A Gifted Foreign Artist Names Mtskheta Her “Real Home”

High-end artist Sharmaine Thérèsa Pretorius, of South African descent and with a colorful ancestry, has lived in Oman for the past eight years, but loves Georgia with great passion. It is here you will find her once a year connecting with nature, culture and the spiritual heart of Mtskheta and Tbilisi, trying to draw as little attention to herself as possible. It is also here where her youngest son Jaques is based. To Sharmaine, her ‘normal’ has become living life in a supernatural way, just as C.S. Lewis did. The barrier so many of us find between the visible and the invisible is just not there for her.

The artist, who has been described as the ‘essence of an extraordinary gifted mind’ because of her prodigally styled, powerful intellect and intricate artistic drawings which include hidden puzzles and musical compositions, seems refreshingly down to earth in person. She essentially copies her dreams onto paper.

She gained international recognition as an emerging artist in 2017, particularly for her drawing named ‘Mars Trojan – Elon – The Shroud’ (5517A), describing it as a study of holographic memories from her dreams. A digital copy of the work and another have been circling in low space orbit as part of her involvement with Asgardia Space Nation, on the Asgardia 1 nanosat cube, since November 2017.

In a recent article in ‘Love and Politics’ printed by http://freigeist-verlag.net/en/buecher/love-politics/, Pretorius gave finer insight into her thoughts of how things can go wrong when cultures do not have proper references for what they are looking at. She plots Elon Musk’s car and her digital work of art hanging in space in the future as something an alien civilization sent to clean up space. Her plea is for humanity to start “throwing beautiful things into space” so that a future generation may not end up thinking her picture is ‘the Shroud’ or the Tesla Roadster a pumpkin coach.

Recently, Taketo Oguchi from Japan, the Editor-in-Chief of the largest Japanese online webzine SHIFT, accompanied by celebrity artist Miwa Yokoyama, visited Oman in the Gulf to interview Pretorius.

Oguchi is a celebrity in his own right, with interests extending to the art of design and beautiful spaces. He is notorious for his huge personal impact on helping to establish Sapporo, the capital of the Japanese island of Hokkaido; as one of the Creative Cities listed by UNESCO.

He revealed his golden key of measurement during his visit to Oman as to how to find exceptionally gifted artists: “Most importantly, artists should possess the ‘Kaizen’ attitude and should have superior relationship skills, know the difference between ‘significance’ and mere ‘success’, have a sense of humor, character and integrity, a steely will and determination to succeed, and produce uniquely original work.” Pretorius definitely holds the golden key: something remarkable.

In Georgia, it is the cultural and creative resources of the Mtskheta-Mtianeti part of an EU Initiative ‘Creative cities and regions’ that have captured Sharmaine Pretorius. “I love the warmth of the people, the sense of spirituality, the compelling history and the breathtaking beauty. It is the one place in the world that people should visit at least once in a lifetime, it is THAT unique,” she says.

It is there she enjoys staying with her spiritual friend and her Georgian ‘mother,’ as she calls her dear friend Nona.

Her Instagram account shows the likes of people such as millionaire ‘Masatoshi Kumagai,’ who visited Tbilisi in September to attend a conference on virtual currency, and billionaire art collector Dakis Joannou of Greece, taking a keen interest in her work.

She has invited a young artist from Tbilisi to join her at the opening of her upcoming exhibition in 2019, of ‘Enclosure Fathom Part 2’ in Oman. Sharmaine has great respect for Georgian artists and foresees great things for the country.

She has also been invited by the GAA Foundation to exhibit the poster version of ‘Mars Trojan – Elon – The Shroud’ (5517A) in Italy at the Venice Biennale.

Hopefully, this is just the beginning of an intercontinental artistic friendship that will last a lifetime.

Sharmaine has been drawing for the past thirteen and a half years. She holds more than 600 continuing education credits, spread over safety and security, health, and emergency service fields, though she has no formal art training or credentials, apart from natural talent.

She is also a sufferer of the auto-immune condition Secondary Sjögren Syndrome with mixed tissue disorder.

Her first solo exhibition ‘Enclosure Fathom – Part 1’ was held in Nizwa, in Oman, in February 2018, at Al Rayyan Gallery. 150 high-end art collectors were invited to enjoy a personal experience in the heart of the desert. She sells work only by invitation. She is represented legally by CMS LAW Oman – Advocate Ben Ewing originally from the UK.

More of her works can be seen on her website www.artshowroom.org and instagram www.instagram.com/sharm.t.p/

By Katie Ruth Davies

27 December 2018 18:40