focus this september on portraits from luhanri bekker
10 September 2017
uhanri studied ba fine arts at the university of pretoria and graduated in 2010. she is a portraitist who, whilst living in africa, draws her inspiration from people she observes or meets during her travels in different african countries, as well as in her day-to- day residing in her city wellington.people’s views on africa are often accompanied with stereotypes and ‘typical african assumptions’. rather than stating the expected, she portrays what she sees when she looks at african people – the beauty of individuals. luhanri chooses to see the beauty, friendliness and energy displayed through the faces of africa’s people. her sentiment echoes that of chinua achebe: ‘people go to africa and confirm what they already have in their heads and so they fail to see what is there in front of them’.the people she paints represent the hope, beauty and potential she sees in individuals. the subjects in her paintings are people she has met and shared life-stories with, people she meets during her everyday wandering or people that interest her.by choosing portraiture, she is able to capture facial expression in her work, which tells a story of a moment of beauty that is much deeper than the physical. portraiture for her is a way of engaging the viewer in a universal dialogue – anyone can relate to an expression and feel something.