The annual KKNK (Klein Karoo National Arts Festival) came to an end yesterday. I was fortunate to be included in a group exhibition during this years festival.
The exhibition was called: “Huisgenoot, Hargenoot, Kultuurgenoot – 100 jaar” curated by Sandra Hanekom. With this exhibition the “Huisgenoot” was celebrated for bringing stories to South Africans for the past 100 years and artists were invited to re-interpret the art of South African Masters that used to feature in the Huisgenoot in the past.
I was given the artist Maggie Laubser to revisit. I chose this iconic Self-portrait by her:
Self-Portrait by Maggie Laubser 1928
Met Rubber en gare herbesoek Hannalie Taute die ou Suid-Afrikaanse meester, Maggie Laubser se werk. Sy put inspirasie uit Maggie Laubser se selfportret van 1928. Nou, 88 jaar later probeer Taute om haar eie self-portret te borduur met kleur gare wat min of meer ooreenstem met die kleure wat Maggie Laubser in haar eie skildery gebruik het. Hiermee probeer sy nie net om die meester na te boots nie, maar ook om haarself te vervorm tot die eksotiese blik van die ‘ander’- om na haarself te kyk deur die oë van Maggie Laubser, en om ŉ “gevoel” te kry oor hoe die meester haarself met kleur gesien het en te vra….”wat het ek en Maggie in gemeen?”
work in progress
So the biggest challenge was to try and re-create my Self-portrait with the same colours that Maggie used in hers, but instead of oils, I used thread. Sitting in the same position. Wondering what do we really have in common? I did realise that it is much harder to try and “be” someone else than I thought.
Self-portrait after Maggie Laubser 2016 (cotton thread and rubber)
The first day of February…my oh my time flies! I think it’s a good day to tell you about what is happening in the studio so far….
First up is the Cape Town Art Fair. This event will take place from 19 to 21 February 2016. Here is a sneak peek of my work that will be exhibited at the Erdmann Contemporary Gallery Booth during the fair.
After that I will head off to Stellenbosch for the US Woordfees from the 4th to the 13th of March 2016. I am presenting a solo exhibition called “Stink Afrikaners”. Hope to see you there!
Later in March I will take part in a group exhibition at the KKNK (Klein Karoo National Arts festival) from the 24 – 30 March in Oudtshoorn. This group exhibition (curated by Sandra Hanekom) celebrates the 100th year of the Huisgenoot. (I’ve inserted a link for those of you that don’t know the Huisgenoot!) For this exhibition each participating artist was asked to revisit an old South African Master. Mine to consider is Maggie Laubser. I have chosen to reinterpret this iconic Self-Portrait by Maggie Laubser :
I’ll show you what I’ve done a bit closer to the time.
Currently I am working towards another solo much later in the year – scheduled for September in Pretoria…but more details in my next update….
I hope you have a wonderful month ahead…and since it is almost Valentine’s Day, I thought I’ll send you some flowers:
As promised…here’s more info about this fantastic group show curated by Adele Adendorff. Feeling very excited, blessed and thankful that my work is included in this show amongst wonderful fellow female South African artists.
The Princess in the Veld showcases a selection of sculpture works produced by local, contemporary female artists and contemplates the position of women in our current South African dispensation and forms part of the 2015 KKNK arts festival in Oudtshoorn. The exhibition hosts works by Frances Goodman, Doreen Southwood, Reshma Chhiba, Wilma Cruise, Karin Lijnes, Hannalie Taute and Larita Engelbrecht. Despite South Africa’s democratically premised constitution and the passing of numerous revised bills advocating the rights of women, female emancipation remains unrealised: Highlighted by high crime statistics of rape and domestic violence and prejudice against women in the workplace and society at large. Although a far more proactive approach is needed in order to enact real change for women in South Africa, this exhibition aspires to raise awareness of, and stimulate discussion around, the plight of women.
The ‘princess’, as part of the title, is employed as a thoroughly fabled, and somehow condescending, designation for women and underscores the relation between female identity and (gendered) space. The South African social landscape, still dominated by parochial views of women, is viewed as a space riddled with fallacies regarding femininity – a condition that merely serves to perpetuate the oppression of women. As an illustration of these literal and metaphoric spaces evident in society, fairy tales (narratives based on idealised and stereotypical notions of women) are utilised within the context of The princess in the veld as a curatorial slant to mirror these defunct views and abusive practices towards South African women. Fairy tales generally position female protagonists as extensions of particular (gendered) spaces within the narrative – private spaces, the domestic realm and nature) – spaces that are often shaped by (and upheld by) traditional roles assigned to women.
Despite the signs of prejudice scripted within the pages of these tales, alternative readings could, adversely, offer opportunity for transformation: The conventional fairy tale plot leads the heroine (usually spurred on by curiosity or emotion) into unfamiliar (and often forbidden) territory – a space generally designated by the forest, or in the case of indigenous tales, the veld. The word ‘veld’, as part of the title of the exhibition, suggests uncultivated, leveled grasslands associated with the South African landscape, in particular, the Karoo. The curated space therefore acts as a metaphor for the veld, wherein positive accounts of heterogeneous and transformative female identity could be shaped, illuminated by the selection of artworks, expressive of an empowered sense of femininity. As part of a kind of ‘corrective’ curatorial approach and the desire to reconceptualise female identity, the veld is conceived of as a space that engenders freedom from the constraints persistent in society, and serves to revise perceptions regarding female identity. The fairy tale is then employed as a curatorial mechanism that, on the one hand, emphasises the pervasiveness of conventional and essentialised notions of femininity and, on the other, promotes the emancipation of women that exist within the interstices these binaries yield. The bodies of work of the artists selected for this ensemble allude to the underlying notions prevalent in fairy tales of European and African origin in order to align with the premise of the show. words by Adele Adendorff as well as images below.
What is essential is invisible to the eye(s) 2015 thread, rubber, batting and wood
The title of this work was inspired by a quote from the book: The little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery).
This is currently part of another group exhibition- also at the KKNK (Klein Karoo National Arts Festival) in Oudtshoorn. It’s called: “Kunstenaar as Outeur/Artist as Author) curated by Corlie de Kock. Only running until the 11th of April 2015.
What is this exhibition about? The curator wrote the following: (…apologies- it is only in Afrikaans 😉
Die kunstenaar as outeur: ‘n Essensialistiese beskouing van kontemporêre Suid-Afrikaanse kuns
Die uitstalling fokus op die verpersoonliking van kuns en die essensiële eienskappe van die skeppende kunstenaar wat
in kunswerke uitgebeeld word. Kunstenaars het deur alle eeue heen selfportrette geskep omdat hulle in die visuele
kuns ‘n manier gevind het om die self te definiëer. Dit het neergekom op sowel ‘n soeke na as ‘n uitdrukking van
identiteit. Vir hierdie uitstalling word kunswerke gekies na aanleiding van die aard van die essensies wat die kunstenaar
in die kunswerk ondersoek: geslag, identiteit, ‘n bepaalde gesture, voorwerpe van persoonlike betekenis, die self as