remember to breathe

Art portfolio- my work
"Remember to breathe" 2014 (74 x 51cm) Embroidery on rubber/inner tube

“Remember to breathe” 2014 (74 x 51cm) Embroidery on rubber/inner tube

There are 13 pieces in different stages of progress hanging, lying and standing in my studio at the moment.

13! It’s a good number, but it gets a bit frustrating since it feels like nothing’s close to completion….or it takes forever to finish a piece.

To take breaks in-between stitching I started a Facebook page.  Are you nuts you might ask, and rightly so since I do feel that all this social networking takes away valuable stitching time….and it does to a certain extent.

So why would one start a Facebook page since you are already on Twitter, Instagram , a Wix website and a blog.

Well that just it…I feel a bit all over the place.  I lost my Wix website password…as well as the Saatchi website password.  The Wix site feels a bit hard to maintain….would a Facebook page feel less so? I don’t know yet.  I’ll carry on with this blog for thoughts, feelings, and some sort of diary I guess, as well as sharing what’s up exhibition wise….Instagram I’ll use for uploading photos.  Twitter I use for quotes or random things I like to share.  The Facebook page I started to see where I’ve been art related and where I am going.  It helped putting things into perspective or so it feels.  Maybe it’s an illusion.  Time will tell…

Here is link to it:

Like it or don’t like it – or even spread the word…it’s up to you, but please know that it’s still a work in progress… while I figure out what’s the point of all this.

You are welcome to share your thoughts while I remember to breathe. x

Before Rubber Ever After

Art portfolio- my work

Talking about collecting (see previous post) made me think about collectors.  I feel blessed, fortunate and delighted to still have contact with a collector whom I met at my first ever gallery show in 2003.  He made this beautiful gesture to write a letter on facebook after the “Rubber ever after show at the KKNK:

What Came Before “Rubber Ever After” : Who is Hannalie Tauté?

photo by Stephan Erasmus

photo by Stephan Erasmus

For the past year I have been writing principally about Estonian artists with a nod here and there elsewhere. I was not even in Estonia for half of the past 12 months but again and again my interest was piqued by what I have experienced here in museums and galleries. I have also been been buying Estonian art over the past few years.

I had previously collected contemporary South African art, all of which remains in my abandoned South African home in the Klein Karoo region of South Africa. I was not shy about talking about art; I just didn’t write about art and artists, except in passing.

The one South African artist that I would have written about was Hannalie Tauté.

I was fortunate to be at her very first commercial group showing, (“Siembamba the toys are us” “, Knysna Fine Art 2003) and at its opening I promptly bought up a wall of Polaroid artefacts that the then 26 year old had created, each one bearing a homily to the role of little girls. We’ve been friends ever since!

I have continued to add works by her. Some quite large scale, others in between such as a group of fragile plaster dolls, almost voodoo in nature that I eagerly hung from a prominent beam in my house to ward off would be housebreakers. I was also able to attend her first major solo show at the prestigious KKNK festival in Oudtshoorn, South Africa in 2008.

"Skip the pattern"

“Skip the pattern”

Hannalie may look positively metropolitan but she has always led a very normal, down to earth existence as a boerevrou, though without the farm. Her drop dead gorgeous husband, Hendrik Carsten is a diesel mechanic, having to travel over the western Cape to earn sustenance for his growing family. He and Hannalie are the parents of 2 young boys and Hannalie feels strongly that mothers should stay at home for a child’s first 5 years, until they start school.

Yet Hannalie has never shied away from addressing feminist issues in her art. And it is her very good fortune to have found a partner who respects her art and herself as a person, not common traits in provincial South African society.

As a person I find Hannalie quintessentially South African, fiercely proud of her heritage. Resolute. As an artist, she has remarkably always been of the world, even though she has been confined to a very small geographical area, even within a South African context, with infrequent forays to Cape Town and Johannesburg. If she were not so pleasant a person, I might describe her as a bête noire. Her art provokes effortlessly.

