Mandi Potgieter studied BA Fine Arts at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. She exhibited in various group and solo exhibitions, mainly at Tina Skukan Gallery in Pretoria as well as art competitions. She was discovered by art collectors and buyers after joining Art in the Park in Johannesburg. Potgieter also illustrated book cover designs for Palm Publishers in Pretoria.
Currently situated in Melbourne, Australia, Potgieter has been teaching private art lessons focusing on drawing, painting and pewter classes. She was also part of Arts Festivals in association with the City of Casey opening her studio for the public and facilitated open air landscape painting lessons for the City of Casey. In 2018 she had her first solo exhibition at Gate 6 Gallery in Berwick Melbourne Australia.
Her work consists of a range of mediums; oil painting, sand painting, ceramics, encaustic and pewter . Potgieter is constantly researching new artistic mediums and forms of art making.
I am mainly active as a painter in oils and acrylic mediums. While living in South Africa my art was based around the figure and its surroundings. It developed into interior paintings. The figure inside is, on the one side the focus point, but still remains the object inside the interior. I gradually moved away from the figure and developed a strong sense for architecture and the abstract geometrical space with which we wish to surround ourselves.
Immigrating to Australia has brought along a lot of change, new experience and insights to me. I started focusing my attention more on atmospheric landscapes with an African symbol made from pewter or an African animal which is part of the landscape, but also not. In the beginning of this new journey it was important to paint an universal landscape without any traces of identity. Only an atmospheric space full of drama and contrast. Soft versus hard, smooth versus rough textures, light and dark nuances. A space that anyone can relate to regardless of their culture race age or nationality. An abstract space full of emotion and creation! In time my focus turned to Berwick and it’s green surroundings and the beautiful bird life all around me.
Living close to the sea is a new experience for me and inspires me to experiment with sea sand collages combined with found objects. My sand collages are reflecting on man’s need to control nature, (by shaping trees into square hedges etc) and turning free flowing, landscapes into geometrical shapes. The world that we live in embodies the contrast between free flowing organic shapes from our natural environment, against our human boxed-in, straight lined geometrical-shaped environment. This reflects upon our interference into nature and sustainability danger as the result of pollution in our world.