"My Roots Have Never Left Me"

Born in South Africa I immigrated to Canada with my family in 1987.

As a child I lived also in Botswana and Zimbabwe and have been influenced by the people, sounds, colours, rhythm, vibrancy, art and artists of Africa.

I express my life experience in Africa through my art.

The theme of much of my work develops during the sketching process.

Once a theme is decided, detailing is added which is intended, together with the colours, to attract the viewer to look more closely and thereby get to feel and appreciate the beauty and details within the “geography” of Africa.

"A River Runs Through It" 

Acrylic on Cradled Birch Panel 36" x 12"

Gated Community 

Pen and Ink, 11" x 8.5"

The iconic hut of Africa appears in much of my work

Huts represent something greater than a mere "round structure with walls of clay or wood, a peaked grass roof with a central support pole". They were easier to build from a circular foundation with cheap readily available raw materials: mud, clay and tree branches. But the logic was not just in the architecture; it was mostly in the communalism and complimentary nature of society - Alex Taremwa 2016 article in "This is Africa".

To quote Alan McSmith in an article titled "Wisdom from an African Hut"

"In most, if not all indigenous cultures, social gatherings and councils took place in circles around a focal point. Usually a warm fire. Within the hut, families would sit and eat together in the same way, tell stories in their circles, excluding no one. They would sit , eat together. I believe Westerners can learn a lot from this system if they tried it". 

To me art is everywhere, in the formations of trees and rocks, in the lines, shadows and details of a building, in the graffiti on street walls, on advertising billboards and packaging, in a child’s drawing, in a doodle. And doodles are created by many artists as a model for their work or some doodle directly onto the surface on which they’re working.

As the old adage states “Earth without art would be “eh”


Artist and Industrial Designer. Studied at the Johannesburg College of Art and Design.

Thereafter I concentrated on the design & production of office and hotel furniture.

Experience includes:

    * Office Furniture
    * Interior Design of Offices and Banking Halls
    * Hotel and Hospitality Furniture

In 2000, I incorporated my own business for design and production of hotel and hospitality furniture. During this time furniture production was outsourced to factories in China. Projects included hotels and restaurants such as W Hotel in Atlanta GA, Disney Cruise Lines and  Delta Airlines’ holding area restaurants in MN, LGA among others.

Retired from business in 2018. 

I have always painted and sketched all my life and am now able to fully concentrate on my artwork.

Exhibited in:

    * Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition -1995, 1996 and 2019. 

    * Riverdale Art Walk - 2019

    * Artists' Network "Smalls" & "Home" Exhibitions - 2020

My work is in Private Collections in Canada, Australia, South Africa, US, Israel and England.

If you have any comments, questions or want to discuss my work, find out how to communicate with me on the "Contact" page.

© 2020 by Rodney Cohen

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