Gail Catlin's inescapable power and vibrancy has earned her a reputation as one of South Africa's most spirited and compelling artistic innovators. Her work is represented in all the major public art museums and corporate collections in South Africa and she has been invited to exhibit in France, Russia, England, Germany and America. Catlin is the first artist in the world to exploit liquid crystal as the basis for her artistic creation. This highly sensitive, scientific, substance responds immediately to changing intensities of temperature and light with dramatic shifts of colour, reflectivity and sheen. Thereby it has enabled Catlin to create a constantly changing, live pictorial surface. Its dynamic chromatic and luminary mutations inject added visual drama and excitement to the artists chosen themes the life of the isolated african desert, the burning sun, the landscapes, the huge variety of wildlife and the endless cycles of hunting, killing and devouring.
Catlin's personal contribution to world art is that her works have achieved a kind of metastasis; the ability of the artwork to escape fixity and to constantly transform itself like a kaleidoscope. She has achieved this by simultaneously being an alchemist, scientist, magician and artist.
Catlin has produced a unique body of work, not only in terms of her abstract imagery and dramatic chromatic effects, but also because of the lively responsiveness of her artworks to the viewer. The paintings literally 'dance', reaching to body temperature or a passing cloud, the effect as the crystals warm and cool is mesmerizing. It refracts the light in different directions akin to a brilliant faceted diamond. Her canvas of choice is glass, which enhances the translucent quality of the crystal. Working mainly from the reverse side, Catlin builds her mirror image layer by layer with the dexterity and confidence of an accomplished artist who is at one with her medium.
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