About the Brooks Duo

Roy Brooks - Artist & Sculptor

I was born in 1942 in Pretoria, South Africa, and have had a passion for art from an early age. Without formal art training and fresh out of high school, I moved to Durban where I completed an apprenticeship as a Commercial Artist, joined a local art group, and exhibited at the Amphitheatre on the beach front and at Art in the Park in Pietermaritzburg.

I moved to Johannesburg in 1970 where I joined the Artist Market and studied fine art under Sidney Goldblatt. I've run a design studio for 17 years and for the past 26 years I've worked in and taught fine art.

Growing up in Pretoria, I spent many hours visiting the zoo and became fascinated by all the different animals. On marrying Mary, she introduced me to the wildlife parks around South Africa, and my passion for painting animals grew. Photographers can capture the whole wildlife scene beautifully, so I paint - not using a direct depiction of nature - I superimpose and juxtaposition the animals on the canvas. I am also fascinated by people and musical instruments.

My favourite medium is pastel, but I happily work in oils, acrylics, pencil, watercolour and mixed media. Besides teaching art, I work mainly on commissions in any medium, using any subject.

I occasionally work in clay sculpture as an added dimension to the understanding of my subject matter.

Artist's profile for Design Indaba 2010

Mary Brooks - Ceramicist

I was born in Benoni, Gauteng on 22nd March 1948. I studied ceramics under Gertie Hummitzsch, Wilma Cruise and Brenda Gomez. I have many utilitarian and decorative ceramic pieces in homes in Southern Africa and overseas.

I do not like to intellectualise much about my work, I just wish to impart a sense of peace and quiet contemplation to viewers of my work. I try to create pots with a warm and generous spirit in which the viewer can bask for a brief moment of respite. Nature influences a great deal of my work, and reduction and smoke firing reinforces the link between nature and my work.

I have no set objectives for myself, instead I prefer to help people create work, and experience learning with new people from all walks of life in my classes. When I teach, I encourage my students to forget what is going on in the big, wide world and rather to try to enter a state of "nothingness" so that they can concentrate on the clay before them and allow intuitive responses to manage their artistic expression. So often, how the artist feels and what he or she thinks become part of the process of creation. I encourage and teach my students techniques in which to follow through on their thoughts.

I have exhibited on Ceramic SA Exhibitions and have been a "Top 15" finalist at the Ekurhuleni National Fine Arts Exhibitions in 2005 and 2007.

Accepted entry for Ekurhuleni National Fine Arts Exhibition