Breathing Space and Structure
“Knowing that I put everything out there, did not hold back and left it all on the dance floor.”
Elke Le Roux is fast becoming a significant name when it comes to Art in Namibia. Already highly sought after for commissioned work and with two successful Namibia exhibitions under her belt, this artistic force to be reckoned with is proving that the key to success is to finding out what it is that you love.
Elke pursued her love of Arts by studying Fine Arts with Honours at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa. From there she went on to study architecture which was where her artistic style was born. According to Elke, “my fascination with old historical buildings and industrial structures originated during my architectural studies in the port city of Port Elizabeth”
Her style is a marriage of architecture and art, and while it was architecture that brought Elke to Namibia, art is what she says is in her blood, “art is my calling and what wakes me up in the morning” says Elke.
Elke refers to architecture as a holistic take on art, taking elements used in art and making it a science. A word of encouragement from a woman in a frame shop in Windhoek and Elke was ready to exhibit her work in her first solo exhibition titled, Time Machines
Elke refers to some of her work from her second solo exhibition, titled Rising Giants, as structures that “are characters whose stories need to be told.” She explains this by saying, “Buildings intrigue me. Structures have stories to tell, they are giants living among us each with their own stories. How they came to be, the stories of how they developed and rose to be the giants they are, including the vital stages in the construction process that usually gets forgotten forever, matters as much as what they look like today.”
Elke’s life philosophy is that “there has to be great purpose in what you do and you have to believe in it”. Her carefree approach to life comes across as she adds that for her, it’s all about “Knowing that I put everything out there, did not hold back and left it all on the dance floor.”
Balancing her art and her architecture in life and on the canvas, Elke says “It’s great that now I’ve found a way to balance my work and my art. I still work at an architecture firm for three full days a week and then the rest of the week is for my art. I’ve seen the art and architecture together in great ways, like recently when I did two large murals for the President’s terminal building at Eros Airport that were punctured into aluminium screens. It’s nice to see architectural elements being used as the medium to produce art.”
Coming up, Elke is working on many exciting projects including, “a collection of stamps for Nampost on trains and stations around Namibia and a concept by Rolf Hansen from the Cancer Association of Namibia that will be my next exhibition.”
Art, Elke explains “is a brilliant way to let your brain breathe. In our everyday lives, people are so busy they hardly get time to spend by themselves. If they have five minutes in a day, they spend it in front of the television. This leaves no time for just thinking of nothing and being by yourself and capturing and organising your thoughts.”
For Elke, art is a way to release, “I can feel it within myself. Art makes me feel much calmer. It’s like taking a breather.”