Freakin Flammable/Flippen Vlambaar @ PArt 2014

Art portfolio- my work, Studio news/blog

Tomorrow is the last day of this year’s Prince Albert Art Festival.  As you all know by now: I am participating in the awesome group show: Flippen Vlambaar/ Freakin’ Flammable curated by Alex Hamilton.

As promised here are some photos:

Installation view with works by myself, Elizabeth Balcomb and Christiaan Diedericks. (photo courtesy of Alex Hamilton)

Installation view with works by myself, Elizabeth Balcomb and Christiaan Diedericks. (photo courtesy of Alex Hamilton)

My husband and I decided to drive through to Prince Albert for the weekend and arrived in Prince Albert late Friday afternoon.  I decided to dress up as some sort of Princess.  On my hand was written: “Have you seen my Prince Albert?”

Here I am with FalkoOne also known as FalkoStarr the talented street/graffiti artist in front of his work:

with FalcoOne in front of his work

with FalcoOne in front of his work

On Saturday I wore my custom made/ Maleficent inspired headdress and rubber chain around my neck:

photo credit:  Alex Hamilton

photo credit: Alex Hamilton

Staring contest? from one ‘queen’ to another….

In front of the work by Conrad Botes: Zombie Babylon 10. (photo: Alex Hamilton)

In front of the work by Conrad Botes: Zombie Babylon 10. (photo: Alex Hamilton)


With another work by Conrad Botes

With another work by Conrad Botes photo: Alex Hamilton

guilty as charged?………….

With work by Brett Murray

With work by Brett Murray photo Alex Hamilton

During the day we walked around town. I was chained to my husband.  Later the cops pulled over when they saw us in the main road and asked if everything was okay? Someone in town phoned them and said there are a man walking with a woman on a chain and wanted them to check if all was well.  Just before that some locals tried to perform some sort of ‘exorcism’ on us.  Never a dull moment in a small Karoo Town.

With my husband

With my husband photo Alex Hamilton

I found it appropriate to be chained to my husband for the day, since it was our 12th wedding anniversary as well.  Chained because he tamed me, and by tamed I mean like the way Antoine de Saint-Exupery explains it in his book: The Little Prince.

That evening we had the privilege to see a show: ‘Agter Glas” by Elzabe Zietsman.  I am at a loss for words.  If you ever have the chance to see her in action – do it!

With Elzabe Zietsman and Hendrik Carsten

With Elzabe Zietsman and Hendrik Carsten

Besides all the excitement and fun in the Karoo, I also experienced some sad moments like this one:

with some local children in the Karoo

with some local children in the Karoo

We went for an Instawalk (learning about Instagram) and I met some local children in the North-End suburb.  At first they were terrified of me, but after I convinced them that I wont hurt them, we started talking.  I asked them if they enjoy going to school.  They said no, because the bigger children hurt them and take their money.  This type of thing makes one feel helpless and sad.  This little town also has a huge problem with “fetal alcohol syndrome” which is upsetting.

With all the ups and downs experienced, I still don’t know how to say this without sounding way too sentimental:  it was truly a weekend to remember!

My artist statement for this exhibition:

With these works I attempt to work through my own burning issues I have about motherhood.  With the work:  “Burn baby burn- No recipe I wonder if I should let my children experiment etc.  Even if it means that they might get burned by their experiences.  When should I interfere, when should I protect?  There is to my mind no recipe for raising children.

“Venus devouring her children” was obviously inspired by Goya’s Saturn devouring his children.  In Afrikaans we have a saying:  “Ek gaan hom sommer opvreet – meaning something like I want to devour him with love.  I somethimes wonder if smothering ones children can have the same effect as devouring them?

With “Sacrifice” I wonder how much of yourself should you give when becoming a mother.

Wile working on “Tamed” I thought a lot about the book:  The little prince”:

“Come and play with me, ” suggested the little prince.  “I am so terribly sad….” 

“I cannot play with you’ said the fox.  “I am not tame”.

“What does tame mean?”

“It is something that is too often forgotten”, said the fox.  “It means to establish ties…”

but before I quote the whole chapter where tamed are being written about- I will end off with this:

“The little prince went off to look at the roses again.  “None of you is at all like my rose.  As yet you are nothing,” He said to them. “Nobody has tamed you and you have tamed no one.  You are like my fox when I first encountered him.  He was just a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes.  But I made him my friend and now he is unique in the world….”



PArt- part 4

Studio news/blog

Sunday was a very intense day.  I had a very personal conversation with a dear lady visitor, and I think our paths will cross again in the near future.

We went to see some video work by William Kentridge: (Drawing lessons- episode 1, Lessons in Lethargy and Drawing lesson 37.)  These moved me to tears.

Some wishes do come true and I was very fortunate to meet the man himself :

I received this wonderful gift form Mrs du Bois:

And by 5pm we departed back home via the Meiringspoort pass….

Safely back at home I received a lovely message from a dear friend with the following quote to end off a great weekend:

“If it is right, it happens — The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.”

John Steinbeck


PArt- Part3

Studio news/blog

On Saturday I started to feel a bit emotionally unstable.  My mother in law phoned and said that Friday was a very bad day health wise for our little one.  You see I made the huge mistake of taking him for his booster measles vaccination on Tuesday.  Never before did he show any reaction to vaccinations and they told me that if he does show any signs of fever etc, that it will normally pass by the third day.  Not this time.  (Note to self- never vaccinate before we plan to go away on a ‘romantic/business’ weekend again!)

