Catherine Christie – An Abstract Artist’s Introduction
Catherine Christie, daughter of Kitch Christie (famous Springbok Coach, Rugby World Cup 1995) and now a celebrated South African abstract artist opened her 5th owner-run gallery in 2006. Shortly thereafter Catherine received her first “Women of the Year” nomination for her endeavours in Arts and Culture. The CATHERINE CHRISTIE SIGNATURE GALLERY was dubbed one of the most beautiful privately owned galleries in the Southern Hemisphere, however behind the glitz and glamour stands one of the most courageous and persistent entrepreneurs to have graced the Arts and Business sectors of this country.
After finding herself a single mother, Catherine (heralded as top SA gallery curator for her 5 years of efforts therein) closed her three galleries and began painting at home, assuming the roles of both working- and stay-at-home mother. Shortly after she began painting, no one could get enough of her unique and bombastic industrial-oil-on-canvas compilations and Catherine decided to build the signature gallery to showcase her works.
Situated in Hout Bay, where she resides, this was the 5th Gallery that Catherine opened and curated from scratch. Natural light, lead crystal chandeliers, gilded chairs, exotically coloured animal skins, halogen lighting and the perfect architecture to house it all was her secret recipe. Armed with her philosophy of “always going the extra mile,” she sent ripples running through the art world and ruffled the feathers of the art academia. Before she waved her proverbial magic wand, most galleries were found in old buildings with poor lighting, badly displayed art and very little glamour to say the least, but the face of SA art and galleries was now to be uplifted, polished and set a-sparkle. Catherine was definitely a forerunner in bringing SA art and galleries up to international standards and the rest of the ‘heavy weight’ art institutions had no choice but to follow suit.
In 2011 Catherine was anointed with the highest accolade and invited to exhibit her artworks in New York by Abraham Lobelski, owner and editor of the New York Art Times, and to display her masterpieces in the Broadway Gallery (NY) as well as the Artspace Gallery in Beijing. Now over 20% of emerging abstract artists emulate her work and are inspired by the talent and bravery of this lady and many are asking how a ‘one woman show’ could steal the limelight all by herself? It was unthinkable to them that Catherine had never been schooled or trained in any of the arenas of her success.
Two and a half years ago Catherine launched the ToLife Group Online Directories and has become a pioneer in yet another field. Her unrivalled entrepreneurial skills have ensured her a place as the market leader in showcasing SA home design and lifestyle brands on the best possible online forum. Her recession-friendly business model has ensured that our acclaimed South African boutique companies and locally based businesses are able to showcase with top international brands and gain the exposure they so deserve. www.hometolife.co.za and www.youtolife.co.za are the most visited directories in their respective genres and are soon to be launched as iPhone apps.
This endeavour has set the wheels in motion to transform the online platform in this country. Like the galleries, many established media houses are looking to the ToLife Group as a benchmark for excellence in the ever-changing, uncertain domain of the internet. And once again many are wondering why and how did this lady achieve all of this without so much as a diploma or degree in IT.
Catherine continues to paint and after taking a brief sabbatical from the art world, re-launched and re-invented herself as an artist with her Full Circle Exhibition. She has also graced the Yardley Head Quarters SA with more than 10 of her unique works. Mother, artist, curator, media house – is there nothing this woman cannot do once she has set her mind to it?
Above all else, it has to be said that Catherine is a philanthropist and believes strongly in the well-being of all. She has never turned her back on a charity needing a work of art to be donated; hundreds have been supported by her and undoubtedly will be in the future.
“When I am asked by God or blessed to find myself in the position to be able to assist a good cause, or those fighting for good causes, it’s the most humbling experience in the world to be of service – For Mother Earth or Mankind.”Catherine Christie