Local artist and photographer Amor Coetzee has become known for her finely detailed illustrations, dreamy photography and minimalist ceramics, all of which she showcases through her online shop Dayfeels. Over and above this, what caught our eye was her obvious love for black and white, a palette we’ve been exploring extensively online this month as well as in the July 2017 issue of House and Leisure. The inspiration for Coetzee’s work stems from a deep appreciation for the South African landscape, particularly the ocean. Her creations call to mind the hues, ripples and reflections of water. We chat to the up-and-coming creative to find out more.
We’ve noticed that you like to work in black and white. Why is this?
I’ve always been drawn to muted tones for their subtle and gentle nature and timeless quality. The use of negative space fascinates me and I’ve found that working with black and white opens up incredible opportunities to explore the way one can utilise it within art and design.
How does black emphasise design, and your illustrations and ceramics in particular?
I think black has always added a certain timeless quality to design and my work. Black can also call for attention in the most subtle way, drawing a viewer in to experience the small details that often go overlooked.
A black-and-white palette can often feel harsh – how do you soften it?
By keeping it simple and the lines gentle; choosing a softer subject matter and playing more with negative space, giving the shapes some much-needed breathing room.
What are your go-to techniques when it comes to working without colour?
I usually start with a lot of detail and remove elements here and there, until only the very essence remains. Negative space is my best friend and I tend to make that more of the ‘hero’ than the actual designs that are added to the empty space.
Have you ever considered exploring the opposite end of the spectrum and going all-out with bold colour in your work?
I’ve tried and failed miserably! The sheer spectrum and choices of colours out there can be quite overwhelming. I’m an unusually curious person by nature and can become quite obsessive when exploring new avenues, so I’ve learned to focus more on subtleties to tame and tone things down as they could easily get out of hand.
Who are some of the artists working in black and white that you admire?
Visit dayfeels.co.za for more of Amor Coetzee’s work.