Fascinated by all things odd and creepy, Wilmari Botha‘s new series of illustrations explores the human body – inside and out – to reveal how bizarre it actually is. We had a quick chat with her before her solo exhibition, Skin and Bone opening at Wolves Cafe tonight.
What does it look like inside your mind?
My mind is constantly full of shapes and silly characters. I would describe it as a world of wonder. Most of the things I draw get conjured up from that space. It’s very detailed with nooks and crannies that you can explore and get lost in.
Do you have any rituals (silly or serious) that you do in preparation for a big event like your exhibition?
Something that I would consider a ritual would be binge-watching series or movies while I work on my pieces. Not only is it good to have something in the background to listen to, but it also inspires me or makes me think.
What’s more your style? Adam’s Family or American Horror Story?
Though my style continually evolves as an illustrator, what stays constant is my love for the weird and creepy. I grew up watching the Adams Family as a kid so I think it definitely forms part of my style. I always wished I could live in the cartoon house since it was full of strange hiding places and interesting details. That inspires me because I always want the viewer to look twice. Maybe upon second view they’ll notice something strange.
How do you get your creative juices flowing?
I would say the creative juices start flowing when I start playing around with different mediums and start doodling. I’ve really started enjoying the whole doodling process since there is no pressure for a perfect illustration and you filter through all your ideas and find the best one to go with.
What’s your fascination with the human body? Tell us a bit about the works on show.
I’ve always had a fascination with the human body and how creepy it actually is. The Skin and Bone exhibition explores that creepy side of the body in combination with patterns and geometric shapes. I tried to find harmony between these elements and in some cases it started becoming a bit abstract and playful, but I guess that’s how the process goes.
Skin and Bone is showing at Wolves until the end of March, find the details here.