meet the artist – fairy tales

Art portfolio- my work, Studio news/blog

I love fairy tales and fables.  I am inspired by them.  I once read somewhere that fairy tales and horror prepares one to deal with potential death.

I guess working with fairy tale themes and subverting it makes me able to cope with reality.  It was very heartbreaking when Greta Thunburg said in one of her speeches that ” This is not the time for fairy tales.”

I also stitch a lot of hybrid figures.

In the book: “The uses of enchantment” Bruno Bettleheim stated that in fairy tales and dreams any physical malformation often stand for psychological misdevelopment.  It is said that in these tales when the upper part of the body is animal and the lower part human, this indicates symbolically that things are wrong in the head/mind.

Which indicates something monstrous.  I am fascinated by monsters!

What is your favorite fairy-tale?

meet the artist part 7 – working with rubber

Art portfolio- my work, Studio news/blog

Artist photographed by KleinJan Groenewald 2020

Rubber is a very tactile substance and I love the skin-like quality of it, which can be highly fetishized.

It also distances my work from the perceived softness or delicacy of ‘women’s work’ to become the opposite – hard labor.

Working with rubber is like fusing two seemingly irreconcilable material forms together along with their associated symbolic values.

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Thank you for reading my ‘meet the artist’ posts during this month, reaching the half way mark today. I wish you a lovely Valentines day. xxx

 

 

meet the artist part 6 – Words and titles

Art portfolio- my work, Studio news/blog

Words and titles are important to me.  A title is an entrance into what the work is about, as well as having the potential for humor and mischief.

Hoogste bome vang die meeste wind , (Somer) 570 x 370 mm vintage photo, cotton thread, rubber 2019 Hannalie Taute

Afrikaans is the language I feel most comfortable with, since it is my mother’s tongue, and one that allows me the freedom to break the rules and play with it.  Afrikaans can be very serious, but also playful.  I do my thinking in Afrikaans so it is inevitable that it will show up in the titles of my work.   It is actually a pity that it sometimes get lost in translation.

Hoogste bome vang die meeste wind herfs 570 x 370 mm vintage photo, cotton therad, rubber 2019 Hannalie Taute

Random note: Other languages I wish I could speak: Spanish, Italian, Xhosa and Sign language.

Anyway I will leave you with a song that stuck in my head for weeks…..

 

 

meet the artist part 5 – performance

Art portfolio- my work, Studio news/blog

For as long as I can remember I liked to ‘dress-up’.  As a little girl I liked to wear my mother’s high heels, long dresses and wrap cloth around my head and imagine it is long hair (for I had short hair most of my life).  Even to this day I like to wear a variety of wigs – even during normal day time- if weather permits.

The first time I dressed-up for an exhibition was in 2013 for my show called Rubber ever After.  I needed to generate attention during the art festival and I did that by dressing up as an invented character for my make-belief world/kingdom.

I think we all dress, to a certain extent, in the way we want to be attended to.  I want to be surrounded by the emotions associated with the clothes/face paint/ wigs i’m wearing.  In a sense it is the physical manifestation, an outward worn symbol of what is happening within.  to me it is also a serious for of play.  wearing rubber can be quite kinky too 😉

random note: If I could have one superpower it would probably be to convince people, like the  “Poison Ivy” character in the series Gotham. If you could choose a superpower, what will it be?

 

meet the artist part 4 – feelings and flowers

Art portfolio- my work, Studio news/blog

Dear friends the other day I was sitting at my son’s cricket practice at school, stitching a couple of leaves and another mom asked me what I am doing. I tried to explain my work to her and had a hard time doing so.  Even when I know exactly what I should have said, I struggled to make her understand without showing any images.

So to practice I decided to write about it here. This is part 4 of 13….

I love contradictions.  Dichotomies fascinate me for eg:  Art/Craft, Success/Failure, good/bad, pure/sullied, masculine/feminine, self/other, nature/culture, life/death, human/divine, sacred/profane … and the list goes on…

I have a lot of conflicted feelings about the world we live in and sometimes those feelings extend to my work.

These days I mainly stitch flowers. A couple of years ago if you told me that I would stitch flowers, I would have said: No way Jose!

Hannalie Taute studio wall photographed by Kleinjan Groenewald 2020

If I think back now, I guess it started with marigolds for my Stink Afrikaner exhibition in 2016.

I am fascinated by the idea that flowers can be seen as a language of sorts. (see floragraphy) and that it can be used as a symbol for emotions or a code.  Inspired by codes, I learned about the Voynich Manuscript which in turn inspired me to embroider real as well as imaginary flowers.  The Victorians used flowers to send ‘secret’ messages.

I find joy in the process of stitching a variety of blooms on small pieces of rubber and then later arrange them in bouquet-like pieces.  Almost like building a puzzle.  And then of course there are the contradiction of stitching flowers onto rubber, which i like.  It is also an ode to my mother, to a time when she was a florist, but at that stage I didn’t pay attention to her creations, partly because i was too young i guess.

What is your favorite flower?