In the late sixties and seventies I took lessons with some of the best art teachers in South Africa, such as the late Nina Campbell-Quine and Sydney Goldblatt. After school, I studied Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, Politics and International Relations in my Bachelor of Arts degree. I studied Law for my post -graduate degree. I qualified and practiced as a lawyer for several years, eventually starting the first all female law firm in the country.
The moment I stopped practicing law, one of the first things I did was to enroll at the Johannesburg Art Foundation. I also tooklessons with the artist Lynda Ballen who has been my mentor for many years. Over the years I have been guided by someother great South African artists such as Cyril Coetzee who opened my exhibition at Artspace, and Walter Voight, son of Harold Voight . In addition, my work has been favorably critiqued by the late Judith Mason.
In 2005 I completed my first conceptual piece, which was an Installation in Rietfontein Village, an informal settlement South of Johannesburg, where I iced an entire shack with wedding cake icing sugar. This was recorded and is now an eight minute video entitled “Engaging the Shadow”. This can be seen on my Philippa Levitt Artist facebook page. A newspaper article was written about this in the Sunday Times in which I was dubbed South Africa’s first ‘Wrap’ artist. Fine artsstudents from all over the country have researched this work and a group of final year students at the University of the Witwatersrand responded to the work by wrapping my then home in bubble wrap plastic.
Copies of the DVD and newspaper article about the Installation are available on request.
In October 2007, I delivered a talk at the Rabbi Cyril Harris Community Centre alongside Kim Lieberman and Clive Kellner, the then Curator of the Johannesburg Art Gallery, on Conceptual art. A newspaper article on the talk is also available on request.
Over the years I made several artworks arising out of the Rietfontein Village experience which culminated in a solo exhibition in 2009 which was held at Art Space in the heart of the Art District in Johannesburg. Most of my work at that point was about the discrepancy between the lofty principles of our Constitution and the workings of the law in the daily lived experience of ordinary South Africans. It was a great success and I was interviewed on two local radio stations (SAFM and Radio Sonder Grense) and by a few online publications, such as Artsreview, Week in Joburg and Joburg Live. Below is the link to the article in Artlink:
At the same time, the newspaper La Tribune in France was showcasing South African Art and my work appeared in their newspaper . A copy of the article can alsobe made available on request.
My work was also on a group exhibition held by Rose Korber in Cape Town in 2009. Below is the link to that particular group show.
I have sold several pieces to a radiologicalpractice in Sydney and my art has been loaned temporarily to the University of New South Wales for an exhibition on Art and Radiology.
I now have pieces in collections all over the world - in London, New York, Sydney, Melbourne and here at home in South Africa. (Gabi I am sure your dad/Sharon/Heather can add a lot to this as they know where my artworks have landed up better than me)
Several of my pieces are made on antique medical or philosophical books or on antique legal documents. These are then mounted onto Fabriano paper with or without mapping pins. I use acrylics, gouache and sometimes oil washes, as well as copies, rub-ons, ink and/or glitterand diamond dust. The themes covered by my work are medical, legal, esoteric and philosophical.
I have had two Solo exhibitions in 2016 in Sydney, Australia. One in a Gallery called Breathing Colours in Balmain and the other in a Gallery in Double Bay.
My new work expands into POP art. My works feature multiple manipulatedimages of Audrey Hepburn, the iconic fifties British female screen legend and humanitarian. The images are inspired by the work of both Robert Mars and James Verbicky. These works are collage and covered in resin.