With the run up to an “Eucatastrophe”

Studio news/blog

Dear Family Friends and Patrons,

I have the pleasure to announce that the date for my upcoming solo at Deepest Darkest gallery is set for: 17 April 2021

And the title is: Eucatastrophe!

/ˌjuːkəˈtastrəfi/

NOUN

rare

A sudden and favourable resolution of events in a story; a happy ending.

‘Tolkien called the gospel account the ‘eucatastrophe’, the happiest of all tragedies, because it satisfies the human heart’s deepest yearnings, including the desire for an epic mythology.’

We will send out proper invitations and the catalogue closer to the time. Fingers crossed that we can open to celebrate.

Studio view with ‘kinders by dosyne’

I received some sad news earlier this month.

A dear friend, patron of the arts and one of the first people that collected my work back in 2002 Klaus Stadtmuller has passed away on the 9th of March 2021.

Below is the piece titled “Maria”, which Klaus and Edith acquired for their collection back in 2002. Maria has since then traveled the world with them.

Over the years I have kept contact with Klaus and his partner Edith. They attended my exhibitions whenever they could and it was always a delight to receive word from them, either via email or snail mail for example this letter I received back in 2005 which shows his love interest in the arts from Wopko Jensma to Kurt Schwitters.

In December 2020 I received an email from Klaus after I send him a birthday collage.

He wrote: For some days now I have been working on a little text – yes, about you, a text that I just finished yesterday wanting to send it to you these days. Now the text that, I promise, has not undergone any alterations whatsoever appears to come in return for your generous gift – which it was not meant to be at the outset. In any case, it is now enclosed here for your disposal, also if you want to make use of it for whatever purpose you chose. And feel free to correct any faults that you might find.

Here is the text that Klaus wrote:

Hannalie, Maria &

In old images a decent young lady sits embroidering what might be one of the eye candies to be taken into her imminent marriage. “Yes, I did it myself,” she would tell her admiring lady friends blushing, “yes, it took many hours and quite a few bleeding fingertips, I can assure you.” Nothing substantially has changed since then, you might claim, pointing your finger at Hannalie Taute, who is hell-bent on stitching. But then Hannalie is far from being decent and the embodiment of a primly and modest young lady of times gone by. And, really, she has got a pretty good excuse: she is an artist.  That, probably, is the reason why her embroidery is not – as one would expect – on fabric or a similar soft material, but on rubber, yes, that black resistant stuff that normally in an inflated state provides inner automobile tires with high strength and elasticity. A delicate person perforating with a targeted artistic approach a thousand times that ductile, tough material? Quite right.

All of a sudden with incredulous amazement you will realise that there must be a considerable hidden strength with this tender artist. And if that were not enough, against the deceiving appearance this goes along with an underlying hint of horror that you only detect on second sight. Indeed, one wonders where in all of this apparently innocent colourful flowerage such a vicious shrewishness might have its origin. This should be for the artist herself to answer, in actual fact. However, to spot her is not very easy as she regularly hides behind different disguises, none of them corresponding to our conception of a decent young lady with a virtuously lowered gaze.  A red-haired vamp, ready to engulf you? A lascivious biker´s chick, a clownish monster, a stern gaping Cinderella or a dangerously overdressed grande dame? A personality as remarkably extravagant as her artistic production. All bets are off, the less anticipated the better. She is constantly reinventing herself and her human repertoire. Humans to the fore – though completely different from all those well-intentioned Sunday painters. With Hannalie, the true everyday artist, the look of the ancestors in the gallery has changed considerably, not to their advantage, but to an alienation that makes them cognizable. Compared to hers the task of Francis Bacon or, in South Africa, Robert Hodgins, Lunga Ntila and Neo Matloga to distort faces to the point of recognizability seems easier, as those artists can effectuate the change with a stroke of a brush or pen respectively by a few cuts with a pair of scissors. Not so if you laboriously try to thread variegated yarns through a refractory piece of rubber.  That is exactly what Hannalie Taute does, not in order to build up muscles or to set some sort of a record, but to create remarkable unique pieces of art as her trade mark, literally sticking out of every conventional frame.

We came to know each other many years ago when Hannalie was the invited guest artist at the Klein Karoo Kunstefees. Since then “Maria” has been accompanying us on our travels through different continents. “Maria” is a lady statue app. one meter tall with a long skirt of small greenish perforated metal sheets, a naked plaster-white torso and a bird´s skull as head, a slender and delicate figure that always reminds us of our long standing friendship with the artist. Later on we have seen other pieces of art by Hannalie in a Cape Town gallery, small distorted doll-like figurines attached to the walls. That must have been the next-to-last stage of her unusual art production before she delved into rubber and embroidery from 2012 onward. “Rubber ever after”, citing a title of one of her many shows not only in South Africa (i.e. Knysna, Cape Town, Johannesburg among others) but also in Hobart/Tasmania, recently in Sydney/Australia and earlier at the Museum Rijkswijk in the Netherlands where she represented South Africa in the Textile Biennale.

Other than many of her artist colleagues this petite lady originating from Fochville/Gauteng with a Higher Diploma in Fine Art from the former Port Elizabeth Technikon is also a reader and someone who knows perfectly well to handle and play with words, which is best illustrated by the titles of her exhibitions: “Come Hell or High Water”, “Implanted memories”, “Forward. Forward? Forward”, “Comfortably Numb” or “eat your words” are some of them showing both the intellectual background and a good portion of “Black Humor”, which, by the way, is another title of one of her shows. And yes, her artwork truly appears to be a singular, startling and accomplished cocktail of subtlety and rubber reality, a transition between fairy tale and irony, a mixtum compositum of both philistine Victorian and at the same time a scornful laughter about it, a female fist through the medium of a tambour frame. Thus, really, Hannalie Taute, this up-and-coming artist, after all has nothing in common with the idyllic image of an embroidering bride-to-be. Other than the latter, however, Hannalie tempts us to make up our own stories by means of her wonderfully strange inventions.

Klaus Stadtmuller

What is very interesting to me is that at the time he did not know of this series featuring brides I’ve been working on. How strange the workings of the universe!

I dedicate this “EUCATASTROPHE’ to Klaus Stadtmuller. Rest in peace Klaus!

p.s “The goal isn’t to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” Chuck Palahnuik Quoted from Diary-a novel 

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