Arabella Caccia draws inspiration from the people, places and objects she loves, and from the light where she lives in St James and the Karoo where she goes to find peace and silence. The feeling of quiet and perhaps stillness in the work reflects the ambience she tries to create around her, in order to find inspiration and access creativity.
"The materials I now work with, terracotta, stucco and oil, reflect the influence of the paintings and sculptures I was exposed to as a child in the Early Renaissance churches in Tuscany.
Each work is just a point on a journey - a journey which is an attempt at a quest in search of excellence in painting and in sculpture. A goal which is both mysterious and highly evasive. It is a quest that will preoccupy me for the rest of my life."
"It is obviously a feminine, private world that Caccia claims with this engagement" (Melvyn Minnaar).
“The figures float alone in undefined spaces. They evoke a quiet, introverted mood of contemplation. Some hold a red thread in their hand, others sit or stand next to a solitary object steeped with symbolic reference. The nude figures appear alone, balanced in space, naked without the trappings of the material world, apart from their own nudity. They are free in their unencumbered nakedness. They are aware of their own presence, their aloneness, their
existence. They simply are.
This new body of work deals with the individual nature of our existence. The paintings also attempt to touch on the concept that our happiness and contentment in this life needs to come from within, and cannot be dependent on outside elements whether they are other people or material objects. Both the method and the subject of these drawings and paintings go against the current trend of our society, to rush everywhere, to do hundreds of things at once and to endlessly acquire material paraphernalia to assuage our anxiety. They also, in their introspective nature contradict the desperate need in people to search for a cure to their inner pain in someone else.
I try to maintain a harmony between the process, the inspiration and the ideas behind the work. Through this I trust that the drawings and paintings will be imbued with honesty and integrity at every level, impart a sense of serenity and share my awe at the pure magic of life itself. I paint slowly in a highly meditative state, drawing inspiration from a model, who poses in my studio. First I draw in charcoal for up to15 to 20 hours, and only then do I begin to paint from life. I work for up to a minimum of 60 hours on each large painting, while I simultaneously paint smaller studies. I try to evoke total awareness of the environment in which I create. Every day the light is slightly different and even as the sun moves, so the shadows on the skin subtly change, just as the mood of the model changes as the hours tick past, through this state of extreme awareness the painting grows in both depth and intensity. This meditative way of painting allows the surface of oil paint to build up gradually, with each subtle change in light comes a change in colour and through the intense observation of these extraordinary gifts of nature one is able to capture a quiet, subtle, life-like quality and grow a tactile luster in the paint impossible to achieve with fast superficial painting.”
1983 University of Witwatersrand
1984-88 Edinburgh University
1988-89 Parsons School of Design, New York, USA
1991 Mall Galleries, London
1993 Chelsea Gallery, Cape Town
1994 Karen McKerron Fine Art Gallery, Johannesburg
1995 Karen McKerron Fine Art Gallery, Johannesburg
1998 Hamilton Russell Vineyards, South Africa
1999 Sara Pearce Fine Art, London
2000 Sara Pearce Fine Art, London
2002 Spark Gallery, Johannesburg
2003 Judith Wall and Sara Pearce Fine Art, New York
2006 Reverie, Everard Read, Cape Town
2010 View from the South, group show, Everard Read, Cape Town
2010 Sight, Everard Read, Cape Town
2011 15th Anniversary, group show, Everard Read, Cape Town
2011 Essence, with Cathy Abraham, The White House, Plettenberg Bay
1995 Vita Art Now, Johannesburg Art Gallery South Africa - selected artist.