A self-taught artist, South African born Eddie Botha’s work is about interaction between people and people, people and nature, and people and technology. Botha draws from photos taken in public spaces, capturing movement as a moment in time, perhaps inspired by manga and the influence of video art.
Botha aims to entertain the viewer for as long as possible. His electronic works, ‘Artronica’, let the viewer interact directly with the work to determine how the work responds to them. In part motivated by breaking down the separation between people and art, Botha allows the viewer to touch the works, thus inviting them to make it a part of their life. Colours are used symbolically, as is the absence of colours. Botha’s artworks deal with the ‘pursuit of happiness’, some work with the theme of ‘terror-resting’, others look at what is halal.
Botha’s work is driven by what is happening around him and where it is produced. The importance of context is seen with the inclusion of the exact date and location of production. Keeping his work light- hearted humour for Botha plays an important role, lightening the mood while pointing to serious issues the viewer can ponder.
Using found objects, collaged backgrounds set the scene for the story. Botha collages them into a partially painted background which he then draws on. The layered effects of the backgrounds are symbolic of concealing what has gone before and a certain renewal of the scene, allowing space to incorporate the ‘new’ story with the drawing, interpreting the present and, perhaps, revealing the future.
On Socialistic the artist writes:
‘We are all social beings in a very connected world that sometimes seem rather anti-social. We all strive to be socially engaged, and I don’t mean with our phones. I’m intrigued by that moment when we walk past someone at Flinders Street station, that fleeting glimpse of someone that could have been your best friend. Yet, we are reserved and must behave in certain ways, do not bother others, status quo, so we keep to ourselves.
I want these artworks to show us as an interacting society, a friendly place, free from our hang-ups, grouped and together on some level. As humans we make up the puzzle of this life, all contributing to society in some way. This is what makes life interesting and when you throw cultural tendencies into the mix, it becomes amazing, yet complex. I try to dissect our daily lives and analyse how we fit into this maze of a puzzle that we call life. As a foreigner and somewhat of a refugee, I am always searching for ways to understand Australian culture and find my rightful place as a new and proud Australian’.
AWARDS AND ACQUISITIONS
2017 Acquired by Beijing National Gallery in Permanent Collection
2016 Acquired by 17th Asian Art Bienalle, Dhakar, Bangladesh
2014 First prize, Watson’s Art Prize
2013 Runner-up, Newcastle’s ‘Waste As Art’
2012 Acquired by Bill Granger for his Tokyo branch
2011 Highly Commended, Maitland’s ‘Waste As Art’
2017 (April-May) Conartists Mixed media residency
2016 (Oct-Nov) Instinct Residency, Singapore
2015 (March-June) Heritage Hill Art Residency, Dandenong
SELECTED RECENT EXHIBITIONS
Artonica: music for everyone, Off the Kerb Gallery, Collingwood.
World Art Organization Exhibition, group show, Seoul,South Korea.
1st Sumok Ink Drawing Biennale, Mokpo, South Korea.
7th Beijing International Art Biennale, National Art
Museum of China, Beijing, China.
Happy Birthday cake eating party, Solo show, Conartist
Collective, New York.
17th Asian Art Bienalle, Dhakar, Bangladesh.
Shwoosh, No Vacancy Gallery QV, Melbourne.
Makan, Solo Show, Instinc Gallery, Singapore.
Affordable Art Fair Singapore, Shah Gallery, Singapore.
Draw the line, Solo Show, Instinc Gallery, Melbourne.
Artronica, Solo Show, Lane’s End Projects, Melbourne.
Poh Chang International Art Workshop, Bangkok.