My great love affair

Danae Thyssen - Visual Artist 

Ever since I can remember, I have always had an immense passion for anything creative and of all my great love affairs, it is the one that still excites me with  all its infinite possibilities. Although my initial enthusiasm was as the entertainer, I soon realised I had a genuine love for everything related to the “Arts”.  Currently I am pursuing my devotion to the arts by committing myself to undertake my Masters By Coursework, after completing a Bachelor of Visual Arts in 2012, majoring in photography with a split minor in painting and drawing.

As a result of my initial varied interest, I still today continue to indulge in a variety of art practices and enjoy using those mediums collaboratively. Generally, my drawing and painting practices, tend to be somewhat lighter in subject matter, with themes that relate to music, love, and social scenes, along with a variety of portrait’s and nudes. My focus is certainly more figurative, than that of the abstract, although I envisage experimenting in this area more in the future. I am also known for my love of great literature, my passion for creative writing and my delight in using text within some of my artistic works. In contrast, it would be true to assert that many of the themes I continue to explore with my photographic works come from a very personal position and are often very emotive. Ultimately, there is an unsettling disquiet within many of my images, which are layered with a kaleidoscope of emotions that resonate with feelings of solitude, self-doubt, unfulfilled passions and conflicting ideals.

I am particularly engaged in topics relating to issues around identity, personal connection and disconnection, along with subject matter relating to social engagement or injustices and humanitarian or feminist issues. Additionally, I have pondered the idea of time and space, along with life and our environment, the struggle between our natural environment and societies need to enforce its own will.  I surmised our environment is more than just our aggregate of surrounding things, rather our condition or influences on, not just our physical state, but our emotional and psychological surroundings. In particular, it is the thought of the “Urban Jungle” or “Confined Environments” that resonates with me especially. I am mindful of the things or situations that aid in exacerbating the feelings of confinement, or being trapped. Aside from our physical condition affecting our surroundings, our environment is impacted by financial situations, our social standing or pressures, along with cultural and religious influences which often results in us feeling alien and become alienated by others, or even ourselves. We struggle with inner conflict and often seem to lose our way becoming overwhelmed with despair, further exacerbating the feelings of being trapped.

Throughout my life I have encountered many challenges, including those of the many topics that I outwork, but have chosen to use these experiences to engage with others in a very real and satisfying way, both personally and through my art. As an artist, I believe part of that role is as an educator of social responsibility and I plan to further explore these types of confronting topics through my art practice, especially the use of photography, to challenge and hold up a mirror to society and make them aware of their level of accountability in the hopes of engaging change.