No strings attached 2009

Art portfolio- my work

No strings attached.

These images form part of my solo show held at Knysna Fine Art… see also…

One can say that this new body of work is about relationships, or the lack thereof.  It evolved out of an intimate engagement with an infant.

We are attached to this world with an umbilical cord. Our first bond we form as humans are with our mothers.  All of us were infants at some stage and we all had mothers.  Every psyche has been affected by this fact.  To explore this fundamental of human existence has an irresistible fascination for me.

dark side of motherhood

I lost my mother at an early age, and since I became a mother I feel that loss intensely. I couldn’t ask her for advice so I turned to early pictures about the mother and child in search of understanding….and so this body of work (the pattern paper series of the mother and child) were born.

mother and child (blue eyes)

“The relation to the mother is the most important in every person’s life; more than any other it conditions our early personality development, affecting to a large degree what our outlook on life and ourselves will be.  ” Bruno Bettelheim Through the ages the Madonna and child were depicted as being so serene.  It looks so easy as if the baby Jesus doesn’t suffer from nappy rash or teething problems.  Through these Madonnas I try to understand, at an elemental level, the meaning of motherhood and childhood. Could motherhood be so easy?  Even in fairy tales they all live happily ever after.

lord of the lies

This brings me to the altered books series….   We all are attached to knowledge (the written and spoken word) at some stage.  Stories, myths, legends, fairy tales feeds the soul; in fairytales the internal processes are translated into visual images.  I decided to alter these children books to feed my creativity.

Inheritance #2 (mother and child)

We are attached to family.  I don’t know the people in the altered photograph series, but got to know them quite well after working with their images.  Photographs remind me of invisible DNA.

hou op skree mammie

The bundles of joy series came from my attachment to toys/dolls.  I had to cut off all the hair on all my dolls in order to stop playing with them (this was very late in my life).  I still collect doll parts for art sake so I guess I never stopped playing.  Attached to all these doll parts are precious little sentimental things (eg. my mother in laws ballet shoes) animal horns etc, tide up with rope, string and wool to the “doll”. Like a mummy, protecting a secret from the other end of life. Through the process of swaddling or hiding these objects I hope to imply protection, growth and ingestion.

bundle of joy #5

The list series is about the relationship to the self.


The saw blades obviously relates to letting go of attachment.


“My first and last philosophy, that which I believe in with unbroken certainty, I learnt in the nursery” Chesterson from the book Uses of enchantment by Bruno Bettelheim.

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