Like moments frozen in time, Hanneke Benadé’s larger-than-life pastel drawings are exquisitely detailed glimpses into her subject matter. In her latest solo exhibition, Sense of Place, the accomplished South African artist explores the connection between subject and landscape at the House Union Block gallery in the heart of Cape Town.
With pastels as her medium of choice, Benadé creates evocative works that are rooted in realism. In the past, her lifelike drawings have been character studies, capturing the emotions of her models through portraiture. However, in this solo show, she explores the connection between the subject and the landscape in what she describes as ‘an interplay of emotions, memories and experiences that shape our sense of place’.
This situational collection holds significance for Benadé as an artist, as it embodies the relationship between ourselves and the natural world, and how our environment influences our identity, perspective and sense of belonging: ‘It embodies the connection we have with the environments we inhabit, whether physical or emotional, and the ways in which these landscapes shape our understanding of self,’ writes the artist.
Featuring a total of five larger pieces and twenty smaller works, Sense of Place expands on Benadé’s normal subject matter to include specific objects and landscapes that reflect a sense of belonging in both physical and metaphorical landscapes – for instance, a chair represents both a place of rest and reflection, and the act of claiming space. The series of smaller pieces are still-life ‘portraits’ of objects that inhabit a certain space in Benadé’s life, including flowers, spoons, fruit and tableware.
Open to the public from 19 October to 1 December 2023, Sense of Place follows an impressive repertoire of both solo and group exhibitions by the University of Pretoria Fine Arts graduate, including a number of international shows in England, France, Egypt and Germany.
Benadé is the recipient of several awards, including a Brett Kebble Art Award in 2003 and two Kanna Awards at the Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees in 2008.
For more information visit hannekebenade.com and follow @house_union_block on Instagram.
Date 19 October to 1 December 2023.
Time Monday to Friday, 09h00 to 16h00
Location Union House, 25 Commercial Street, Cape Town