Kathy Rondel, by Saskia Lee
BOHEMIAN is how I would describe my mother, artist Kathy Rondel, wonderfully weird in a way others can only aspire to be. But there’s only one of her, for which the world is poorer. She is magnetic, fierce, compassionate and a true artist of the variety that sees pictures in everything as she moves through her days… and she can often be found to drift off mid conversation… but if you know her, you know she isn’t being rude… but has art on the inside of her eyelids and cannot see you clearly momentarily, as her inner world has briefly lit up brighter than the ‘real’ scene in front of her.
Born to parents so entirely different to each other, her world was shattered many times as she navigated her young life through a series of impossible situations. Maybe this is why her inner life is so vivid. Once a safe place to escape to, her imagination, so full of expressive visual fantasy, now brings her pleasure… through creativity and a passion for colours, shapes, textures, light and pattern: ART.
But don’t be fooled if she seems a little ‘away with the fairies’ sometimes, Kathy is not anyone’s fool. She has a huge intelligence and an insightful grasp of, well... pretty much any subject. And, my advice? Don’t pick up a lively topic of conversation with her if you are not prepared to rip it open to the bones, and both play fair and capable in the conversational encounter.
Kathy has worked in design of many varieties almost her whole life. She even married a designer, although neither of them were that when they married, super young, at 19 years old. Together, and as individuals, Kathy and her husband, Harry, have embarked on a life jam packed full of creative endeavours and adventures, sometimes going to necessary places of discomfort to better (or survive) life, using creative means to forge brave pathways, sometimes for the excitement of creativity, and sometimes merely to weather one of the serious life storms they have endured.
Being a creative is not an easy life, despite the many prejudices out there towards artistics. It’s pretty hardcore being a true creative, with life acting as the sharply bladed knife edge along which you must walk… an impossibly narrow line between dark and light, madness and sanity. As Kathy’s daughter I feel a sense of familiarity with her own full-spectrum emotions, which thankfully for the best part are dynamic and positive, rising from living a life full of imagination. But for sure, the challenges to maintain stability in a world not currently fit for purpose if you are a true creative, has given Kathy a good measure of grit. Thankfully for her, and the world, so in need of proper creativity, Kathy has pluck and spirit to spare, and is so very generous with her being and her talents, sharing with the people and the world around her.
Kathy resides in a beautifully eclectic home full of carefully curated and very pretty treasures and decor, always artfully arranged, of course. Possibly of greater importance though, are the natural treasures around her home, which inspire and inform Kathy's art and give her such purpose each day. The wild hillside of her home setting, the secret woods, and the beaches that outline her small Island home bring immeasurable joy, a peaceful contentment and inspiration to Kathy, and most days she adventures in nature with her cocker spaniel Daisy. She loves green, and her rich and diverse garden is full of heart and love. Her garden is shared with her elder daughter's family and together they have created a a work of art full of lush natural colour and form. You would need to search far to find a more fervent protector of our beautiful planet, and the wild creatures and green things that live upon it. Mother nature and Kathy are sisters.
There's absolutely nothing boring about my mother. And her art is incredible. I wish I could convince her to put more of it out there for people to see... for what you DO see is just the tip of the creative, full of brilliance, technicolour iceberg.
My glorious mamma, AKA as Kathy Rondel