In the 1970′s and early 80′s, living in South Africa, Donna developed a reputation for her very carefully crafted photorealistic portraits. The highlight of this early work was to be included in an exhibition curated by the legendary art critic Clement Greenberg, ‘Art South Africa Today’, and the inclusion in a book on South African art. Her work from this period was also exhibited on a retrospective exhibition of Photorealism at the Pretoria Art Museum.
Photorealism led way to experimentation. Donna White’s paintings of the late 1980′s and 1990′s became more fluid and expressive with bold colours playing a more important role, ultimately freeing her from the constraints of photorealism. She explored the interaction between the object and background, drawing with paint and experimenting with brush strokes and paint textures and the abundant use of colour. During this period, Donna White successfully exhibited her large gestural and colourful paintings at various group and solo shows in Southern Africa and Germany.
In 2000, Donna White and her family relocated to the UK, where she continued with her preoccupation with the challenges of presenting three dimensional subject matter within a two dimensional format. Her work became increasingly abstract. The rigid constraints of photorealism finally unravelled in a explosion of shape, line, texture and colour. Her work of this period continued to enthral, with numerous solo and group shows, as well as having a number of paintings selected for and exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer Show, Royal Society of Portrait Painters Exhibition, and the Royal West of England Academy shows.
Today, this journey in paint ranges from the microcosmic to the galactic, utilising the latest technologies, including virtual reality and 3D printing. Her paintings continue to explore the matrix in which we exist, and its metaphorical transfer onto the two dimensional plane of the canvas surface.