Anna van der Ploeg


Anna van der Ploeg is an interdisciplinary artist from South Africa, working primarily in paint, print, and wood. She is compelled by representational imagery for the qualities it shares with literature: an ability to be didactic, or to create a fiction in which to probe at the truth. Van der Ploeg has a sharp interest in language, as intimated in her titles, and writing often runs parallel to the making of her works. Titles sometimes precede, or prompt the actual artwork. Her practice is built on a foundation of intellectual curiosity and technical competence: she is vigorous in both making and thinking. Though the catalyst to her work is conceptual, her process is often labour-intensive and perceptive.

The scenes created carry a weight on their shoulders, portraying a silent solidarity with representation and a responsibility towards disquiet. Through considered images, she refers to familiar scenes caught at a moment of tension or doubt. The feeling of effort, or of something beyond cognition, is perhaps its own kind of optimism. In painting she searches for new metaphors to convey insights about our common assemblies, to find rhythms in the motion across differing contexts. She invites the subjects into spaces or landscapes that contain something intentionally disruptive; a sense of tension.