“We are the canvas and, as such, are both the creator and the creation.”
Ann Gadd from the Preface of The 2nd Collector’s Guide to Art and Artists in South Africa.
Chase Publications for the South African Institute of Artists & Designers, Cape Town, 2003
Ann is a vibrant and prolific artist and author.
She initially became known for her ‘ewe/sheep’ series of work. Whilst maintaining her ironic humour she has painted a number of other series of works, including ‘Zulu Lulu’ and currently a ‘Wild Life’ series.
A reoccurring theme in her work is a play on words and use of popular jargon. Her quirky, humorous, yet profoundly insightful art, allows the viewer not only to laugh at themselves, but to examine many of the absurd aspects of life.
She has had 20 books published with translations in 15 different languages.
Ann has an exceptionally rich spectrum of professional and personal experience, abilities and talents to draw from. Her overall expression is one of change through consciousness and creation.
Having spent nearly two decades as a Commercial Artist/Creative Director in advertising, Cartoon Book Illustrator, Alternative Practitioner and teacher and as a co-director of an advertising agency, Ann began to indulge her passion for painting more seriously in 1997 after winning the annual South African Art Society’s award for best acrylic artist. Since then she has been a full time artist and writer.
She has participated in a large number of group and solo exhibitions both locally and abroad. Ann is one of South Africa’s bestselling and popular artists.
As well as being represented at many galleries, exhibitions include:
Joburg Art Fair – ‘Zulu Lulu’ series
Cape Gallery (group) June (Winter Solstice) and August (Wildlife)
Glascow Art Fair
Edinburgh Art Fair
Art at Five – UK
Grahamstown Art Festival
London, Brick Lane Gallery, June
Zohar gallery New Zealand
Clarens - Blou Donki Art Gallery main guest artist
Spitalfields London UK October
AVA (Association for Visual Arts) solo Plaindromes
Vuleka (x3) group exhibition
South African National Museum Geo nome Exhibition
Artist: ANN GADD
Title: Don’t mess with me
Size: 56 x 60 cm
Media: Acrylic on canvas
Price: R 8 400 Unframed
"I had been playing around with other animals for a number of years. In 2012 I developed a style I found pleasing particularly which incorporated African symbolism, which intrigued me. I have used these positive symbols in place of what was either arbitrary symbols or illustrations. I believe art brings with it a message into the hanging environment. I would like this message to be one of hope and inherent goodness – as if the painting itself is embodying and acting as a medium for this cry for hope – a voice in the wilderness/wildness.
I often get asked: “Why sheep?” Here is my explanation.
Sheep in their inane conformist lifestyle have much to mirror to us about the human condition.
Eat, sleep, shit, toil, die for a purpose that remains beyond their (and our) deeper understanding. Like sheep we seldom stop to question our life, its purpose and the validity of what we do. Struggling to achieve a stable patch for ourselves and yet being ever threatened by the inevitable tumble downhill, in the repetitive conformism of our lives, sheep become icons for our own insanity. From their lofty phallic heights, (to which we in a post paternalistic male dominated society have raised them), sheep set themselves up for an inevitable fall.
Through Ewe, I examine the life of you/ewe the observer, and hope, through humour, to get ewe/you the viewer, to question why you do what you do and push you to challenge your beliefs and understanding of reality."