Claudia Treagus | My Capricorn Series
Passionate painter, Claudia Treagus, doesn’t have the everyday education axis into art. She took art in high school and only 15 years later rekindled her relationship with the medium during an uncomfortable pregnancy. In the sleepless late nights she found comfort in painting the subtle beauties of daily life, highlighting that which is often taken for granted.
This current body of oil paintings is different contextually to her previous works. It’s based on, and inspired by, her experiences with ‘Sisterhood’, a creative art class which takes place every week, in a shipping container in the Cape Town township, Capricorn Park.
Claudia explains that the surrounding Capricorn community exists within confined spaces and informal living – a very different life to her own. Through self-reflective and often introspective positioning within her paintings, Claudia navigates her own emotive responses to this place and captures these activities within their context. The connected bodies leaning in, pressing, and intersecting, captivate her. She has tried to paint with all of her senses remembering the feelings, sights, smells and mood in those moments.
Claudia further explains that this painting style has been forgiving of mistakes by allowing the history of the painting, through layering, to be present in the final image. Similarly, she has at times left sections un-painted, or purposefully connected figures to their backgrounds, allowing the viewer to get a sense of the blur between subject and context. Her Capricorn experience has been unique and she has tried to convey a strong sense of the unexpected.
The bright oils convey the richness of how individuals, and life within this social space, affect her, bringing light to her own history and flawed presence. Her goal was to present these images with a freshness that is untidy, visceral and dynamic – like the community of Capricorn – allowing the viewer to experience and interpret the images for themselves. Her hope is that you sense the vibrancy of Capricorn within these paintings.
Through this process Claudia has witnessed the cathartic and healing qualities of art and has fallen in love with art making all over again. ‘Sisterhood’ offers girls of all ages a safe place to meet, make art together, find hope in God, and belong. Most of these girls and young women are at high risk for exposure to sexual abuse, drug use and gang related activity. Being so grateful for the experience, Claudia would like to give back by donating a portion of the sales made from this exhibition to ‘Sisterhood’.