This Spring, Hay Hill Gallery is proud to present the paintings of South African artist Kilmany-Jo Liversage. As her first solo exhibition in the UK, Ordamental515 promises to be a refreshing fusion of street art and modern day portraiture.

The title of the exhibition derives from Orda, the name of Liversage’s street, and the word ‘ornamental’. The numeric value refers to the month and year of the show – May (5), 20(15). Orda, which has now become one of the artist’s most used tags and nickname, appears several times in her works; underneath, between and over layers of aerosol paint. This layering and reworking of the canvas helps to produce an effect similar to urban geography.

Liversage chooses her subjects from both people she knows and social media. Looking at her paintings, viewers will experience several déjà vus, as if they already crossed path with these people while walking through the city. Full lipped, charming women, wearing trendy glasses or big hairdos; those are powerful characters that make heads turn. The same edge and energy belonging to their personalities is used in the technique that portrays them.

Borrowing elements from urban culture, like tagging names and dates, but painting her subjects in fine art poses (mostly frontal or three-quarter), Liversage developed a style that is equally potent and moving.

“Street art is great, but I like to work on canvas”, says the artist. Constantly trying to find balance between graffiti art and portraiture, eventually her paintings are to be hung on a wall.

Kilmany-Jo Liversage, aka Orda, is a Cape Town based artist. Portraiture being her main practice, she has taken her painting a step further with street art as the key influence.

It all started when Kilmany-Jo was a school teacher. Instead of finding inspiration in textbooks, she found creative inspiration in the graffiti-style Tipp-Ex marks and scratches the children made on their desks. So she left the academic world to become an artist.

Her works belong to several private collections in South Africa, United States, South America and Central Europe.