Making her debut with Cape Town’s Barnard Gallery at last year’s Turbine Art Fair as part of the gallery’s new programme ‘Barnard Firsts’, it is clear why Gitte Moller caught their attention. Her Michaelis graduate show was a fantastical display of medieval scenarios juxtaposed with the contemporary South African landscape and completely sold out. ‘It was definitely a positive surprise. My friends and fellow students were able to buy some work which, to me, was the biggest compliment’, she says. Gracious and grounded for a recent graduate that has already accumulated a large following, Gitte still insists that the most indispensable item in her studio is ‘constructive criticism’.
Gitte’s interpretation of Hokusai’s ‘The Great Wave’ titled ‘Hokusai as a Girl’, behind the tools of her trade
Often depicting problematic topics in her work, these subjects are softened by her bright and child-like colour palate alongside playful representations of objects, making her work mischievous and approachable. For example, you’ll find a flying croissant next to a woman in chains in front of smoking silos. There is little deliberation when asked where her inspiration comes from. ‘I collect a lot of images and quotes as well as things on the street or in nature that catch my eye. I try to find things that may contain a resonant feeling, or several.’
Having exhibited in an end- of-year group show at Barnard Gallery and in another at the Central Methodist Mission in 2016, it has encouraged Gitte to consider exhibiting in unconventional spaces. ‘This has definitely inspired me to pursue different projects in diverse spaces, over and above working in the gallery context, which is of course also important.’ When asked about the best advice she’s been given so far, she delivers an axiom that we could all ruminate on – ‘all things are difficult before they are easy’.
To get in touch or view more works online visit gittemariamoller.com.