International Dialing Tel: (+2711) 442 6685
Email: chonat@iafrica.com

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Artist Statement

As a child my favorite thing was exploring the coastal areas of Namibia such as Swakopmund and Walvis Bay in my father’s railway coach (not really his – it belonged to the South African Railways but he seemed to have pretty free use of it!) The clickety clack of the railway lines would send me into a child’s dreamworld. As an adult I still love journeying and still love trains. I also love boats, aeroplanes, motor cars, bicycles and– if I had the opportunity – would love ox wagons too. Such journeys can still draw me into a reverie.

But the emotional sensation of leaving reality and entering a dream world can also be attained by journeys of the mind alone.

For me, journeys to the distant past, when the world was so new and discoveries so confounding and exciting, are journeys of the imagination for my art.

I was also trained as a mathematician and have a deep interest in science and structures. Combine this with my love for journeys, and my art is often informed by amazing scientific achievements (such as the Antikythera mechanism) or the great architectural feats of the past (such as lighthouses and aqueducts.)

I work mainly in the media of printmaking and glass sculpture. When making prints my preference is for hard ground etchings, drypoint or relief prints. My glass sculptures are made by casting and fusing glass in a hot kiln. Both these techniques have something of the ancient about them. The process of etching – direct scratching into a smooth surface - is similar to the way the ancient rock artists communicated their thoughts by scratching into a rock face. The use of hot glass is just as ancient. The volcanic glass, obsidian, was used by Stone Age societies in the production of sharp cutting tools and glass was first made by man about 3000 BC in Mesopotamia.

These techniques also satisfy my need to make new discoveries and to be continually surprised by the outcome of my art. Opening the kiln door after a glass firing or lifting the paper after pulling a print both fill me with excitement (and many times dread!!) The results are so very unpredictable!