Teresa completed a B.A. Degree (Graphic Design) at the University of Pretoria in 1989 and started working as a graphic artist in Johannesburg. For many years she worked under the name Rabie, but has remarried and today signs her work Teresa Decinti.
I really enjoy Teresa’s watercolours. She exhibited these at The Cape Gallery in 2002 and 2003, before she opened her own gallery at 3 Eikehoff, Church St, Stellenbosch. Watercolour is an immediate and spontaneous medium that can be used to capture an instantaneous impression. Teresa confidently brushes vibrant colours on to large A1 sheets of heavy white Fabriano paper. Gail Dorje. (The Cape Gallery)
She paints panoramic views such as ‘Simons Town, South Atlantic Royal Navy’, ‘Camps Bay’, ‘False Bay from Chapman’s Peak’. Set against the backdrop of mountains and sea; the fynbos, the red roofed houses in green gardens, the city office blocks, the harbour traffic and yachts are caught as if in the blink of an eye, a sparkling scene in the morning light.
Teresa’s portfolio contains sketches too; ethnic studies of the Himba and Xhosa woman in traditional garb, the Clock Tower at the Mandela Gateway, a tractor and trailer harvesting fruit at Molenvliet Wine and Guest Estate, a loaded 4×4, a cyclist, elephant, kudu and other wild life and a woman turning the meat at a braaivleis. In these she establishes an instant rapport with her subject, drawing on life. ‘I am African’ she confirms.
In the last ten years Teresa has elected to work in oils. Her subject matter, it seems, demanded greater formality. Choosing to add to a tradition that has, over the centuries, defined the depiction of iconic South African subjects was ambitious. Her painting of the Great Fish River Canyon clearly demonstrates her capacity to capture the grandeur inherent in this massive spectacle. Today her oeuvre contains a substantial body of work portraying heritage sites such as the eighteenth and ninetieth century Cape Dutch wine farms.
Set below towering cape mountain ranges, or framed by a perspective caused by the serried rows of the vines or an approaching road, the farm buildings are often briefly indicated, remote, girded by walls and fences, partially screened by trees. The landscape is painted with expressive brushwork. A joyous painting of vines in the full blush of Autumn demonstrates Teresa’s skill with a palette knife.
Teresa is the attractive and accomplished grand daughter of Douglas Fuchs who was the Director General of the SABC, who loved art and socialized with artists like Bettie-Cilliers Barnard and N.P van Wyk Louw. Hecollected work of numerous South African artists including that of Nils Anderson. Her mother teaches music.
Teresa mentions that as a child she was inspired by Irma Stern where there is a strong family connection in her familytree between the Fuchs and Stern families that she feels very proud of, Maggie Laubser and Walter Battiss are also on the list of her favourite artists. Today she has developed an original style that is clearly her own.