An exhibition by Niki Daly which opened at the FynArts Gallery in Hermanus this past Saturday is titled ‘Matters of the Heart’. An internationally recognised children’s book writer and illustrator (indeed he has recently been nominated for the premier Hans Christian Andersen prize for children’s literature), this is Niki’s first solo art exhibition. As his long-time friend and former colleague, Paddy Bouma articulated when opening the exhibition, Niki has had many incarnations and all of them are reflected in this exhibition.
From songwriter/musician to university lecturer, to publisher, to children’s book illustrator/writer, to origami artist, everything Niki has tackled has been done with child-like enthusiasm. This mixed-media exhibition reflects his life of passion, most of it in miniaturised form. Even the found frames he uses are unique, having been specially chosen to enhance individual paintings. Attracting particular attention at this exhibition are his painted wall plates. A watercolour effect has been created using ceramic oxides applied with pen and brush.
As pointed out by Paddy, his work dances, floats, flies and plays games, at the same time reflecting a poignancy and deep sense of humanity. In Niki’s own words, “I am incurably curious, so who knows what’s next.” The exhibition continues at the FynArts Gallery until 4 January 2020.