11 July, 2014

Therapy turned into art

Bongani Mtshwene

In Greek mythology, a phoenix is described as a bird that is cyclically reborn. It obtains new life by rising from its ashes.
Jacqueline Jorgensen describes herself as a phoenix, and admits she was stuck in a dark place when her son passed on—which was also the death of her happiness and peace. This inspired a solitary journey to various coasts across the country. And on South Africa’s beaches she found creativity, peace and bliss through seashells and pebbles.
She began to create art with what nature provided. She says creating art was therapeutic,
"I felt like that was God looking after me” she says.
Her friends began to take note of her art pieces and this sparked business interests from art collectors. And that was her rise from the ashes.
Jorgensen is quite selfless too.
“People describe my creations as emotional and selfless, they are comforting and insightful”
Although she’s a visual artist and jewellery maker, Jorgensen doesn’t describe herself as any of these things. She has no formal training in art but creates artworks that are heartfelt, professional and attractive to many art collectors.
This year, she is showcasing her artwork and jewellery at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown; and has already decided to return in 2015. Moneywise, she says she has broken even and is now making a small profit, a great achievement for a first-timer at the National Arts Festival.
“I’m so proud of her, and I want to cry when I think about how talented she is,” says mother Barbara Jorgensen, “She is inspiring and to see so much creation come out of the depths of nothing is beautiful.” 
What was once therapy has become a lifetime of artistic expression and beauty.  Jacqueline Jorgensen is exhibiting her art work and jewellery at the Village Green. The festival ends on Sunday 13 July.

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