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Born in Durban in 1965

Coral Spencer has an uncanny and unique comprehension of colour and light in her paintings. This extraordinary ability to capture light and form in her oil paintings has become her signature style and makes her works instantly recognisable. Her pieces are represented in top galleries across South Africa and abroad.

One of Coral’s earliest influences was her grandfather Thomas Moll, who was the headmaster of Endelen i Art school and teachers training college outside of Richmond.  Her early years were spent surrounded by students and art making, murals and woodcarving.  Her parents travelled a lot and she was moved from country to country and school to school.  When living in Scotland (1979 – 1981) she was exposed to the classics with numerous trips to Glasgow School of Art and school trips to London to view selected exhibitions.  On returning to South Africa she completed her schooling in 1983, and obtained her Diploma in Fine Art from Technikon Natal in 1986.  She then worked as a graphic artist for several years, before becoming a studio manager.

 Spencer married in 1993 and had two children.  It was at this time that she returned to oil painting.  Her fascinations with the figure and body language have become key elements in her work.  A lover of high skill she extends herself daily to capture light and form within her work, with a comprehensive knowledge of colour and light on the human figure and its effects.  Working mainly on commissions, Spencer paints and draws for an average of 8 hours a day, pushing herself to extend her skills.  She was selected for the ABSA Atelier 2001 awards in KZN, and participated in all the NSA members (won a merit award) and collaborative exhibitions.

 Her work can be viewed at selected Galleries throughout the country, and can be found in private collections (Mark McNaulty collection, Lever Brothers – 60 pen and ink drawings, and others).  She attends two artist retreats a year, one in Clarence, and the other in Colesberg.  These are having a great influence on her work in terms of shared knowledge amongst a group of like-minded artists. 

“As an artist I have been inspired by Durban all my life, especially its beaches and people, often the main focus of my work.  I normally capture Durban as I find it, teaming with people on the beaches or erupting slowly as the city awakens and people trickle onto the sands.  In this painting it is the individual personal experience of body space within the landscape that fascinates me.  I wanted to capture this creating a sandy backdrop in muted tones, making it mute and quiet and playing off the tensions between figures as they pass each other in the environment they find themselves in.

With an innate love of the technical solutions to painting, using drawing, blending, special tensions, composition and, in this case, sheer size, I was able to play freely – allowing myself the freedom to put my brush down when enough was said.”

– Coral Spencer

Coral Spencer

Title: Beach Collage
Size: 100 x 120 cm
Media: Oil
Price: R 30 450 Unframed
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