Black Birds – Crows and Ravens feature in my work often over the years.

Black Birds - Over the years Crows and Ravens feature often in my work
Woman and raven painting 40x60cm
Woman and raven painting

“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex… It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.”

E. F. Schumacher

My fascination with crows started as a small child when I encountered a talking crow in a cage at the Bloemfontein Zoo.

It is especially the qualities of adaptability, cleverness and transformation in crows that I can associate with on a personal level.

Crows are Enigmatic and own a mythical status across all cultures and are often seen as messengers.

The Narrator

I combined the image of a crow with the concept of the Trojan horse to tell a story of gains and losses.

Long story short, I relocated to a new town a few months before Covid and I had to move twice because of Covid, I ended up staying in 3 homes in 3 towns in a time frame of 365 days. This painting captures the emotions around disruption.

The Crow:

Throughout history, the crow has been loaded with both positive and negative symbolism, thus the reason I decided to use this bird in my artwork. The paradoxes in its symbolism depending on whose point of view you look at it appealed to me.

Here I depict the Crow as treacherous but also as caring.

The home I moved to in Parys (Freestate) was supposed to be my safe haven and a place where my daughters could come and visit in a beautiful setting with enough space and the same home I chose to settle in was the place that lead to unplanned turmoil and disruption.

I depicted the Crow as an idea of a “Trojan Horse” – a Trojan Crow – the enemy hiding in the beautiful creature.

The wheels double up as a symbol of mobility.

Pack up and move.

The origami cranes:

Traditionally, it was believed that if one folded 1 000 origami cranes, one’s wish would come true. It has also become a symbol of hope and healing during challenging times in the Japanese culture, thus, the cranes call for healing and hope.

The smiley faces:

 A Smiley Face- a symbol for positivity, I resolved to stay positive by putting on my “happy pants” every morning.

All and all I want this painting to be seen as positive.

We embrace our challenges as we do not have a choice, but we always do have a choice of our reaction towards those letdown moments that throw us off balance.

I choose to stay strong and steam roller through every hick-up and to make steppingstones out of stumbling stones.

I feel that a lot of people can relate to the symbols in this painting.

The Gift:

“Give, but give until it hurts.”

Mother Teresa
SOLD  40x60cm Acrylic on stretched canvas
SOLD 40x60cm Acrylic on stretched canvas

“The song of thrush and blackbird, joy that falls so gently on the ears to celebrate another day of life and living, flying free.”

John McLeod
The offering 21M160 35x45cm
A Gift of Clarity 35x45cm

You will see that gifts and offerings also play a big part in my art.

We all need clarity and comfort and the “gift” of guidance on how to live our lives.

Blackbird teaches you how to reveal hidden truths while embracing tremendous transformation

I Can See Clearly:

I am working on something exciting!

A range of artworks built around eyes.

I will keep you posted. The online exhibition is from 29 Nov to 3 Dec after which I will slow down a bit to recharge for 2022

If you want to be on my VIP list to receive access to my “I can see clearly now” exhibition, make sure to subscribe to my newsletter.

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All Artwork © Mariaan Kotzé

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