Claire Johnston in the Groove

2012-08-11 08:24

Her creative talents go beyond musical notes – these days she’s baring her soul on canvas, too.

Claire Johnston is one of South Africa’s instantly recognisable faces and voices.

Despite a career span-ning three decades, the Mango Groove lead singer shows no sign of slowing down.

The group recently released their Ultimate Collector’s Edition triple-pack CD/DVD compilation, which includes songs from their latest album, Bang The Drum.

Claire recently took up painting and is enjoying this new avenue of expression.

‘It all began when I painted the walls in our house a few years ago. The amazing colours and some crazy patterns made me realise the extent to which colour and texture pleased me. I recently went through a difficult personal time, so I went out and bought some oil paints and a canvas. I think it will be a very healthy and therapeutic release for me, but I certainly don’t see any gallery exhibitions in my immediate future,’ she laughs.

When asked if she gets different types of release from singing and painting, Claire says, ‘I think both experiences are, to coin a psychological term, flow experiences. You get caught up in the experience itself, without even thinking of material goals or other gain.

There’s something so tactile and mucky about painting. This adds an additional dimension for me and there’s also the thrill, I guess, of doing something fairly new.’

» A colourful mind

What causes are you passionate about?
Conservation and animal welfare. I am a patron of the Born Free Foundation and an ambassador for the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s ‘Dare to Care’ campaign.

What can’t you survive without?
Space, the company of positive people and my iPad.

If your creative energy was a colour, what would it be?
I suspect it wouldn’t be one colour. It would have to contain the full spectrum of other colours, from darkness to joy.

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