COGNISANCE – an exhibition of equine paintings by Joni-Leigh Doran highlights the enduring but complex relationship between horses and humans. Doran, born in 1981 in Cape Town, resides in McGregor in the Western Cape, and works predominantly in the traditional medium of oil paint on canvas and linen.
In these paintings, the spectral representation of the horse presents a species with a long and interconnected relationship with humans, sometimes to the point of holy divinity.
“The horse’s long service to humanity, and their deep awareness and understanding of a species other than themselves, is one we humans can only aspire to and yet, humans have, since the beginning, subjected billions of horses to untold horrors and murderous exploitation,” says Doran.
The ghostlike form of various horses in these paintings is both a testament to those that have suffered and died as well as our sanctification of them and our admiration of their deep powers of intuition and knowledge that rises far beyond the cognitive abilities of our own species.
‘These paintings are an enquiry into the spirit of the horse, and the deep and historical interconnectedness between us and them. The ephemeral portrayal of them in these works accentuates the opposing circumstances that horses currently face in cohabitation with humans – transcendence and tribulation,” the artist adds.
These paintings are Doran’s attempt to honour the horses she has known and loved. They all depict horses that she has known personally.
About Joni-Leigh Doran:
Although formally trained as a graphic designer, Joni-Leigh has been drawing and painting all her life and has worked with renowned South African artists such as Ryno Swart and Derek van Rensburg.
She has recently been accepted into the Florence Academy of Art based on her portfolio and will be traveling to Italy in the coming year to refine her skills and delve deeper into the techniques of the Classical Masters.
Animals and natural landscapes have always provided her with limitless inspiration and she aims to depict the beauty and fragility of the non-human world through her work. A percentage of the proceeds of all painting sales goes directly into funding wildlife conservation programs.
See COGNISANCE for yourself:
When: 8 January 2022, 10.30am – 13 February, 2:30pm.
Where: La Galleria, 7 Bree St, Mcgregor, McGregor, 6708, South Africa.
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