Talita Steyn was born and raised in Durban where she matriculated in 1998. The following year she moved to Pretoria where she studied Fine Arts at the University of Pretoria. She discontinued her studies at the end of her third year however, and took up random jobs from bartending to shopkeeping to working in a sewing factory.
In 2006 she traveled to the UK where she lived and worked for two and a half years as a live-in carer. During her time there she traveled through Europe as well as India, Nepal and Thailand.
A failed attempt at acquiring a student visa, lead to her return to South Africa towards the end of 2008. Determined to return to the UK and the possibilities of further world travel it would offer, and with her experience as a caregiver, she enrolled in a nursing degree course at the University of Pretoria in 2009. After graduating in 2012, she worked as a theatre sister at Steve Biko Academic Hospital for two years, resigning at the end of 2014.
During her time as a student- and later as a professional nurse, she started making wedding gowns and finally decided to turn this into a business, which she initiated and ran from beginning 2015 – 2019 under the name of Black Fawn.
Although she misses the first-hand experience of witnessing the mysterious inner workings of the human body (and admittedly, the blood and gore), she wouldn’t exchange her self-created routine and night owl tendencies of her current life for anything.
I make art as a way to express things that are hard to put into words and that I often feel shouldn’t be put into words.
My inspiration usually comes from moments or thoughts that fill me with an immediate sense of beauty and nostalgia, and the need to try and capture something of that experience in a visual form, the same way we try to hold onto a dream to tell someone as quickly as possible, while we feel it evaporating into a lost memory. This often leads to a serious case of being lost in translation, but the need to try is ever-present when inspiration strikes.
My art has never dealt with big issues like politics or human rights, but rather comes from a place I still struggle to understand myself, dealing more with what it’s like to have a human experience of life and the things in it that puzzles, mystifies and awes me.
My art usually takes a figurative form and up until recently my medium of choice has been oil painting. Sculpture is a newer medium to me and one I would like to continue exploring further into the future.