Katharine Ambrose is well known both in South Africa and internationally for her vibrant African townships and colourful African art. Using sketches collected over years, of people at work and play all over South Africa’s diverse landscapes, she recreates the moment on canvas. Children tripping through the golden grasslands and women with their burdens of baby, wood, water and shopping, all come to life as her brush captures their every movement.
On her frequent field trips, Katherine Ambrose gathers inspiration as the people in her paintings gather in mielies (corn). She also continues to work at life drawing from the nude model, finding the discipline informs her painting of the human figure.
Katharine is best known for her glowing, textured use of colour. Juxtaposed and contrasted to give full effect on the canvas of bright,sunny African days, such colour is the hallmark of her work.
Recent work also includes suggestive monochrome knife paintings. The rough paint hints at vigorous muscled bodies under the loose, layered rural clothing and subtle greys hint at the original light and colour of the scene.
Her empathy for her subjects, who are ordinary people going about daily lives, is rooted in her experiences as the wife of Giles Ambrose, Anglican priest (formerly a monk), whose life was spent serving the Batswana and Basotho people of the Free State, North West Province and Lesotho.
Katharine Ambrose’s artwork has been exhibited in the USA, UK, Germany, Kuala Lumpur, Paris, Geneva, Cape Town, Knysna, Johannesburg, Grahamstown and Pretoria. Private and corporate collectors from around the world seek out Katharine’s art for its positive appreciation of Africa and its people.
You can find her studio and gallery in Somerset West, just outside Cape Town, South Africa. She welcomes visitors. Please contact her to arrange a time.