A bird’s eye view
The lovely Nicola Taylor’s studio is high up on the 10th floor of a building in Braamfontein. Her view doesn’t end at the Nelson Mandela Bridge, down at the trains coming in or even at the hectic construction happening in Newtown (there’s some heavy-duty cranes in action there at the mo). She can see an impressive expanse of the CBD. And lots of birds.
The city and the birds played a big part in Roots & Rise, her exhibition which is currently on at the Everard Read Gallery. But just for one more day (insert unhappy face), so you have to go today or tomorrow. And if you’re there at 10am tomorrow, you can join Nicola’s walkabout (insert happy face). Pretty cool!
I first saw one of her paintings at the Postcard Revival Project launch – and just loved it. Her work (which was used on one of the postcards) featured the cityscape, flying birds and a Joburg street in Fordsburg. Pigeons A.D.O.R.E. Fordsburg! That’s why there’s a seemingly random pic of them here - right at the bottom.
Man, I love her flying birds and the gentle, considered way in which they were painted. And I guess she captures a bit of my own feelings when she explains why they inspire her: “It's about the flying, seeing birds take off and fly gives a feeling of freedom and an elevation of spirit. These figures are in the blissful, playful and exhilarating space of the unknown, the space where we are able to create, to bring the unknown into the known,” she says.
And Joburg? “Looking over the city from my studio gives me some insight into what the birds see, the busy bustle and buzz of the streets fades, you get perspective on things. Always maintaining perspective is a lovely thing to be reminded of, so at the moment Johannesburg inspires me to paint these bird’s eye view paintings of space and elevation.”
You can learn more about Nicola at her website.
* All the images supplied by Nicola - thank you! They were taken by James Fox.