– from the publisher / managing editor: Colin Ainsworth Sharp

Post-lockdown levels, we believe that the playing field will change permanently.
Working from home we have to accept that the residential environment as an ongoing base for almost every activity is a vital fact of this new life. Further, we believe that the online supply of virtually everything is a given. Apart from pharmacies and food markets, traditional retail supply venues will reduce and may even cease to exist.
To this end, we will present the Habitat website as a live, regularly updated marketing platform from which our readers can review, select and buy high-quality goods and services – from kitchens to artworks and furniture.
We remain a source of specialist services for supply, installation and maintenance.
On our re-pivoted and extended website, we intend to feature architecture and design as before, in the now closed print edition of Habitat. Our target is four to five projects a month – both international and local – with supplementary content that vibrates elegance and distinction in lifestyle from travel and hostelries to motoring.
As before, fine art will be featured, and this is the first of regular exposes of South African and international artists.

Aleksandra (Sasha) Fabris
Born in 1973 in Johannesburg, South Africa to a Catholic family of Croatian immigrants, the artist is the middle child of five.

She recalls: ‘Since the first time I lifted a crayon, the dream of being an artist began. My career path seemed obvious. My parents however, were not that accommodating. There was a time when I believed my final decision in studying Fine Arts at Wits was an act of defiance. With age and a modicum of wisdom, I know now there was no other path that would bring me the level of success and understanding of self-worth.
‘I believe art is something you cannot necessarily see, touch or smell, but a thing you can ‘feel’.
‘I majored in sculpture under Peter Schutz and Walter Oltman – two gentle and monumental giants in the art world. I could write a book simply about the coffee conversations! Due to recent spinal injury, I have been forced to lay my carving tools down for a while longer.
‘Through the drawing medium I am exploring people, politics and demographic stereotypes all pertinent to concepts of change, terror, and reality located in the ‘redefinition’ process South Africa faces at present. We come from different backgrounds and angles, but all find ourselves feeling the strain of dissolution.
‘Starting with the individual, me, I have chosen to allow my comment to become manifest through a visual narrative depicted by the bucket. It is a symbol of containment, carrier and overridingly utilitarian – I like it for the unguarded simplicity it communicates. From a technical perspective the bucket is made up of a series of ellipses, reflections and refractions. It is never rendered the same as its transient nature will always absorb its surroundings and appear increasingly different the closer you look.
‘The subjects I have chosen to depict in these drawings are ‘present’ in my life, making their inclusion a little more than straight stereotype; i.e. I have allowed their characters to be explored to a point through the way in which I’ve used their likenesses compositionally.
‘We all have personally determined responses to the various transitional aspects of our lives in this dynamic country in which we live. I have initiated commentary on these socio-political debate-points through the narrative in my drawings. As far as I am concerned, my own views are almost immaterial. Every viewer is invited to work the visual clues and project their own interpretations. The bucket speaks as my voice, containment and concealment.
‘I believe the bucket is a concept which extends into infinity and can have multiple and interchangeable meanings. Everyone has a slightly different take regarding the content, which is supportive of the notion of re-appropriation.
‘After getting to grips with some scary realities in my own life, explored in the drawings on show, I did a few little ‘happy buckets’. These small paintings put a smile on my dial. It felt as if I could invite anybody to visualise their own fears/ thoughts/ desires in the bucket and ‘wish upon a star’.
‘The process of making art has always been explorative and cathartic. I believe art should stand still, stop a person in their tracks and speak in a voice they’ve never heard before. Marvel at the magic; allow the heart to resume a ‘normal’ rhythm and walk away enriched.’

The works illustrated are for sale and interested parties are asked to contact Mandy Graham email: mandy@habitat-mag.com or mobile: +27 (0) 83 629 1828

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