Loving life in city

Ane Dallas-Orr with her painting, Summertime, acrylic and ink on canvas.

Foreshore artist Ane Dallas-Orr, 40, loves the city so much that 14 years in London could not keep her away.

“I grew up in Camps Bay and Tamboerskloof. I attended Jan Van Riebeeck Primary School and then Jan Van Riebeeck High School and walked to school from Tamboerskloof every day,” Ane said. “As children, my sisters and I used to build tree huts in the foothills of Table Mountain and catch tadpoles in the mountain streams. Cape Town is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen and will always be a constant inspiration.”

During her stay in London, Ane studied art under New Zealand artist and teacher Kevin Chapman.

“He’s a really good artist and a very good teacher.”

But Cape Town called her home again. So she returned to the city and rented a flat in her old haunt, Tamboerskloof.

“I was renting a flat in Tamboerskloof but I needed a larger space and could not afford anything bigger in the area.”

Her search ended on the Foreshore, two blocks from the CTICC, in a building that’s slowly becoming a mixed-use space. A friend had told her about the business block in which the owner was slowly converting units into residential space. The size was exactly what she was looking for. She asked the owner if she could do renovations on one of the units and he agreed.

“I found a good size space to rent in a 10-storey building on Heerengracht Street that was a former lawyer’s office and created a one-bedroom with a lovely bright studio.”

Ane’s space quest was sparked by how large her abstract pieces had grown, having become bigger because of her experimentation.

“I enjoy experimenting with paint runs or paint drip technique but I mostly pin the canvas to a cork board which I can then easily turn on any of the four sides to allow the paint to naturally run its course. I found that creating abstract paintings on larger canvases allows for interesting mark making to happen without trying to control the outcome too much, instead allowing the paint, gravity and one’s intuition to run its own course and to sit back and watch the magic happen.”

Her work is often on commission by interior designers or people who are redesigning their homes. She has several regular customers in this field.

“I will often get asked to do commissions of a specific size for a certain space. I receive a constant flow of larger abstract painting commissions however it was not until I collaborated with two young artists creating an artwork titled My family using three 2.5m-width canvas panels and the Jackson Pollock’s pouring and dripping paint technique which left a rather large space and ourselves covered in paint. It was the most fun project to date.”

But she also does regular-sized pieces and her art is not all abstract. She does line drawings in ink, mostly of “figures, faces and flowers” and flower photography. Many of these are on display at the online gallery Art is Art.

She displays a lot of her work on social media at @anedallasorr but has also had exhibitions at several galleries, but only after she has built up a large enough body of work. This can sometimes take anything from a week to several months to build up, depending on the medium, because she is only a “part-time” artist. Her day job is as an account manager and marketer at a design company.

“I studied graphic design,” she said explaining her day job, “but my work is in the fine arts industry,” referring to her art.

“Working in a larger studio space with a breathtaking view over Table Mountain leaves me inspired at the end of each day.

“Life in the city of Cape Town is truly beautiful.”