I have thus followed her peripatetic moves in the western Cape, much I have myself moved during the early years of this century. She has lived in the communities of Prince Albert, George, Oudtshoorn and now Still Baai, all due to financial necessity, never achieving a financial breakthrough with her art despite consistently picking up admirers along the way.

Until now.

Her 3rd show under the KKNK auspices, 2008, 2011 and now this year in 2014, “Rubber Ever After” was a bona fide hit with Hannalie all but selling out her show and receiving a nomination for and still in the running for the preeminent Kanna visual art prize. The following digital calling card from 2013 gives a more rounded approach of Hannalie’s recent exhibited work.

It is not surprising to see Hannalie making a virtue out of necessity using recycled rubber from inner tubes as a backdrop for her mixed media works. She probably has quasi secret sources for the yarn she uses for her telling embroidery.

The next, long overdue, step for Hannalie Tauté is to receive international recognition. She’s been ready for a good 10 years.

Written by Robert von Anzen 2014

Wow! Thank you Robert!

Days of my life….

Studio news/blog

I recently took part in a project called Mother’s days.  And as from yesterday my ‘day’ is up on Lenka Clayton’s page called Residency in Motherhood. 


You can read more about it here…..

It felt so strange to document every activity and keep track of all the minutes and how one spends it.

It also felt strange reading it again, I enjoyed documenting my day, but I can’t see myself doing that every day…..very exhausting.

A week or so ago I finished my ‘Woman, Wedlock and the World’ erasure project

where I post an erased page a day on twitter…..i got so addicted that I want to start a new one, so I decided to use the remains of the book: “What young wives ought to know”.  So as from tomorrow I will post an erased page – erased advice to young wives.  I don’t have the front part of the book anymore so have no idea when it was published, but from the words I gather it wasn’t recently:

erasure youngh woman

I don’t know where this is headed, but I am having fun.

I like to keep myself busy with little odd things to entertain myself ‘just for fun’. (I am a firm believer of fun-does fun add meaning to ones life or does it make the days shorter or more interesting?)  I started posting on Fridays a photo of myself where I painted my face with face paint I received as a present from a friend.  I call the album “face painting Fridays on facebook. It is challenging painting with facepaint – a strange medium, but I think that professional facepaint are probably more easily applicable.

gestreepte self

The other days in my life is spend on finishing work for 2 deadlines coming up early March and a project for the KKNK at the end of March (I will tell you more about that later)

I started working as awaitress (again-can you believe it!- I must have my head examined) 3 nights a week just to see if I can clear my credit card debt faster to get ahead financially.  I decided on waitressing because the hours are flexible.  The other days are filled with playtime with the kids and working on art…….

These are my current days of my life in a nutshell…..

I am secretly curious about what other peoples days look like………

One man’s treasure is another man’s junk

Art portfolio- my work

I forgot to tell you this story.  It happened late last year.  An artist friend informed me that she saw one of my sculptures at a junk shop in the small town where she resides.  The owners had no idea who made it, so they called it:  Hannalie, since there was a name badge of a hotel attached to it bearing the name.  ( I used to be a receptionist at a hotel)  The works actual title is:  Unbearable heaviness of being.

unbearable heaviness of being

It was part of an exhibition called ‘HumanEarth’ at Potchefstroom.  The curator lives in Cape Town, and after the exhibition she asked the participants to collect their work.  I informed her that I didn’t have the means to do so and told her that she must do what she must do with it.  So somehow it ended up along other ‘junk’ but luckily the owner of the junkshop really liked it and so now she are proudly displayed in their shop.  A short while after I heard the story from my friend the owner contacted me via facebook and told me she(the sculpture) has found a loving home.

It truly amazes me the way pieces have their own life after they leave the studio.  I am happy it worked out for ‘unbearable heaviness of being and I hope the other two works =’gebind’ and ‘toe hy alles sien’… (See humanEarth post.)

Has found a loving home as well.