For Daniella Mooney, the process of shaping her materials into sculptures simultaneously serves as a means of forming her subjective understanding of being in the world; the two are intrinsically linked. Through her work, Mooney engages her responses to lived experiences, interactions and events, looking at how her interpretations of these are predetermined by imposed belief systems, mythic archetypes and personal histories. Attempting to eschew these constraints, she is driven to intuitively pursue an intangible unknown through her poetic connections between nature, psychological perception and the metaphysical. Ranging from delicate smaller works to large-scale sculpture and installation, Mooney’s meticulously crafted works are never overwhelmed by the astute observations which they channel. She is dedicated to the expansion and mastery of her craft, and has a profound respect and reverence for the tools and materials used to shape her work, actively engaging with the histories of these objects.
Daniella Mooney was born in Nelspruit, South Africa, 1986, and now lives and works in Cape Town. Since completing her BAFA at the Michaelis School of Fine Art in 2009 (for which she received the class medal for studiowork), she has held two solo exhibitions at Whatiftheworld: ‘Maybe Your Magic is Working’ (2011) and ‘Golden Age Rising’ (2014). She has been hailed as one of South Africa’s ‘Bright Young Things’ by Art South Africa, and was selected to be part of Wanted magazine’s ‘Young African Artists’ showcase at the FNB Joburg Art Fair in 2012. Mooney’s work has been regularly shown at the Southern Guild design fair and her works can be found in the permanent collections of the 21C Museum in Kentucky, the Ellerman House Collection, the Spier Collection and the Zeitz Collection.
By Tim Leibbrandt. July 2015