HEATHER GOURLAY-CONYNGHAM

BIOGRAPHY

HEATHER GOURLAY-CONYNGHAM

(b. 1956, Durban, South Africa)

 

BIOGRAPHY

 

Heather Gourlay-Conyngham was born in Durban in 1956 and spent her early years in Westville, outside the city. Having acquired a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts degree from the University of Natal and a Higher Education Diploma from the University of South Africa, she combined her career as an art teacher at various schools in KwaZulu-Natal with that of an artist, but in 2012 began painting full-time at her home in Hilton, outside Pietermaritzburg. Since then she has had three solo exhibitions, and in 2013 won the first Sanlam Portrait Award.

 

Her paintings have always depicted people. She has recently been concentrating on stripping the figure and its context to their bare essentials. This simplification extends to her use of subdued colours, with white predominating, which suggests a reduced palette. She uses these devices not only to conjure the illusion of apparently white objects and people, but also to probe the allegorical roles they assume. It is her desire to instil in her paintings an innate energy in an understated manner.

 

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

2020

The Portrait Show, Everard Read Gallery, Johannesburg

2017

BEING HUMAN

A solo exhibition at the Everard Read Gallery, Johannesburg

 

2016

STUDIO

An exhibition celebrating the lives and works of South African artists, at the South African National Gallery, Cape Town

 

MODPORTRAIT

An international exhibition of selected portraits, at the Agrupación Artística Aragonesa, Zaragoza, Spain

 

2015

RECENT PAINTINGS

A solo exhibition at the Rust-en-Vrede Gallery, Cape Town

 

2014

THE YEAR OF THE HORSE

A group exhibition with the horse as a theme, at the Elizabeth Gordon Gallery, Durban

 

2013

SHIMMERING

A group exhibition of South African art, curated by Julia Meintjes, at the Cavalli Gallery, Somerset West

 

2012

SANLAM PORTRAIT AWARD WINNER AND FINALISTS

A travelling exhibition of 40 selected portraits, at galleries in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban, Bloemfontein and George

 

UNFOLDINGS

A solo exhibition: paintings of people, at the Tatham Art Gallery, Pietermaritzburg

 

UNFOLDINGS

A solo exhibition: paintings of nude figures, at the KZNSA Gallery, Durban

 

2010, 2000 and 1996

JABULISA

The art and craft of KwaZulu-Natal, displayed at the Carnegie Art Gallery, Newcastle; Durban Art Gallery, Durban; Empangeni Art Gallery, Empangeni; Margate Museum, Margate; Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg; and Tatham Art Gallery, Pietermaritzburg

 

2009

CONTEMPORARY REFLECTIONS: NEW ART FROM OLD

Interpretations of selected works in the Tatham Art Gallery’s permanent collection by invited artists, at the Tatham Art Gallery

 

2008

SASOL NEW SIGNATURES

Selected works of artists from all regions of South Africa, at the Pretoria Art Museum

 

2007

HANGING TOGETHER

The work of a mother (Jean Beeton), two daughters (Carol Eady and Julia Beeton-Kuhlmann) and their friend (Heather Gourlay-Conyngham, at the The Atrium, New Doornfontein, Johannesburg

 

2004

IMVUBELO

A celebration of Women’s Day and ten years of democracy, at the Durban Art Gallery

 

2004 and 2000

THE MIDLANDS BIENNALE

Selected works by artists from the Midlands of KwaZulu-Natal, at the Tatham Art Gallery

 

2003

NATIONAL PORTRAIT COMPETITION: KING CETSHWAYO

Finalist in an exhibition of entrants to a national competition for a portrait of Zulu king, Cetshwayo, at the Tatham Art Gallery

 

2000

KWAZULU-NATAL TEACHERS

An exhibition of work by KwaZulu-Natal Art teachers, at the Tatham Art Gallery

 

1999

GRADUATES OF THE UNIVERSITY OF NATAL/KWAZULU-NATAL

An exhibition of work by graduates, at the Jack Heath Gallery, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg

 

1998

FIFTEEN GRADUATES OF THE UNIVERSITY OF NATAL/KWAZULU-NATAL

An exhibition of 15 graduates of the University of Natal/KwaZulu-Natal, at the Jack Heath Gallery

  

PUBLIC COLLECTIONS                            

Mary Williams, (Roedean School), 2016

Simon Weaver, (Cordwalles School), 2015

Homage, (Tatham Art Gallery), 2012

A Young Man (Sanlam Art Collection), 2013

Joy, (Tatham Art Gallery), 2009            

David Wilkinson, (St Anne’s College), 2009  

Pius Langa, (University of KwaZulu-Natal), 2001            

Trevor Benison, (Durban High School), 1999

Dudley Forde, (Michaelhouse School), 1998

Tony Ardington, (Michaelhouse School), 1998

Bill McQuade, (St Anne’s College), 1997

Gerry Wilkinson, (Cowan House School), 1997        

King Goodwill Zwelithini, (Tatham Art Gallery), 1996                      

Dudley Forde, Durban High School), 1995