Deon Venter - Pentimento - 2020
Drawings by Deon Venter
Pentimento refers to the alterations in a painting - evidenced by the traces of previous work - showing that the artist has changed his mind as to the composition during the process of rendition. The word is Italian for ‘repentance’, meaning to repent or change and represents the presence or emergence of earlier images, forms, or strokes that have been changed or painted over.
The personal iconography for the Pentimento series of drawings grew out of an extended time spent in Avatar Grove on Vancouver Island’s west coast. This process relies on the visual composition, understanding of the subject and referencing the historical content of the grove, with attention to the existing language of art and spiritual emblems of the European and Indigenous people.
These works are preparatory drawings for paintings where one witnesses the artist’s direct thoughts and reassessment of his own oeuvre with corrections or erasures - at the same time building a personal visual language and adding to the iconography in Canadian landscape painting.
These first creative endeavours - a new approach - drawings subtitled quickening, are the first stirrings of inspiration similar to the first sensations of life in the womb, resulting in the birthing of new ideas.
Obliteration, through these erasures - corrections - the images appear as if in a dream, challenging our concept of reality, creating a parallel reality. A glimpse - a vision - more than what you see. A warning, a premonition - does it guide you? Does it warn you about something? Or, is it a figment of the imagination? There’s no clarity - these drawings expose the complexity in the questions.