Andrea du Plessis is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Cape Town, specializing primarily in traditional painting and new media. She has studied Fine Arts at the University of Pretoria, completed a postgraduate diploma in Art Therapy in the UK, and is currently studying towards a degree in Multimedia Digital Visual Arts (UNISA). Du Plessis uses her practice as means of exploring humanity’s complex relationship to both nature and technology. The Covid-19 pandemic has sparked in her an interest in the sublime experience and the interplay between nature, technology, and spirituality.
Her creative methodology involves extensive experimentation with emerging technologies such as augmented reality (AR), algorithmic art, and image and sound generated by artificial intelligence (AI). She also revisits antiquity by using traditional oil painting techniques used by the old masters, such as glazing and the golden ratio. By juxtaposing the 19th-century Romantic tradition of painting with contemporary emerging technologies, she aims to create a tension-filled interface momentarily transporting the viewer into a familiar yet alien world while offering an opportunity to reflect on their relationship with nature and our changing landscape.
The process of creating a work such as “Paloceae Lupantozoa” involves numerous steps and techniques. Firstly the landscape is painted (oil on canvas). The finished painting was photographed digitally and separated into layers in photo editing software in preparation for animation. I then used an open-source A.I. (artificial intelligence) neural network platform, called Artbreeder.com, to generate hybrid images of nature and downloaded the individual frames needed for a frame-by-frame animation. Finally, the layered landscape and A.I. animation was combined into one final video artwork. For sound I used a combination of samples, my own recordings and A.I. generated sound samples. The artworks in this series are also made A.R. (augmented reality) interactive, meaning viewers can watch the painting come to life via an app on their smartphone or tablet. “Paloceae Lupantozoa” is one of four artworks in my series called "Supernature", which was done in fulfillment to my BA Degree at the University of South Africa.