Carla Kranendonk creates a world of pattern and colour in her art. But it is also a very human world, almost always dominated by the calm yet resonant presence of the single female figure.
‘My greatest fascination is Africa, especially West Africa, with a focus on independent, strong, beautiful woman. I’ve travelled many times to Senegal and I’m impressed by the colours, the spirit and the beautiful style of the Senegalese woman. Most of my paintings are homages to black woman, her beauty, culture, inspiration, power and wisdom.’
Dutch-born Carla Kranendonk's works are informed by her travels, by her love of the twentieth-century artistic tradition, and her childhood as the daughter of a dress- maker. They combine vivid brushwork with hand-embroidered paper collage, textiles and beading. She describes how her iconic figures are ‘surrounded by symbols such as flowers (beauty, happines, decoration), bags (to carry your identity, your secrets, your culture with you), shoes (travelling, walking around the world, identity, taste, power), books (wisdom, education, writing, creating).’
There is a compelling richness – both visual and cultural – to Kranendonk’s work. It has achieved an international following and is held in private and corporate collections in from London and New York, to Cape Town and Geneva.