Dalene Meiring was born in 1965 in Sasolburg, South Africa. She studied art at the University of South Africa, and in 1997 she emigrated with her family to New Zealand when she has continued to paint full time. The Parnell Gallery has represented Meiring since 1998 and during this time she has established herself as a highly recognised New Zealand artist.
Meiring’s work is exhibited in private and corporate collections throughout New Zealand and overseas. Meiring’s work offers a generous and unapologetic celebration of femininity, inviting us to share in an intense emotional experience of time, place and relationship. Utilising a rich palette, a consistent base of earthy tones speaks of the sunbaked continent of the artist’s origin. A real passion for life is expressed through serene tapestries of shifting textural layers, a kind of organised chaos punctuated with reference points of vibrant colour, form and symbolic elements.
Familiar feminine motifs abound; flowers, a bowl of fruit, a resting bird or a delicate string of pearls. At the same time as they may be personal to the artist, we can share in these timeless fragments of daily life, the value and beauty of the everyday elevated to us through quiet contemplation. These intimate motifs are backed by distant horizons and birds in flight; thus the personal symbolism is projected outwards to the universal, and so we are all invited. At times a painting will be dedicated to exploring just one element – a vase of flowers, bursting with joyful life and colour, or perhaps a dreaming female face, full of mystery and mood.
The focus on female visage which has featured in past exhibitions is still evident but now shares space with an increasingly abstract portrayal of the feminine. There is also a strong naïve element to Meiring’s work, giving heft through simplicity to the symbolic forms, and which is the focus of further exploration in some pieces. “I try to impose a visual and emotional experience in my paintings, to remind myself of a place, time or memory, although the exactness of that moment will sometimes evade me”. Her paintings are rich in colour, harmonious in form and portray a balance between vitality and silent meditation.