In her newest work, in which patinated bronze panels are adorned with three dimensional tree branches, artist Jill Berelowitz captures a mystical, abstracted landscape that evokes the experience of light through the trees familiar to anyone who has explored the English woodland at dusk. Originally from South Africa, these new works symbolise a cultural osmosis for the artist, absorbing the sensation of the English landscape into a practice that frequently draws on themes inspired the vastness of the African continent.
This exhibition demonstrates the artist's personal movement across geographies; tumbleweed that cycles across the landscape, bodies fused into a globe the shape of a rock eroded into a smoothly beautiful form by the elements and time. This examination of the transience of life is at once personal to the artist, and speaks to universal human experience.
Trained as a sculptor, Jill makes ambitious, large scale works that articulate her personal experiences, infused with positive and often spiritual feel. Many of the works are deeply personal, incorporating symbols of a talismanic importance to the artist; an elephant, the tree of life, circles and spherical forms, a feather, a dachshund. Many others evoke the human figure formed with qualities of elegance and lyrical movement, often elongated and abstracted in the manner of the traditional tribal sculpture of her homeland. The female figure is of particular importance to the artist, a recurring motif that is celebrated in this exhibition during the Year of the Woman.
The human figure is a recurring motif in Jill's work, emblematic of the interest in beauty that preoccupies the artist. Her figurative forms are at once specific and universal - at times they signify human movement and transition, at others they become figures from classical myth, becoming the personification of natural forms, from tiny seed pods, to the mother of dawn in 'Aurora'. A second recurring image in Jill's work is that of the tree as a form that embodies life, the rhythms of nature and the markings of time.
Although much of her work is cast in bronze, Jill often uses other materials including carbon fibre and crystal resin to explore her ideas. The resin in particular allows the artist to explore her use of light, the colourful, transparent material allowing natural light to flood through and refract. This sublime phenomenon symbolises the luminosity that is embodied by all of Jill's work. Light and life pulsate throughout, offering hope and positive energy.