Heather Gourlay-Conyngham was born in Durban, South Africa in 1956 and now lives in the midlands of KwaZulu-Natal. Having acquired a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts degree from the University of Natal and a Higher Education Diploma from the University of South Africa, she combined her career as an art teacher at various schools in KwaZulu-Natal with that of an artist, but in 2012 began painting full-time at her home in Hilton, outside Pietermaritzburg. Since then she has had four solo exhibitions, and in 2013 won the first Sanlam Portrait Award.
Her paintings have always depicted people. While concentrating on stripping the figure and its context to their bare essentials, this simplification extends to her use of subdued colours, with white predominating, and the suggestion of a reduced palette. She has used these devices not only to conjure the illusion of apparently white objects and people, but also to probe the allegorical roles they assume. It is her desire to instil in her paintings an innate energy in an understated manner.
More recently, ideas evident in her paintings have been developed into installations in which conventional representational drawings have been combined with imagery created from unconventional mediums.
Enquiries: Everard Read Gallery
Phone: +27 11 788 4805