SUREEN GOUWS ART
PLAY OF LIGHT
Born and raised in South Africa, Sureen has worked as an architect for many years. After migrating to Australia in 2018, she shifted her focus from Architecture to Art.
Her monochromatic wall relief sculptures explore the unique three-dimensional shapes created by layering geometric shapes. It examines the interplay between light and how it influences the perception of the works. By only using one single colour, the emphasis falls on the shadows created by the different shapes and their compositions. The artwork’s response to the changing light in its environment offers a unique perspective every time.
Her works are constructed from wood and hand-painted with textural paint. The beauty lies in the balance between the clean lines of the laser-cut wood and the uneven hand-paint texture that gives each artwork a soul of its own.
Sureen is intrigued by circular shapes and their inherent energy. They are symbols representing totality, wholeness and timelessness. She aims to create balance, harmony, and a sense of calmness in her art through a minimalist approach. Her creative process is similar to meditation for her. She reminds the viewer to focus their attention inwards and “reset” their mind. Through her art, she recreates a feeling of Zen for people like her who struggle with anxiety and the demands of everyday life. She hopes that her art will help people unwind from a hectic lifestyle, making them more resilient, productive, calm and happier all around.
To learn more about the creation of this exclusive collection, we sat down and spoke with the artist Sureen.
Tell us about who you are and what you do:
I am a South African-born artist living on the Mornington Peninsula near Melbourne. After working as an architect for over a decade I've started a career in art. My sculptural relief art is greatly influence by my background as an architect and brings a unique artistic style to it.
Tell us about your use of colour. i.e. Do you use a specific colour palette? Why? What draws you to specific colours? How do you choose your colours?
I work in soft monochrome colours that creates a calm and tranquil background for the flowing lines. It is not over stimulating and make us feel grounded, it is timeless and connect us back to nature. I am fascinated by the interplay between light and shadow, and how it influences the perception of my 3d works. By only using a single colour, the emphasis falls on the shadows created by the different shapes and their compositions. The artworks’ response to the changing light in its environment offers the viewer a unique perspective every time.
How did you first get interested in your medium and what draws you to it specifically?
My work as an artist is a natural continuation of my architectural career. Similar to designing architecture, my works are also the translation of two-dimensional line drawings into three-dimensional pieces. Composition, line and form all come into play.
Tell us a bit about the process of making a work. i.e. How long does it take? Do you use a special process? How do you decide when it's finished?
Using my architectural skills, I compose my designs on a computer, first as line drawings and then building a three dimensional CAD model. I refine the design until I feel it is complete. I then create cut patterns of all the different layers and components. Afterwards, I laser-cut it from thin layers of MDF, assemble the design (almost like a puzzle) and glue the layers together. It is finished with textured paint and matt acrylic paint coatings. The textures of each artwork are unique and it gives it a soul of its own. The clean and precise lines of the shapes combined with the rough and imperfect tactile textures of the finish give my works a simplistic ‘wabi-sabi’ aesthetic.
What does your work aim to say? Why is that message important?
My art is my 'Zen' space - when I make my artworks I am able to clear my mind. It is almost like a process of meditation, giving me a sense of calm and focus. In a world full of stress and over stimulation it is increasingly difficult to find tranquility and relaxation. My artworks focus on creating balance, harmony, and the sense of calmness through a minimalist approach. My aim is to recreate this feeling of 'Zen' for people like me who struggles with anxiety and keeping up with the demands of everyday life. The goal of my artworks is to help the viewer focus their attention inwards and “reset” their mind, similar to meditation. I hope my art will help people unwind from a hectic lifestyle, making them more resilient, productive, calm and happier all around.
Where do you find inspiration?
I am drawn to the circle shapes and the inherent energy they embody. In my work circles are symbols representing totality, wholeness, flowing energy and balance. My work embodies a zen, meditative and minimalistic philosophy.
Tell us about the specific body of work that you’ve done exclusively for En Gold:
In this collection I’ve drawn inspiration from the Moon. The Moon is a beautiful mystery that has captivated the attention of everyone at some point. It is an ancient symbol that has shaped how we track and understand time. It rises every day, bringing in the night, and it controls the tides. Some believe it also affects our energetic fields. The flowing lines in my work express dynamism and fluctuation, much like the phases of the moon or the ebbs and flows of our lives. The muted colours and textured surfaces convey a sense of peace and tranquility, which harkens back to our connection with nature. In this way, my artworks embodies a minimalistic philosophy that is both calming and reflective.