Have you ever walked past a building and wondered what it was like inside?
For some of us, walking down the street and looking at houses allows our imaginations to run wild; creating stories about the lives lived inside is a past-time.
At first glance, it seems that these two images were captured on the same warm sunny day, one after the other, as if the viewer walked through the green door and on the patio inside a monkey was resting in the shade. In reality, these two oils were painted almost 100 years apart by two very different artists, under very different circumstances.
The exterior scene depicting A sun-dappled Cape Dutch gable was created by Robert Gwelo Goodman after his return to South Africa in 1915. Along with Drakensberg landscapes, still lifes and quiet interior scenes, Goodman developed a particular interest in capturing Cape-Dutch architecture. Through short brush-strokes, the artist’s representation immerses the viewer into an idyllic tranquillity.
On the other hand, the apparent calm in Nicky Leigh’s Solitary confinement is an emotionally charged metaphor between captive animals and the trapped human spirit. In her work, Leigh showed a deep connection to nature, always giving the subject a spiritual significance.
Paraphrasing a famous proverb to the circumstances of my past-time, one of the many things I’ve learnt is to not judge a house by its exterior.