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Lockdown garden painting secures coveted exhibition spot

Lockdown garden painting secures coveted exhibition spot

Sunday 25 July 2021

Lockdown garden painting secures coveted exhibition spot


A local artist shared how his neighbour's rhododendron inspired a painting during lockdown that has won him a coveted spot at one of the island's most popular exhibitions.

Thinus Slabber's ‘Locked Down’, is currently on display at CCA Galleries International as part of their Summer Exhibition.

Thinus first started drawing at a young age and never stopped throughout school and university where he graduated with a degree in Visual Communication Design and later in Strategic Brand Management.

Since moving to the island in 2014, he has been freelancing as a graphic designer, illustrator and cartoonist, adding another layer to his creative endeavours three years ago when he started exploring with oil paint and creating his own art, forging his own path as an artist.

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Pictured: Thinnus has been drawing since a young age.

He said he didn't want to miss out on the opportunity of taking part in CCA Galleries International's Summer Exhibition as it provides “a unique opportunity to showcase some of Jersey’s talented artists”.

Express asked him a few questions about his work and 'Locked Down'.

Can you tell us about your work and style?

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Pictured: Thinnus mostly paints in oils.

I paint mostly in oils, although I might make watercolour preparatory sketches. I set out to convey as best I can the striking, sometimes uncanny beauty of Jersey with its particular and special quality of light through landscape painting. I have also started doing portrait paintings and in future hope to paint more people and prominent figures as well.

I guess my style is sort-of impressionistic and slightly realistic. I try to find the unsaid emotion in a scene. A feeling that is conveyed visually when looking at a Jersey-based setting in particular.  Something that you can only feel through seeing. I hope that my paintings, although set in Jersey, can be anywhere depending on the message it projects.

How did lockdown affect your work?

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Pictured: " I try to find the unsaid emotion in a scene," Thinnus said.

At first lockdown struck with a bit of panic. It was unclear how bad it would get, how serious this new virus was and how our lives would change. This quickly evolved into an eerie lonesomeness, which I tried to capture in my painting for this year’s Summer Exhibition.

It was striking how beautiful the change in seasons was during the first lock down. Suddenly the new blooms and clear skies seemed even more striking than years before. Perhaps, because for the first time that beauty felt somehow out of reach.

I think this experience compelled me to paint things that I find beautiful and striking and to lock it down quickly before we are limited again.

What is ‘Locked Down’ about?

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Pictured: 'Locked Down' was inspired by Thinnus' neighbor's rhododendron tree.

It was a particular lovely spring when we went into lockdown a little bit more than a year ago.  Suddenly, we were all stuck at home, and I remember sitting in our garden looking over the fence at the most wonderful blooms of our neighbour’s 60-year-old Rhododendron tree. It was beautiful and bright, but on the other side of the fence and I mustn’t go near it to smell the blooms. That feeling was then echoed for the whole of Jersey and even beyond.

You couldn’t go and see or smell or touch all the wonderful things the world has to offer.  Instead, you had to sit at home with this unknown invisible threat out there somewhere and the walls around you cutting you off from normality. The clear blue, brilliant and empty Jersey skies with no plane trails, as there normally are. Just desolate. With this unfamiliar threat creeping nearer, still not knowing to what extent this will impact us.

This article first appeared in Connect Magazine, which you can read in full HERE.

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