Daniella Mooney (b.1986) has been hailed as one of South Africa’s ‘Bright Young Things’ by Art South Africa, and was selected to participate in Wanted magazine’s ‘Young African Artists’ showcase at the FNB Joburg Art Fair in 2012. Her work has been acquired by the 21C Museum in Kentucky, the Ellerman House Collection, the Spier Collection and the Zeitz Collection.
Primarily a sculptor, Mooney creates deeply considered works that are at once mystical and substantial, fashioning her pieces from wood, crystals, stone and moss. Her tendency towards natural materials and subjects becomes clear after the briefest description of her upbringing: She grew up on a farm and comes from a family of nature enthusiasts and artisans – her father a forester, her mother a collector of fine crystals and stones, and her grandfather a carpenter.
Rather fittingly, Mooney is an avid rock climber, and the inspiration for her 50ty/50ty artwork was a fleeting twilight scene she witnessed during the hasty return hike after a day of climbing. It was a moment quickly snapped on camera, now recalled and realised in the sensitive exposure and deep hues of screen print, evoking in the viewer a reverence for the landscape.