"We are the canvas and, as such, are both the creator and the creation."
Ann Gadd's artistic career started in childhood when she scrawled her first artwork in crayons across her bedroom wall.
Today she is one of South Africa's most beloved and prolific artists – with her paintings in celebration of Africa's wildlife and landscapes lighting up spaces around the world.
"I think people connect with the unique style of my work," she says. "In a world where wildlife paintings are generally super-realistic and conventional, both in colour and approach, I take a fresh, bold, colourful approach."
Born in Gauteng, South Africa, in 1958, Gadd moved to Cape Town when she was four years old. After studying graphic design and working with two art teachers, she worked as an art director at advertising agencies for more than 20 years.
In 1997 the South African Society of Artists named her the Best Acrylic Artist, which encouraged her to pursue her professional artistic and writing careers (she's since authored or illustrated more than 20 books). Since her first solo exhibition in 2002, she has exhibited in London, at the Johannesburg Art Fair, the Florence Biennale, Art at Five (Brighton, UK), the Glasgow and Edinburgh Art Fairs, and many other SA and international exhibitions.
Gadd works from her studio in Cape Town, where she lives with her artist husband, a wildly enthusiastic retriever, and two over-indulged, rather grumpy cats.