Thirza Kotzen in conversation with Rosie Pike
RP: So why gardens.......?
TK: Well they're places that inspire feelings of mysticism and majesty; the oldest and most important gardens in the world were created with this air of spirituality. A garden draws people to its centre and leads them on a journey through its design. Similarly in my paintings I hope to capture some of that immense wonder, pleasure and spiritual well-being that I find in gardens. I want to paint a magical and inspirational world through which the viewer can wander.
RP: I've always loved the way that you use such amazing colour in your work. Do you think your boldness and creative use of colour comes from your South African background?
TK: Yes I think it does. The colours I grew up with were very vibrant and intense. I only understood this when I came to live in Britain, that there was a different colour sensibility between South Africa and Northern Europe. South Africa is full of sunshine and light; here the light is so much cooler. But the way that I put colour together is very personal. It comes from somewhere deep inside me and has a force that is both mysterious and intangible. It is the most emotional part of my creativity. Using colour intuitively is an elemental part of my work.
Rosie Pike is a radio journalist.