Angela Banks

Born in: 1977, South Africa

Lives in: Johannesburg, South Africa

Media: Painting

Describe your work in 3 words: Meticulous, disciplined, innocent

See More Work:  www.art.co.za/angiebanks

Hide and Seek - Oil on canvas 130 x 90 cm

Angela Banks’ work is a direct reflection of her escape from the rackety world of pretense that surrounds her. She is inspired by open untouched space, seeking out beauty in the most unlikely places and people. Banks is drawn to portraiture and animals, delving into their unspoken connectedness.

What themes does your work involve?
Working with the themes of relationship, understanding and connectedness within the triad of human, animal and nature fascinates me. How synchronicity, consideration and sacrifice play an integral part in the flourishing of all three entities. The theme is many times a reflection of my own experiences of balance and imbalance within my own life but also reaches into the narrative of the observable relationships I see around me.
Describe your creative process.
I very seldom plan an entire painting. I usually start off with a central figure which then in some way demands it’s own context and story. As the paintings progress they grow almost entirely on their own. I seek out a lot of reference and somehow certain images, object and animals find their way into the compositions, until finally I am satisfied by the complete image painted. I know the work is finished when I can stare at it for more than 10 mins and not want to change anything.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
I am inspired for technique by the great masters like Rembrandt, Caravaggio and Rubens, but I am also inspired by more contemporary painters and sculptors. The natural world, the animal kingdom and the complex nature of the human individual are also very strong influences and inspirations for my painting. I create work because it is a physical necessity, a passion and an escape and it gives me great joy and satisfaction to paint.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
For me, a good work of art comprises great skill, a wonderful concept or narrative or reason to be made, and thirdly, it should be engaging, wonderful to look at and must evoke in the viewer an emotion.
What is the role of the artist today?
I am an artist because I have an irreversible urge to create and through creating, to communicate something that I sometimes find very difficult to put into words. I feel art should be a ‘release’ in contemporary society. It should allow people to exercise their imaginations, their intellect and give them an ‘out’ from the stresses and strains of the rat race of contemporary life.


This page was published by Circle Foundation for the Arts © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist