Gabrielle Raaff


“Our memories of the past are, after all, just fragments of the
truth.” - Gabielle Raaff


It is brave to be tentative as an artist in a world of strong opinions, carefully crafted brands and slick deliveries. And it is this subtle conceptual space of the material qualities of ink, water colour and oil that defines Gabrielle Raaff’s unique interrogation of her social urban landscape through painting.Technically, there is no drawing first, no sharply defined border. As a result, her paintings are subtle and nuanced, avoiding neat categorization and tending instead towards fluidity and allusion. The different mediums have differing affects on the final image. Raaff notes that although water colour is gentle and soft, it stains and can’t be removed.

The history of her mark remains, unlike with oil paints where there is more layering in the working of them.Raaff’s persistent theme is the contrast between the individual and the crowd in the urban landscape. Her most recent works explore the quiet psychological landscapes of the artist herself. As is characteristic of her work, the picture plane repeatedly asserts itself against the pull of illusionism, where the recognisable image arises and then dissolves in the terrain of the painting.


Gabrielle lives and works in Cape Town, South Africa.