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Exhibition May 2009

Diane Johnson-Ackerman realizes powerful images.
Her point of view is subtle and occlusive; she frames
a visual synecdoche. Form and mood are defined
by infinite gradation and fluctuation of light.
For this exhibition Diane has painted massive 100 year
old timber constructions embedded in sand on a shoreline; subject to the ebb and flow of the sea. Load bearing infrastructures, these are bolted and braced to
sustain weight, but have become bleached and
deeply eroded over time; the metal blistered and corroded. The primary reference for these paintings is the
Strand Jetty which today is encapsulated in
galvanized steel picket fencing and bears a sign
“This jetty is not fit for public use.”

Windows to the Past

Di Johnson-Ackerman is a skilled observer. As we align our view point with hers we are present to her memories of sun filled holidays in the small historic town of Prince Albert and the Karoo. Shadows lengthen across sun bleached walls, a billowing cloud reflects in a window and a lone dog waits on the stoep. Rumpled sheets, polished surfaces and drawn curtains; simple objects of daily lives, indicate human habitation. Her point of view is impersonal, uncommitted to any outcome; alone; reflective and compelling. Subtle gradations of light give form substance.

Di achieved a B.Fine Arts (Hons) from Rhodes University in 1973. There her studies were supervised by Prof. Bradshaw, Prof. Rob Brooks, Tom Mathews, Jos Nel and Neil Rogers.

Since then she has participated in numerous group exhibitions in Cape Town, KZN and Gauteng. Her ability
to document intricate detail has brought acclaim for her bird and plant studies. Some of these have been realized
in editions of etchings pulled from her press.
She has illustrated a number of books.

In 2006 Di became a fellow of S.A. Society of Artists.
She is also an associate of the Watercolour Society
of Southern Africa (WSSA).

Di has exhibited at The Cape Gallery since 1996, participating in the Wild Life exhibitions, and, more recently two very successful solo exhibitions. This exhibition marks the start of her residency in the Cité, Paris.

by Gail Dörje

Academic profile:

B Fine Arts* (resident) (1970 – 1972) - Rhodes University.
B. Fine Arts* (Honours) Degree (resident) (1973) -
Rhodes University. Majored in Painting.
Studied under and supervised by:
Prof Brian Bradshaw.
Prof Rob Brooks.
Tom Mathews.
Joss Nel.
Neil Rodgers.


1970 – 1973
Exhibition with the Grahamstown Group, while reading,
B. Fine Arts and
B. Fine Arts (Honours) Degree at Fine Art
Department, Rhodes University,
South Africa.
Exhibition centers:
Grahamstown, South Africa.
Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

Two paintings on New Signatures Exhibition in Pretoria. Exhibition organized under the auspices of the Association of Arts of South Africa.

Took part in the KwaZulu/Natal Biennale, South Africa.
A touring exhibition of the main centers in KwaZulu/Natal.
Exhibition organized under the auspices of the Natal Arts Trust.

Took part in a Members Exhibition at the KwaZulu/Natal Society of Artists (NSA) Gallery, Durban, South Africa.
Achieved a Merit Award.

Exhibition with Tony Buckland at the NSA Gallery
in Durban, South Africa.

1996 – 1998
- Water Colour Society of Southern Africa (WSSA).
- Exhibited in National Exhibitions - Johannesburg, Durban, Bloemfontein and Pretoria, South Africa.
- Achieved Associateship in April 1998.
- Annual Wildlife Exhibition. Cape Gallery,
Cape Town, South Africa. April 1996.
- Annual wildlife Exhibition. Cape Gallery,
Cape Town, South Africa.
- Twenty-Second International Ornithological
Congress; Birds Art Fair
- Exhibition organised by Christine Read and hung
by Mark Read of the Everard Read Gallery. International Convention Centre, Durban, South Africa. 16 – 22 August 1998.

1998 – 2007
Exhibited. L’ Auberge Restaurant – Somerset West,
South Africa.

- Annual Wildlife Exhibitions. Cape Gallery,
Cape Town, South Africa.
- Three person group exhibition. Gallery Sharon,
Somerset West August 2002.

One man exhibition - Cape Gallery, Cape Town.
Best Acrylic - SA Society of Artists annual
exhibition Kirstenbosch Cape Town.

