Marna Hattingh

Undertow 16 May - 30 May 2023

Marna Hattingh
'Undertow '

‘Undertow’ by Marna Hattingh 2023 on display in the gallery annex

May 16th – 30th


Exhibition Dates

  • May16
  • Opening night
  • May30
  • Exhibition ends
Marna Hattingh | Undertow | annex show

The work is an embodiment of an inner world; an interior state in constant flux, shaped by the forces of imagination, memory and the captivating pull of the subconscious. My approach to making is intuitive. I long to create a non-verbal communication that is visually compelling and engaging to the viewer on a visceral emotional level. Elements and images in the paintings act like words or text in a narrative that can be read and interpreted by the viewer.

The idea of archetypes resonates strongly with me as a rich source of visual exploration.  I am interested in how these symbols function as an expression of universal patterns of behaviour that originates from the subconscious. The subconscious speaks in an uncompromising language. Archetypes act as symbols of our collective human impulses and underlying themes and motifs that shape our deepest fears, desires and feelings. The animalistic hybrid characters, spectres and spooks appearing in the paintings are an archetypal embodiment of these subconscious feelings that motivate our thoughts and actions. I use these symbols intuitively in a way that ‘feels right‘ to me rather than thinking about it too much in a rational sense.

The fluid juxtaposition of elements creates various mesmerising dreamlike scenes in the works. There is a sense of movement and flow to the compositions. It depicts an ever-evolving complex inner emotional state. The mind is a forest, layered and dense; a sinuous entanglement. The works are interrogations of the complexity, nuances and contradictions of human nature and also the absurdity of life.  I am hoping to express my thoughts and attitudes on what it means to be a part of humanity. The longer I have been alive the less certain I have become of anything but also more comfortable with that ambiguity or uncertainty.

In these works I also seek to express the interplay of the dichotomies of the human condition, the beautiful and the monstrous, heaven and hell, joy and despair, masculine and feminine, good and evil, mind and body, seduction and repulsion and movement and stasis.  The ambiguity of the compositions creates an open-ended narrative that invites the viewer to complete it for themselves. In this hypertextual world there surely is no singular meaning but our lives and thoughts are creative acts, we are constructing our own powerful personal universes.

Marna Hattingh

South African artist, Marna Hattingh’s travels between a hybrid of fine art, literature and the complexities or contemporary life. She interrogates and articulates its collective emotions and has developed a highly unique and sought-after style, strongly influenced by an Asian sensibility and her experience as an illustrator, blending wry humour and social comment into playful palettes with a serious undertone. Drawing inspiration from an eclectic range including media, fashion, history and fictional novels, her finely drawn characters jump, dance and spin across timeless, patterned backgrounds. Each painting is extensively worked and contains its own complex narrative.

Marna Hattingh | Undertow | annex show

New Works Alert

Subscribe to receive the latest updates.

Join the waitlist forMarna Hattingh | Undertow | annex show

RSVP for Marna Hattingh | Undertow | annex show

Subscribe for VIP Access & News