Nel Eramus

Look & See
– Nel Eramus

Look and see, act and elucidate or reveal where possible….something about this intriguing world of absolute integrated multiplicity….. where there are no isolations. Man is the only isolator. My path crossed with Robert Hamblin’s when he was ready to look and see, and I was ready to share in this ongoing process of discovery. We looked together…

Nature teems with subtle signs of links, of correspondences, of relationships and tensions that can be found anywhere and anytime. To see the connections between nature’s valid form and our lives, amounts to insight. Robert is on this great road. He took to it like a duck to water and he is swimming determinately.

I remember Singier, saying to Fiorini in the early 1950’s (still the heyday of Abstract Art)– “Let us not forget, we all come from or via Cezanne”. He said this during a studio group discussion at Academie Ranson in the rue Joseph Bara.
Singier was referring to Cezanne’s well known statement that the forms in nature can be reduced to the cone, the cylinder and the sphere.

The remark was the result of looking focussedly, enquiringly at nature and seeing beyond the familiar, recognisable surface and appearance of things. He was having a glance, a peep at some of the abstract patterns of creation, patterns on which nature is built. Mondrian also looked and saw. His intense observation of a tree, the monarch of the vegetable kingdom, launched him into abstraction. Other later European giants of Abstract Art also looked and saw. Many used the underlying abstract patterns of nature and went beyond them.

A different form of Abstraction though, became known in Europe in the mid 1950’s, when the first exhibition of American Abstract Expressionism and Action painting was shown at the Grand Palais (Paris)

However, not looking merely to notice for record purposes, but to really look…. really observe acutely or intensely, that kind of looking, stimulates our common dormant creativity and insight. This applies not only to the artist, using such observation and insight, but also to the onlooker, the new observer (now also engaged in this ongoing process of discovery).

Erasmus is an Abstract Painter of the post École de Paris 1950-60’s movements. She is the longtime mentor and friend of Hamblin. She lives and works in Melville Johannesburg.