the presence of absence | Christa Myburgh
The strength held by mothers was once described by Maya Angelou as “a hurricane in its perfect power. Or the climbing, falling colors of a rainbow”. The process of building this body of work and mainting life as a single mother has resulted in Christa Myburgh’s presentation being something like the climbing and falling rainbow that Angelou describes. In this exhibition, intensely personal and intimate events contribute to an undercurrent theme of fragility, illusion and absurdity. Myburgh undertakes size, perspective and chiascurro to illuminate an absurd lived reality that she associates with her life as a mother of two young children.
A murder lingers in the narrative and subtly sinister experience of her work, with figures coming in and out of focus and the picture plane. Her realistic painting technique accentuates the delicate nature of her experiences. A shock realization of the fragility of human life and the mortality of her own creations destabilizes the otherwise picturesque images.
The processing of Christa Myburgh’s personal experiences is navigated through the exhibition of her work. Working on a large scale, Myburgh intends to confront and engage with the viewer directly, drawing on the practice of tableaux vivant which translates to ‘living pictures’.
In a time where realism in painting is often set aside for broad abstraction or conceptual expression, Christa Myburgh has undertaken this meticulous and patient skill as a mode of expressing and exploring the nature of abstract experiences. From motherhood, to love, to the struggles of gender-related expectations and compensations, the interaction of power plays out in the thematic considerations articulated in Myburgh’s paintings.
– Clare Patrick