Join us as we delve into the artistic realm of Martini Coetzee. In this interview, we explore her forthcoming exhibition "Don’t Stop Me Now," set for May 30, 2024. We'll discover the inspirations behind her extraordinary works. Get an exclusive glimpse into the imaginative colourful world of this artist.

1) What was the inspiration behind the title "Don't Stop Me Now" for your exhibition and how does it resonate with the theme/concept of your new body of work?

The British rock band Queen had on their album Jazz (1978) the song 'Don't Stop Me Now'. I always loved this song for its motivational energy. So when I started conceptualising ideas for the exhibition, I wanted to do something playful. Lyrics in this song sparked ideas and the light painting photography with its light trails followed "I'm traveling at the speed of light". The song is open for interpretation when you put a creative spin on it, and the photographs in this series took on life of its own.

2) Can you share some insights into the creative process behind the images in this collection?

I believe in the gift of the day, the experiences and memories that we collect every day. My friends got involved in my search for inspiration these past few months. With their help, I collected very interesting items such as feathers, an antique weighted scale, leaf skeletons, human skull replicas, articulated hand bones, old marbles and so much more.. The artist, Emile Dehon also provided me with two beautiful sculptures! During a vacation in Port Alfred, I collected the shells and sea stars. The brass bell was bought at the India shopping expo. While the Antique Fair and other markets provided me with treasures such as the Chevrolet car model, silver mesh purse and shepherd's crook. Even the modern yoyo with LED lights provided a fun photo experience.

3) How did you feel about winning Patrons of Chaos last year?

Very surprised and grateful! The artists that participated in the competition last year were so amazing. The energy at the opening of the exhibition was an artistic 'Happening' in itself. It was a memorable evening that I and surely everyone who attended will treasure. Hopefully we get to experience it again this year.

4) Many of your photographs seem to evoke a sense of nostalgia, wonder and even melancholy. How do you use composition, lighting and other elements to evoke specific emotions or narratives in your images?

The objects I chose were conscious decisions, carefully chosen and placed in a photo. My subconscious takes over when I do the light painting. Any light-emitting device can create a light painting in long exposure photography. My favourite light to use is my light painting brush but in this body of work I really used anything I wanted. I used Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom for post-production. My process is not just taking a photo but creating an artwork, adding brushstrokes and colour, even bringing in monoprints I created for texture.

5) Could you walk us through one or two pieces from the exhibition and share the stories behind them?

'The Guardian'

This work is a personal treasure. Emile Dehon is the artist that created the sculpture I photographed in this work. My Basset hound, Jessica, recently passed away and in the last few months I struggled emotionally. She was always there next to me, my company during the day. To stay positive was not easy and maybe that is why I needed to bring in happiness. The dog sculpture with its big legs reminded me of 'The Great Sphinx of Giza'. 'The Guardian' was the title Emile gave his work and I saw it fit to retain it. We are all on a journey, traveling at the speed of light, but our guardians keep us grounded to not spin out of control; they are the gatekeepers of bad energy. Although there is a fun theme throughout this body of work, elements of warning such as the antique weighted scale, shepherd's crook, bell, skull/skeletons and even the moon, are all reminders to keep the balance in our lives. We must enjoy life, have fun, but be responsible.

6) What do you hope viewers will take away from experiencing these particular works?

Have a good time. I can give my own interpretation of my work but love hearing what people see in them. I hope the world I'll turn it inside out a bit.. We experience so much worry and sadness. Yes, be that supersonic you, like the ringing bell, that drives away the bad and invites in the new thoughts and energy. Just be the star in your own story "I'm a shooting star, leaping through the sky"

7) As an artist, how do you see your work contributing to or engaging with broader conversations within the fine art photography community?

Floating around in ecstasy!

8)What impact do you hope your exhibition "Don't Stop Me Now" will have on its audience?

I really hope people attending the opening will enjoy the evening. Big thanks to Art of Print for this amazing opportunity to exhibit. I am looking forward to see my work printed

I'm a shooting star, leaping through the sky.

Date of exhibition: 30 May 2024

Time: 18:00

Venue: Art of Print

RSVP: [email protected]