.

Let us all raise our glasses and toast Margot the artist in celebration of this marvellous achievement – may her paintings continue to inspire and enchant you all for years to come.

Thank you."



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