Close But Not Too Close | Time Travel

Givan Lötz

Lötz is interested in spaces of emotional resonance In his work, he manipulates the capacity for paint to render organic forms and natural cycles of growth and decay. This process forms part of a personal visual shorthand – a painterly proficiency borne from tacit learning. “I hope to trace a connection with the narratives of displacement and loss that are embedded in land – to find a solace in the regenerative cycles of nature by binding outer place (landscape) and inner world (mind-state).

Occasionally, it stops you breathing. Mostly, it keeps you company – in the way the radio keeps you company while driving. In some cafés, the chatter and movement of people around you makes you feel at ease. It’s mostly like this. When it isn’t, it’s like something quickly inflating in a space too small for it’s fullest expression. It pins you to the wall.

You noticed it for the first time after your visit to the great hole. You tagged along with a friend who wanted to trace the edge of the hole. You helped him with this, holding his pencils and bringing him coffee while he worked his way around. You spent more time anticipating his needs and reviewing his drawings, than considering the hole. So you were surprised to find that something in or about the hole remained so palpably with you when you returned home. It might have been with you before you visited the hole, latent. Possibly, its onset merely coincided with the visit, and the two aren’t otherwise connected. When you mention it to your friend, he says he’s suffered from anxiety since he was a child. It’s not like that. You’d miss it if it left you. — Chloë Reid

Jonathan Freemantle

At age 17, Jonathan Freemantle was selected as one of five students from around the world to study at St Oswald’s Academy in London;
an intensive 5 year traditional training and apprenticeship in drawing, painting and sculpture and geometry. This formative experience continues to inform his rigorous approach to painting and his artistic practice.

Founded on an encyclopedic and intimate understanding of painting and art history, Freemantle’s work explores the intricate relationship between his body, time and the earth as the converging materials of inspiration. Spanning egg tempera, mountain rocks and ochre in his paintings, Freemantle situates the body as an organic presence that is fundamentally in union with its landscape; particularly as he yields his brush in this pursuit and inquiry. In an age damned as Anthropocene – in which humankind’s dominion over nature is unquestionably tangible – Freemantle consciously and resolutely makes the case for redemption and forgiveness for humanity; particularly in his lived experience as a male within the patriarchal structures of society.

Freemantle has been exhibiting internationally since 2007, with group and solo exhibitions in London, Cape Town, Amsterdam, Johannesburg and Edinburgh; including a major commission by The Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg.

In addition to an expansive studio practice, Freemantle has been working as an educator, having set up the painting department of The Art Academy in London in 2002, and through the written word with his book ‘Anatomy made simple for Artist’ published by Arcturus (UK) in 2004. He has also curated numerous exhibitions in collaboration with the Edinburgh International Fashion Festival, a multi-arts festival he co- founded in 2012, as well in his role as co-director of Hazard Gallery, which he co-founded and ran in Johannesburg 2015-2019. His work is represented in collections worldwide including SAB Miller, Nirox Foundation and the private collection of HRH the Prince of Wales.

Having returned to Edinburgh in 2019, Freemantle is currently focused on full time studio practice.


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