Amy Ayanda Lester X DKW

Amy Ayanda Lester, an artist and musician based in Cape Town, South Africa, finds inspiration in the local landscape, particularly in the flora, colours and people.

Her art, ranging from paintings to prints, frequently features proteas, fynbos, and the iconic mountain silhouette, drawing from her family’s history on a flower farm in Constantia.

Forced removals under apartheid laws inform her exploration of land and belonging. Amy’s artistic journey, rooted in themes of connection and loss, intertwines painting and music.

In March of 2024, Amy was invited to the David Krut Workshop (DKW) to collaborate with printmaker, Roxy Kaczmarek on a new body of work ahead of her solo presentation at the Latitudes Art Fair (May 2024). 

Amy worked on a series of enchanting monotype print works on paper that bloom with colour and stunning brushwork – continuing her exploration into the motifs of flora and fauna.   

Amy Ayanda has described her painting practice as a “necessity in her life”, having had a brush in hand from as early as two years old. Naturally, the work has evolved over time and the artist now centres her work around motifs of the flower as a memorial for loss, grief and how to honour these universal feelings. 

Recently, Amy has been collecting and studying flowers, carefully examining them in each of their phases; from new blossoms with vibrant colours to the inevitable withering of her subject. She finds beauty and meaning in each and every stage of their lifetime, through this she uses the flower as a metaphor to respond to the universal feelings of loss.

Her style is loose and largely guided by an ‘instance’ – specifically in relation to how she uses colour. The artist has reflected on how her use of colour is dedicated to a feeling, a moment wherein a colour inspires her which is often immediate, abstract and playful.

“After 5 days straight of printmaking, everything became a monotype” – Amy Ayanda 

On her time in the workshop, Amy has reflected on how impacted having dedicated time and space, away from the day-to-day distractions that arise in a home studio can be in evolving works, both technically and conceptually. 

Before arriving at DKW, Amy had prepared studies, paintings and collected flowers to use as reference – entering the workshop space, she noticed that the story evolving from these references was rejuvenated and the potential of the works expanded. 

Having access to a team of energetic, knowledgeable and passionate printmakers provided her with the support to deepen her exploration of her works and move beyond limitations that an isolated practice/studio might present.

“Being able to access a whole amazing team filled with knowledge and a deep passion around the medium, huddled around a moment after a print has been pulled and seeing something that you might not otherwise see is such an amazing thing” – Amy Ayanda

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