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DIANE JOHNSON-ACKERMAN
 


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.


Exhibitions:

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.

1986
Two paintings on New Signatures Exhibition in Pretoria. Exhibition
organized under the auspices of the Association of Arts of South Africa.

1988
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.

1989
Took part in a Members Exhibition at the KwaZulu/Natal Society of Artists
(NSA) Gallery, Durban, South Africa. Achieved a Merit Award.

1993
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.
April/May 1997.
Annual wildlife Exhibition. Cape Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa.
June/July 1998.
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.

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

2004
One man exhibition - Cape Gallery, Cape Town.
Best Acrylic - SA Society of Artists annual exhibition Kirstenbosch Cape
Town.

2005
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.

2006
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).

2007
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.


2008
Cape Gallery March One Man Show "A Window to the Past".

Other numerous local exhibitions in Johannesburg, Springs, Nelspruit, Sabie, Somerset West, Cape Town, Durban, Stellenbosch, Franschoek, Kokstad and the South Coast of Natal - South Africa.

2011
Annual wild life exhibition at The Cape Gallery

2012
The world we live in; annual wildlife exhibition at The Cape Gallery

2013
Encounters; annual wildlife exhibition at The Cape Gallery

2014
A point of view; group exhibition at The Cape Gallery

2016
Impressions, group exhibition at The Cape Gallery
Super Real, group exhibition at The Cape Gallery

Publications
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:
Namibia.
Great Britain.
Australia.
Norway.
New Zealand.
United States of America.
Germany.
Japan.

Personal artistic achievements
1986
Two paintings accepted on the Pretoria Association of Arts, South Africa,
New Signatures Exhibition.

1989
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.
WSSA – Achieved Associateship.

2002
SWAGS Annual Exhibition - second prize.

2004
SA Society of Artists. Annual Exhibition, Cape Town, South Africa.: Best acrylic.

2005
SA Society of Artists. Annual Exhibition, Cape Town, South Africa: Best acrylic, Highly commended award.

2006
SA Society of Artists. Annual Exhibition, Cape Town, South Africa.: Best acrylic, Highly commended award.
Awarded Fellowship of SA Society of Artists.

Di Johnson-Ackerman

Artist: DI JOHNSON-ACKERMAN
Title: Morning
Size: 54 x 101 cm
Media: Acrylic
Price: R 25 300 Framed

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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