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Ronnie Biccard, going with the flow

Artist Ronnie Biccard has come home. She has returned to her South African roots after many travels and years of living in England.

It's not often that one comes across an artist whose paintings eloquently reconcile the extremities of dynamic, vibrant colour with peace and harmony.

Ronnie's work contains fascinating contradictions, many of which appeal emotionally to collectors of her art worldwide. Her work celebrates love, romance, conviviality and sunny Mediterranean landscapes, which she delivers with colourful splashes of wine, women and song. Strong musical themes run through her work, underlining the peace and harmony she so loves.

Ronnie Biccard, going with the flow

In her Goddess Series, Ronnie celebrates Woman as Warrior, Woman as Nurturer, Woman as Maiden, Woman as Lover and Woman as Crone. She is no 'burn the bra' activist, but as Warrior herself, naturally celebrates the emergence of the empowered modern woman. This is not only a projection of herself, but Ronnie's way of honouring empowered women throughout the world.

An irresistible sense of peace and harmony

Equally comfortable using oils or acrylic, her paintings suggest movement, yet, paradoxically, convey an irresistible sense of peace and harmony for which we all yearn. She achieves this with an intuitive, yet confident approach to her subject matter.

Her work naturally reflects her chosen home, Cape Town, exemplified by scenes of local musicians playing against the backdrop of Table Mountain.

Consciously connecting with her French ancestry, she inspires art aficionados with scenes reflecting communal harmony, joie de vivre and the general tone of the Mediterranean way of life.

Similarly she commemorates her Celtic roots through capturing the timeless calm of the English countryside, as in her waving lavender fields. Yet Ronnie's work is quirky.

Ronnie Biccard, going with the flow

Asymmetry within a symmetrical framework

Painting in a fast, multi-layered manner, she brings her subject matter to life by achieving asymmetry within a symmetrical framework. Her crooked Mediterranean cottages, whether bathed in sun or moonlight, dance and twist, as if wanting to fly off the canvas. And yet one derives an indefinable sense of peace and timelessness from these constructions. Her musicians might be making music together, yet a deep serenity flows through their forms. This understated tension between opposites is what makes her work utterly appealing and seductive. It also gives her work an eternal freshness.

This is no doubt why her paintings enjoy such worldwide acceptance and a long wall life, whether in corporate or home environments. Her paintings linger in the mind like an unforgettable song. Her human forms flow naturally, reflecting relaxed, dream-like postures. Striated guitar strings, curvaceous keyboards and long wavy hair merge into a mesmerising snapshot, capturing a memorable moment in time.

When I asked her what drove her to spend thousands of hours at the canvas, her answer was simple: "My work comes through my heart to your heart. If it resonates it resonates. If not, then not."

Being well travelled and well connected to her ancestral roots, the universality of her art is no accident. Ronnie is clearly an artist without borders, which is why her paintings have been exhibited in London and New York and bought by collectors in Australia, Europe, the UK, Canada, the US, and Africa.

Some of her notable clients include the erstwhile businessman and philanthropist Donny Gordon, the British Embassy in Pretoria, and corporate buyers. Her most amazing commission involved a Nigerian telecommunications tycoon who commissioned her to the tune of nearly a quarter of a million rand to populate his entire Hyde Park mansion with her art.

Whether one relates to Ronnie's work or not is irrelevant. Her quirky style has already captured the hearts of many art collectors by bringing colour, warmth, romance and merrymaking into their lives.

About Roger Metcalfe

Roger Metcalfe is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker specialising in the environment, technology and medicine. He received the SA National Cancer Association's Award for Enterprising Journalism for nationally televised documentaries (MRI, breast cancer). Roger has written over 50 magazine articles, been interviewed on radio (Fukushima, water), is an ex-diplomat and former council member of the Writers Guild of SA. He recently graduated with a Postgraduate Diploma in the [Filmic] Arts. Contact Roger at az.oc.labolg@regor.

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