LIZA GROBLER: a rainbow in my pocket



LIZA GROBLER: a rainbow in my pocket
Oct 10 – Nov 1, 2019

New paintings by Liza Grobler, with poems by Tom Dreyer

Opening 18:30 Thursday 10 October 2019

Walkabout at 11am on Saturday 26 October



“Reality is always shifting and, as an attempt to make sense of it, so am I.”

– Liza Grobler


a rainbow in my pocket is a series of paintings that recounts ‘scapes’ from the past twelve months of Cape Town artist Liza Grobler’s life, captured in mixed media on canvas. The individual pieces become building blocks for a larger narrative, where the physical movement through space (be it landscape, cityscape or dreamscape) is evoked as an emotive response to place.

Time, space and the impact of an impression are relative. Sometimes short moments in insignificant spaces can resonate for years. In this body of work, Grobler attempts to answer questions arising from such spatial experiences. How relevant is the visual appearance of a space to our experience thereof? What ties different spaces together – is it economy, ecology, politics or history? To what extent do our experiences within a space relate to our expectations of these spaces, or to prior experiences of other spaces? 

a rainbow in my pocket refers to Grobler’s physical movements through spaces in geographically unconnected places: a week in the Karoo (Northern Cape), a two-month residency in Brooklyn (New York), a day trip to Kogelberg Nature Reserve after a devastating fire wiped out many hectares of this biodiverse region (Western Cape), various two-hour visits to Green Point Urban Park (Cape Town), which conjured up the artist’s first direct encounter with Monet’s Water Lilies (in Paris) many years earlier, as well as a pocketful of day dreams that resulted in Morse code projections of deep space.

In this ongoing process, imagined landscapes are challenged by physical encounters, and prior interactions are shaped by new explorations. These scapes become windows onto an inner world that is always under construction and constantly in flux.

Stellenbosch writer Tom Dreyer composed a series of poems in response to the work.




half-hidden behind trunks

she invites us to where basilisks

hang with dew on their scales

in an afternoon encompassed

by the glass of their eyes


the foregrounded tree was once

caprissus until transformed for his

thoughtlessness it is the wild ash

of paradise where unicorns

rest their heads on her lap she

who has amassed all this: rhizomes

and lilies and the trajectory of stars

she whose metronomic strokes

fold the world into a single wood


but basilisks have glacial eyes

they whisper that we have to leave

this frame these trees this shock

of greenness fretting at the sky



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