17 on Loader Guest House has for the past three years been privileged enough to host the permanent retrospective exhibition of the Art of Leda Troedson. The current works on exhibition are but a small fraction of a large body of her work which has never been exhibited.
Some biographical information:
Leda Troedson (born Rhode) was born in Porterville on the 26th of August 1926 and died in Cape Town after a long illness in March 2005. She was 78 years old.
Schooled in Cape Town and educated at the University of Stellenbosch where she studied science (in itself an unusual study choice for women in the 1940’s), she worked for many years at the Medical and Dental Council in Johannesburg before changing career paths and studying Art at Wits University. She later ran her own renovating and decorating business.
But her art was her greatest love and over her career she produced a body of hundreds of works and collected numerous others, leaving behind a sizeable and diverse collection of unique South African art.
Having seldom exhibited, and never on a large scale, her art is almost completely unknown in South African art circles. Her unique personal style and range of influences from working with and observing the work of seminal contemporary artists both in South Africa and while living abroad, would make for a fascinating study of artistic evolution.
Leda’s first known foray into art was when she dabbled with watercolours while still at school. Art remained a dominant theme in her life with her styles gradually moving from the very abstract hard-edged works inspired by such artists as Mondrian, to more impressionist pieces using a variety of materials including pastels. She was widely read and well informed about art and the arts in general and friends say she took it very seriously, considering herself an artist. She was open to criticism but also very sensitive to it.
Her paintings were considered by her friends to be very sincere and with their own particular style and she had her own feeling for light and colour that was unique in her works. For example her series of works depicting the demolition of a row of old Maritzburg houses portrayed a sense of suffering at their loss while other works had a lightness and sparkle to them (these Pietermaritzburg works will be displayed at a later stage as part of this permanent exhibition). Leda didn’t really cater for others’ requests and often do it her way when commissioned to do a work.
During her life her art would be produced in fits and starts depending on her commitments to her renovating business or simply her mood that could often be dark. She never moved into other disciplines such as sculpture although, wherever she lived, her garden was always considered to be a work of art in itself. She often photographed her garden in full bloom, adding to the artistic dimension of her favourite hobbies and pastimes.
Viewing of the collection is possible between 9am to 2pm, or by prior arrangement.
17 Loader Street, de Waterkant, Cape Town. 021 418 3417