Namibia’s Queen of Ab­stract Art

SLOW Magazine - - Must Go -

Artist, ac­tivist, and ed­u­ca­tor Nicky Marais cre­ates bright, bold ab­stract art­work us­ing an eclec­tic vo­cab­u­lary of shapes and pat­terns. Her work is mostly in­spired by the land­scape of her home, Namibia, and her in­ter­est in the so­cial and po­lit­i­cal his­tory of the Namib­ian peo­ple, as well as the rich cul­ture that sur­rounds her. Her paint­ings bring shapes to life, shim­mer with colour, and elicit cu­rios­ity in au­di­ences.

Born in a small min­ing town in South Africa to a ge­ol­o­gist fa­ther and an artist mother, Marais moved to Namibia when she was seven-years-old. Her par­ents thrived in the in­spir­ing land­scape, which strongly in­flu­enced Marais as a young girl. “My mother col­lected every­thing, and was in­ter­ested in every­thing. She worked ex­tremely hard paint­ing in her stu­dio, as well as out­side in the in­cred­i­ble desert land­scapes of Namibia. She was a suc­cess­ful painter and il­lus­tra­tor, and was an im­por­tant role-model for me. Choos­ing to be an artist just seemed like the best pos­si­ble life choice. Both my daugh­ters are now also pur­su­ing artis­tic ca­reers, so it con­tin­ues to be the best choice.”

Marais re­turned to South Africa for a brief stint, ob­tain­ing her de­gree in Fine Art from

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