- Best Acrylic and highly commended award (drawing) -
SA Society of Artists annual exhibition Kistenbosch
Cape Town.
- Group exhibition – Winter Gala and Summer
Salon Exhibition – Hout Street Gallery, Paarl.
- Group exhibition – Mission House Gallery,
Onrusrivier, Hermanus.

- Group exhibition – Winter Gala & Summer Salon.
Hout Street Gallery, Paarl.
- Group Exhibition – Gallery Sharon. Somerset West.
- SA Society of Artists annual exhibition Kirstenbosch
Cape Town – Merit exhibition.
- SA Society of Artists (SASA). Annual Members Exhibition.
Best Acrylic. Highly Commended Award (Etching).

- SA Society of Artists (SASA). January Merit exhibition.
- Cape Gallery March One Man Show - Verandahs, Doorways and Windows
- SA Society of Artists (SASA) Annual Members Exhibition
Best Acrylic
- Group Exhibition - Summer Salon. Hout Street Gallery, Paarl.
- Group Exhibition - Missions House Gallery, Onrus.

- Cape Gallery March One Man Show
"A Window to the Past".
- Other local exhibitions in Johannesburg,
Springs, Nelspruit, Sabie, Somerset West,
Cape Town, Durban, Stellenbosch, Franschoek,
Kokstad and the South Coast of Natal - South Africa.

Annual wild life exhibition at The Cape Gallery

The world we live in; annual wildlife exhibition
at The Cape Gallery

Encounters; annual wildlife exhibition at The Cape Gallery

A point of view; group exhibition at The Cape Gallery

Impressions, group exhibition at The Cape Gallery
Super Real, group exhibition at The Cape Gallery

Books illustrations:
Die liefdeskronieke van Basilika, Pirow Bekker.
Die Swart Verskrikking, F. W. Strydom.
South African Cable Yarding and Safety Handbook, Forest Engineering
Southern Africa.
Print Series, Howard Swan. “Handpicked”.
A Gift for Madiba. Evelyn Benatar. Proceeds to Desmond Tutu HIV
Foundation. ISBN 0-7992-2323-9.
Goosie. Louise van der Merwe. (Educational childrens book).

Public collections
Nelspruit Municipal Gallery, South Africa.
Borough of Margate, South Africa.

Private collection
A number of works have been incorporated
into international private collections
in, amongst others:
Great Britain.
New Zealand.
United States of America.

Personal artistic achievements
Two paintings accepted on the Pretoria Association
of Arts, South Africa,
New Signatures Exhibition.

NSA Members Exhibition. Gained a Merit Award.

1996 – 1997
SA Society of Artists – Best Water Colour
and Best Drawing. Annual Exhibitions.
Cape Town, South Africa.

1997 – 1998
WSSA – Achieved two highly commended awards
on National Exhibitions – Achieved Associateship.

SWAGS Annual Exhibition - second prize.

SA Society of Artists. Annual Exhibition, Cape Town, South Africa.: Best acrylic.

SA Society of Artists. Annual Exhibition, Cape Town, South Africa: Best acrylic, Highly commended award.

SA Society of Artists. Annual Exhibition, Cape Town, South Africa.: Best acrylic, Highly commended award.
Awarded Fellowship of SA Society of Artists.

view image larger
Title:Visiting Gaugain 8/50
Size: 35 x 25 cm
Media: Hand coloured linocut
ID: 26090
Price: R 1 925 unframed

Verandahs, Windows and Doors

Di Johnson-Ackerman is an artist of consummate skill capable of depicting a 3 dimensional illusion of reality totally convincingly on a flat canvass. Unblinking, in the strong light of the South African Sun, with easy mastery of the mathematical constructs of one point perspective she portrays the Victorian details of verandahs, doorways and windows. Her point of view is generally passive yet compelling, discreetly set back in the shadows, within a doorway, behind a window or on the verandah looking out across the veld. An objective reality of the scene is established.

As the viewer aligns with the artist’s perspective a subtle shift takes place. The objective outer reality is subject to the interior, emotional response of the viewer. Persistent memories, definitions gender and culture may inform this response. Who were the early settlers who built these homes? Does the spirit of their time linger on?

Di Johnson-Ackerman enjoys rendering complex forms in minute detail. She is well known for her fine plant and animal studies. Recently she has purchased an etching press and released several fine editions.

by Gail Dörje from Cape Gallery exhibition 11.03.07 - 31.03.07

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