“I enjoy exploring the beauty that can be found in the interplay between contrasting forces, whether these be tangible or spiritual; the hard edge of the metal and the soft lines of the female form, smooth and textured surfaces, strength and vulnerability.’
Talitha Deetlefs has created a truly unique collection of art by combining her love of metalwork and the sculpted figure.
Deetlefs has focused predominantly on the female form as her subject and she has created a collection of striking figures embodying the strength, sensuality and sensitivity of the multi-faceted feminine identity. Viewed from the angle of her own life experience, her aim is to search and explore all facets of the feminine archetype.
She explores the ways in which our identities as woman are formed by our personal and collective history, and how it relates to the notions of femininity expressed in modern society. Her work is inspired by mythology and the symbolic language; by the ways in which it can enrich our lives, enabling us to transcend popular culture and reveal our own beauty.
Working with images originating in the unconscious, Deetlefs creates female forms in clay and resin. The female forms are clothed in layers of sheet metal. Her attention to detail and interesting choice of design ensures that each piece is unique unto itself. Some designs involve strips of metal applied in concentric bands while other designs are highly controlled and embrace a weaving technique. At one level the designs are carefully thought out to accentuate the beauty and sensuality of the female form; at another the design often has a deeper meaning, for example, the application of metal sheets in layers is symbolic of the many layers of our history that shape our identities.
A selection of sculptures is cast in bronze.
Talitha Deetlefs gained an appreciation for art as a form of self-expression as a young introverted child. She matriculated with a distinction in painting and printmaking in Johannesburg in 1998 and attended Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, where she majored in painting and printmaking. She relocated to Cape Town and subsequently set about a career in the film industry as a scenic painter and faux artist. It was during this time that she developed a keen interest in sculpture.
Deetlefs soon abandoned painting and accepted a position at an art foundry in Stellenbosch which was to be a catalyst for her sculpting career. She became familiar with all production and business aspects of sculpture creation and bronze casting. Her body of work was well received when she started exhibiting in 2009 and can now be seen in select galleries and private collections worldwide.