Kathy Hooper was named the Strathbutler Award winner of 1994. Since emigrating to Canada from South Africa, Hooper has met the demands raising a large family in a new country but always answered the call for creative expression. As a painter working outside the tradisional areas of landscape or portraiture, Hooper’s art is a highly individual quest to express emotions and memories of her profound reactions to apartheid and the subsequent loss of her beloved homeland. Working with equal facility in clay and wood, Hooper’s creativity leads her to select whatever medium best suits her thoughts.
In the artist’s words
Something powerful drives me to go on producing work; there are times when I wish it would leave me alone – and then terrified that it will!
My work is to do with the life I have lead and lead now. The thoughts. Memories and emotions I paint are often painful, sometimes amazingly happy; always some kind of discovery for me.
I have always relied on my visual memory which is on of me greatest strengths. Many of my paintings relate to violence and uncertainty. I believe this is connected to a difficult childhood in South Africa, where the human currents running through that beautiful ladn are full of violence.. My painted roads take a dark turn but fields and hills are wide and open. I paint the land, but it is always related to people – to men and women ang the pulls of emotion between them.
I have never felt bonded to a certain identilty in my work and use whatever medium I think best to express my thoughts.
My work always starts off somewhat under control, but as it progresses, I realise that the piece has begun to take over – it is a peculiar feeling! I think this always happens with the good ones.