Georgina Berens makes quiet prints that are immaculate reflections on place. Her scenes ring with the presence of unseen dramas, both past and future that play out off stage. The gentle traces of a wondering subject speak of the need for structure, however ephemeral or symbolic, within an exploration of the unknown. Her works capture that moment where the self has just left or is about to emerge.
In her latest collection of lithographs, Berens reimagines the internal dislocation that comes from being in a new environment. The works were made while she was on residency at the Ratamo Printmaking and Photography centre in Jyväskylä, Finland. Throughout the series, she positions her images as reflections of the child-like desire to create impermanent homes within a place of imaginative exploration. A tent, a tree house, stacked logs – so permeable and flimsy – are safe harbours in the face of the the darkness that reaches in from every corner.
A labour-intensive carefulness is characteristic of Berens’s works that belie any presence of this labour in the final image. A precision of marks and harmony of composition provides the impression of containment, allowing the works to ask the subtle questions: ‘Who will I be in this place?’ and ‘What will this place come to mean with me in it?’
Exhibitions | Awards | Residencies
2018 – Forthcoming solo exhibition at Voorkamer Gallery, Chandler House, Cape Town; Turbine Art Fair Johannesburg, Salon 91; Artist Press Collaboration with Mark Attwood, Mpumalanga. 2017 – ‘Field’ and ‘Trees Make Forests’ at Salon 91 Gallery, Cape Town. Artist-in-residence at the Ratamo Printmaking and Photography Centre, Jyväskylä, Finland; Internship at Artist Press, Mpumalanga; Internship at Warren Editions, Cape Town; Internship at Smith Gallery, Cape Town. 2016 – Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art at Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town. 2014 –awarded the Matthew Somers Memorial Prize.