People starting to ask if there have been any sales yet- it seems that success is measured with the amount of sales, never mind the experience and knowledge one gains along the way.

Some one wrote in my visitors book: ‘Jammer!! Dit wys jou verhouding met jou ma was verkeerd” (loosely translated: Sorry, it shows that your relationship with your mom was wrong” ) What this anonymous person didn’t know is that she perhaps saw deeper into the work than most. – I didn’t have a relationship with my mom since she died in a car crash when I was 18 (during the height of my rebellious phase).  But the work was not really about ‘us’.

I had a conversation with very interesting individuals today who told me that my ‘Toys’ reminds them of the work of Gerhard Quenum.  I told them I will have to look him up and oh boy! I am glad I did!  I feel like I have known this person in a previous life.

Gerhard Quenum

Gerhard Quenum

Gerhard Quenum


Later the evening we went to a talk by the artist JP Meyer

JP Meyer

“Preserved sharks and unmade beds” was the title of the talk.  Very entertaining and insightful.  For the firs time I heard about the wonderful sculptor  Jason Taylor.

Jason Taylor

La Evolución Silenciosa is the largest underwater collection of art. It was installed in November 2010 and consists of 403 life-size cement people standing side by side on a barren patch of sand. Taylors designs encompass both contemporary and Mayan historical narratives forming the building blocks which develop into a complex artificial reef for aquatic life to inhabit.[33] While the appearance of the collection underwater is of a crowd of people, from a distance it take the shape of an eye.[1] The collection occupies over 420 square meters of barren ocean floor and the location is hoped to redirect visitors away from nearby natural reefs providing them with the opportunity to regenerate.[30]

In an interview with USA today, Taylor comments on the progression of his work alongside nature, “The coral applies the paint. The fish supply the atmosphere. The water provides the mood. People ask me when it’s going to be finished. This is just the beginning”.[6] The Museum has recently been voted by Forbes corporation as one of the world’s most unique places to visit.[34]

From Wikipedia

Afterwards we had dinner at the Gallery Restaurant.  I ate a spinach and tomato Canneloni and Hendrik had some Warthog for the first time in his life.  This is all that remained:

PArt- Part 2

Studio news/blog

On Friday the town was still relatively quiet so we decided to pay a visit to my two favorite places in town:  The post office (where I bought a stamp) and the Library (which I think is one of my top 3 libraries- they still use the old-school card process, but they are super efficient with it and always friendly- it was the first Library my son joined.)

We also tried to see all the other exhibitions.  The landscape was the predominant feature. Visit for more info on all the exhibitions.

All the trees in the main road were dressed in black cloth in protest against fracking in the Karoo

“South Africa cannot afford to gamble with your water supply, food security, the health of your family, and the heritage of your children in pursuit of a short-term gain for foreign oil companies and our government.

We need proof that shale gas is the best option and a legacy that we will be proud to leave to our children.” From this site : Visit it or their facebook page for more information about fracking, as well as

At 5 pm it was the official opening of the festival at the Main Gallery

There we met the some interesting people from Baardskeerdersbos.  It sounds like a fascinating place to live and work from, and it was great to hear about it first hand form to residents, but thanks to that I also came to know more about this interesting blog.

Two of the artists on the festival is from that area:

Niel Jonker

Niel Jonker: Onder Swartberg mis

And Joshua Miles

Joshua Miles

Earlier In the day I bought 3 books:

Gertrude and The glass bead game by Hermann Hesse, (previously I have only read Sidderharta and Steppenwolf by this author, so I am super excited by this find).  I also bought the Tao Te Ching.  All for under R30!

To be continued

PAart (Prince Albert Art Festival)- part1

Studio news/blog

I realized that I cannot possibly write about this event in one post, so I decided to break it down into parts…

so here goes….

Thursday the 27th we departed to the small iconic town of Prince Albert to hang our exhibition “A New Chapter”, as part of their first art festival to be held over the weekend entitled ‘A vulnerable landscape”.

Upon our arrival we made our way to the venue, True Karoo, which would be ‘home’ to our exhibition during the festival.  It is owned by Trudy Brain, who is an artist who paints landscapes and makes angels from driftwood and other discarded materials.

It was the perfect venue for us since the room was just big enough for all our work and small enough to create a sense of intimacy.  When you enter the venue the smell of jasmine is everywhere, which reminded me of our wedding since I had jasmine in my bouquet.

In about an hour and a half all the work was patiently installed by my dear husband

Afterwards we made our way to the home of Henriette (better known as the dog and cat lady, since she provides a loving home for 9 dogs and 38 stray and unwanted cats).  She opened her heart and home and was our host for the weekend.  So if ever you have a surplus of dog or cat food you can always send some to Prince Albert and know that it will be put to good use.

After we settled we headed over to the Prince Albert Gallery to meet with the brain behind the festival as well as Gallery and Restaurant owner Brent Phillips-White. We talked about fracking, wind-farms, solar towns and midnight tennis.

I also had the privilege to meet the landscape artist Strydom van der Merwe , who was also exhibiting at the festival.

Strijdom van der Merwe

(I wish that I have taken photos of  all the  art during this weekend-  maybe a good thing  that I didn’t, since now I stumble upon other sites and info about these artists while looking for photos of their work to show you.- I will try and credit these sites as far as possible)

During the conversation with Strijdom the following site was mentioned:

For all of you interested in land art, it’s worth a visit.

What a great start to a lovely weekend.

Stay tuned for part two following shortly.