Family Meeting solo exhibition presented by MContemporary gallery, Sydney Australia from 21 July – 6 August 2022
Just before the year was over a great joy was announced; there would be a family meeting, a joyous reunion! When the time came for this anticipated gathering the woods were abuzz as the nice friendly giant proudly walked into the forest greeted merrily by the good fairies and ecstatic family pet. The forest Faye entertained their kin by playing with fire as they trapezed through the night sky; so many came and told them that the guests enjoyed watching you. Sadly, the nuclear family was alienated after their controversial rendition of ‘what’s love got to do with it?’. Thank you for coming said the wicked giants as the evening drawn to a close and the overwhelming sense of ‘you can’t choose your family’ was left hanging in the air. Walking out of the woods the artificial family just chuckled to themselves remembering that it’s all relative. The end.
Many of the original photographs that make up this body of work are found, sourced or donated by family and friends.
While many of the photographs were captured here, the scenarios in these rescued and reused images recreate a time and place seemingly devoid of a greater local South African context of that time – idyllic settings and or photo studios. My adding masks from different cultures is perhaps a re-stitching of a historical narrative where these different cultures ‘meet’ each other in a new time and space/continent.
With that said in mid-2021 when I started working towards this exhibition I noticed a hashtag on Twitter that caused much mayhem at the time (#familymeeting)
My own experience and expression as a family member is constantly a work in progress. Working on this body of work, got me thinking about what the word ‘Family’ really means. I also feel that a body of work focussing on the notion of Family is quite relevant due to the fact that a lot of people from all over the world could not get to see their families in real life during 2020 and 2021.
So I started re-creating my own imaginary ‘family meeting’, removing the faces and historical identities from these vintage photographs and replacing them with a variety of cultural masks and colourful embroidered flowers, a new fantasy emerges. A world clinging to the need to believe in the magic of innocent aspiration.
- My art photographed by Kleinjan Groenewald, except for the installation images courtesy of the gallery
- You can visit the online cataloge here: