2021 Artist entry

Shamin Chibba

In his masterpiece, “In Praise of Shadows”, essayist Junichiro Tanizaki writes: “It must have been simple for spectres to appear in a ‘visible darkness’ where always something seemed to be flickering and shimmering.” In South African and Indian folklores, our ancestors reside in visible darkness.
This project was an exercise in formulating symbols. At first, I took the roots as they were. But the more I photographed them, the more I saw my forebears.
My investigation brought up the question, “what do one’s roots mean?” For the diaspora, the answer is akin to ecological edge effects whereby an organism exists between the borders of two habitats. We could mean the neighbourhood, community, city or country of our birth while at the same time referring to an ancestral motherland.
Composed of double exposures of roots photographed in Hogsback and vintage images of my ancestors, the artworks depict the South African and Indian reverence for ancestors and the knowledge we glean from them. Despite the current dominance of Western scientific enquiry as a means of generating knowledge, ancestral worship, memory and family lore still play significant roles in how knowledge is acquired in Africa and India. Each piece is named after chapter titles of the Hindu death rite “Garuda Purana”, recognising that bodily departure is not final but a continuance of life.

Paigen Kotze

My work predominantly comments on the human condition, and those aspects which we choose not to acknowledge. With sub-themes of personal identity and psychology – the work adopts a confrontational nature, emphasizing that which is often hidden. In my process, a great deal of introspection and critical analysis is required. Diving deep down into the core essence of who one is or who one could be opens up the mind to an entirely new way of thinking. This gives one a new perspective on life, and a more critical outlook, making one question the nature of every physical and abstract element of existence and the nature of our humanity as a whole.
My aim is to create intriguing images which are beautifully haunting to confront the viewer with certain truths that they may or may not want to acknowledge.

Deirdre Berkovic

I have many questions about the future of our suburban landscapes. When all is in flux how do we know what to value? How do we understand the complexities of our ecology, our role in the habitats of species or the potential of weeds in the present and future?
Pavements, gardens, wasteland, wetland – habitats for a vast web and variety of life. The flow of energy, the ebb of species, the fragility of balance.
The wilder places are complicated by anxiety unless you pay for the privilege of safety. Public land is sold off for development or fenced for profit and what remains in the commons is polluted, degraded and often dangerous. Wilderness is available only to the privileged, the brave and the marginalised. In our suburban unease we are either walled in or fenced out.
My art is both a meditation and a conduit for anxiety in challenging times.

Thabang Molefe

I explore how change within the self is influenced by the external environment and vice versa. I depict how these changes occur through daily experiences and how the process happens in the emotions, thoughts, instincts and spirituality.

Philanie Jooste

These figurative studies explore fractured childhoods, family violence, mental illness, addiction and premature death through the photo albums of a deceased godmother.

The fleeting, carefree moments of childhood stand in stark contrast to a medium, bitumen, that is fairly permanent and known for its waterproofing and adhesive properties. Although the undercurrents of growing up in a violent family tormented by addiction and mental illness are not visible on the surface, like bitumen, the damage leaves a permanent mark.

Thelma van Rensburg

Beneath the social mask we wear every day, we have a hidden shadow side: an impulsive, wounded, sad, or isolated part that we generally try to ignore (or hide). The Shadow can be a source of emotional richness and vitality, and acknowledging it can be a pathway to healing and an authentic life.
– C. Zweig & S. Wolf

The artworks represents figurative work created from original ink paintings which were layered in multiple layers to create distortion and chaotic line work. The outlines of the figures become distorted and creates a sense of instability and also violence. In addition a single identifiable face was layered onto each figure giving the impression that these are not multiple individuals but rather multiple fragments of the same person. The identity of the subject is confused which expresses the psychological confusion and distress a victim of psychological abuse in childhood suffers.

Charity Vilakazi

These work is inspired by African womanist who fought and withstand or destabilize patriarchal control, manipulation, exclusion and the oppression of woman ,womanist who fought against stereotypes that manifest in gender and power relations.
Just to highlight the work done by the women in Umoja village in Samburu .They found their voices and stood up for themselves at time when women have controlled societal views of what is expected of them.I found comfort in their story because growing up I was told that I can be whatever I want to be ,I had that privilege and it’s because of the family I come from. My grandmothers believed in enforcing values that we as young girls are worth everything as the boys and they made sure to tell us tales that had a women protagonist they would tell us tales, which were handed down by word of mouth through generations and are an essential part of keeping up tradition. These tales both educated and entertained us. It was or is the backbone of keeping us united and having a sense of belonging within the realms of our ancestors.
The tale of “Sikhamba-nyenyanga”
(The girl who defeated the drought)
More frequently women are seen as submissive and subservient and relegated to supporting the parody as the foreboding and evil watch archetype. The narratives often contradict, challenge or satirize androcentric authority both overly and covertly.My work is highlighting African womanist in folktales that illustrate the liberated and disruptive potential of the female power, resilience, wisdom and agency. The extraordinary female characters that populate these stories reinforce feminine power and compellingly appropriate respect justice and equality by turning masculine binaries on their head. Drawing on the resources of chronicles, it illustrates how these narrative frames authenticate female agency and are restored and empowering to the African woman’s psyche, and it also tells the wisdom of folklore, myth, fantasy, and social history, can instigate social change and egalitarian relations whilst celebrating the women of Africa as key protagonists, profound in their power as in their humanity.
This work forms a big part from a film concept I’m working on

Jaco du Plessis

In a world of colour, I dream in lines of black and white.

As an artist, I have always been fascinated with the world in two shades – black and white. This fascination led me to fall in love with printmaking and in particular – linocuts. The medium allows me to play with a high contrast of light and dark to create images that even though they are devoid of colour, are still complex.

My work in theme also plays with this contrast that the two tones create, and lately, there has been a strong focus on duality. Good versus evil, light and dark, but not just as opposites as one might generally think of them, but in the sense that life is made up of different parts of each of these dualities and how they are intricately woven into our lives to make them richer. The intricacies of these dualities translate into my technique as my work is often carved finely with short detailed carves.

White becomes the great balancer in my work as the negative space surrounding the subject matter creates more than just a picture plain, unnerving the artwork with stress or balancing out the tension in the subject matter. My work predominantly focuses on the male and often how they fit into society, how we think, and how we perceive the male. The male then also relates to the duality in my work as we are often seen as the strong and yet in the quiet spaces we can break down and be vulnerable.

In today’s age where we question more of the world we live in I want my work to envoke questions of duality and how it’s not always as simple as black and white.

Sauda

Phumasilwe ( Step out, let’s fight ) is a dense corrugated iron cornfield ( Informal settlement ) located in Thembisa.
The stench of vomited Surridge pipes and a loud thumping of house and xitsonga music welcomes you on entry. On almost every corner circles are formed, be it for alcohol consumption or gambling (dice games ). The corridors between shacks are narrow and they create a maze-like experience. Amid all the noise and commotion, the angelic voices of children playing can be heard. The cheerful screams rise from the dust of uneven terrain where soccer and tyre races gather supporters. The children do not see the chaos in their environment, but maybe they do. I didn’t ask them for I figured I would be disturbing the peace which posses them so beautifully. Pain is evident in the elders’ eyes, many of them have been living under these below human standard conditions since 1994. Muggings and occasional murders take place here, the police are invited to reconcile these matters but the invitations collide with a brick wall. They hope the government to intervene and relocated them, but they do not see that happening anytime soon so all they can do is make the most of the life they have.

Vian Roos

“Cotton thread sewn on cardboard” is a repeating geometric pattern made from black cotton thread sewn into a board. The pattern follows a mathematical formula to create the illusion of form and motion.

Dodaizm

Fragmented Bodies II is originally a five A3 series on cartridge paper. This series shows my interest in the fragmented and/or distorted body (particularly the female body) by experimenting with collage and thread with each of the works consisting of broken women bodies stitched together with black thread.

Fragmented Bodies II explores the emotional distortion imposed by a physical act, looking at what it means to understand trauma in terms of affect coming to rest in a body, rather than proceeding from the body (Bennet, 2005). Fragmented Bodies II talks about the infliction of pain on women and children in South Africa, the broken and the scarred woman body. The fear and anxiety of women in South Africa, in relation to the #AMINEXT? movement, is revealed in this series.

I do, however, find that when staring at the work for so long, there is more to the work than I say or express. The work carries a lot of secrets, it carries my pain; the things I have been through, which no one knows of or will ever get to know or understand about me. One starts to see and feel the influence of my pain and insecurities. It is as if I am exposing myself but in a safe and secretive way, communicating the process of healing and purification by the use of stitches.

This series is very violent, yet carthetic. It recalls my vulnerabilities, their heavens and hells, which helps me not reject the self but visit and highlight these vulnerabilities to help myself heal.

Di Miller

The systematic annihilation of wild animals, insects and flora is only a small part of the continuing degradation of the environment. In my work I use images endangered animals, insects, as well as trees endemic to Southern Africa, and the South African bush as subject, for all of which I have a deep and abiding connection.
The animals often have hoods over their heads alluding to their vulnerability and akin to people that are tortured or kidnapped. These anthropomorphic figures may also be read as their interconnectedness to and importance to humans and the environment in general.
Wherever possible I use recycled or reclaimed materials and found materials such as flying ant wings, red African soil, broken glass, found wood etc., which i feel add to the meaning of the work but also use more traditional media such as clay, oil paint, encaustic, acrylic etc.

Wezile Mgibe

My intentions are to use art as a tool for social change. I have been deliberate in highlighting voices and bodies in the process of creating work. I am interested in concept of distortion, memory, displacement and how historical events are presented in the modern days.
In my practice, I always produce peculiar and durational work. In this way, I am giving a room to further conversations, which is something i believe we should have trough art, a conversation.
Through my practice I have developed an awareness that I am not unique, but that all people are on a journey of discovery as one that addresses social change, and one that requires us to face and perhaps forgive some very difficult realities.
I envision my work as assisting humans to find their voices, despite their marginalization and exclusion from public and social spaces because of their economic status, background, gender or sexual orientation.

Joe Turpin

My painting practice and work deals with themes of memory; mourning and history in relation to the contemporary. History and historical narratives inform my work, extend into mythology and stories exploring personal identity; culture and oneness. I am interested in the ecstasy of colour, post modern strategies of painting such as still life, portraiture and story telling, and how my position finds itself in a post-modern South African and world context. I have recently been experimenting with expanded painting and physically extending paintings beyond the canvas and the wall.

Mem Sevenster

ARTIST STATEMENT
MEM SEVENSTER
British curator Emma Dexter’s comment that “since we are surrounded by drawing in our daily lives, this medium may reflect the human mark itself, offering a way to unshackle emotions and restore humankind’s broken state of being.” has significantly affected Sevenster’s approach to her artwork.
As a creative individual, the ability to unshackle from emotions and expose one’s own broken state requires the strength to self-liberate from both self-imposed restraints and the perceptions of society at large. As a woman living with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Sevenster continually confronts the specific manifestations of her own OCD in her art making, as well as the shame she often feels in the face of society’s inherent prejudices around mental illness.
An important aspect of her work examines the need to behave ethically, a phenomenon referred to as Ethical Sensitivity that is exaggerated in people with OCD, and which is integral to the illness’s diagnostic criteria. Each person living with OCD will display this symptom to one degree or another by becoming caught up in irrational, precautious rituals with unique sets of rules to enable him or her to do the “right” thing.
In drawing, Sevenster has found a safe refuge from the constraints of the world at large, one that allows her to reveal her own obsessive rituals in tangible artworks. Her pen and pencil drawings here refer to her self-imposed method of “writing-based punishment” and represent a form of mental self-castigation. The images are derived from the formal shapes of certain Latin phrases: mea culpa (an exclamation of guilt and remorse), superbia (pride) and ratio (intelligence).
Through an ongoing visual exploration of her own seeming irrationalities, Sevenster’s art practice raises questions about this disorder.

Source: Dexter, E. 2005. Vitamin D: a new perspective in drawing. London. Phaidon Press Ltd.

Zama Cebsile Mwandla

I dwell on the female, a neglected & victimized soul.
As life presents its challenges & unfaithfulness to it, I find myself impulsively seeking its’ ideals
on coping from psychological traumas & devastating occurrences that life & man have so viciously brought upon.

As a result, this neglected soul is forced to become as deadly & venomous as life & Karma presents themselves.
The idea of being controlled by ones’ emotions,
To become as sinful,
…as defiant,
…as unladylike,
…as rebellious to social depictions of females is something I deeply desire…….
to reign over man’s filth & thirst for power. …


I want to become this sinful creature that man describes woman… a lustrous thorn in their eyes.

Nicola Bouwer

I’m a Johannesburg based mixed media artist.

My art draws from my everyday life, my broader environment and the new places that I visit. As such, my art speaks to my engagement with the world and is always personal.

My chosen medium is often a function the effect that I’m trying to achieve, and I create artworks using painting, drawing, mono prints and collage.
I paint on board rather than stretched canvas as the smoothness of the surface allows for blending and my own texturing. I use diluted oil paint very thinly. Its a layering process that takes time but – with this approach – I am able to achieve depth of field as well as a soft blurred effect.

I create art as it gives me with a voice to comment on what is happening our world. I want my work to challenge our traditional perceptions and encourage a dialogue between the viewer and the work.

The body of work that I’m submitting is called ‘Senescence’.

Menopause is a natural physiological process experienced by every female person during their middle age. The end of our menstrual cycle triggers changing levels of ovarian hormones, which has a huge effect on our bodies and our lives.

Albeit that there are many books and websites devoted to this topic, there is still a level of is misunderstanding and public stigma associated with ‘the change’. With our youth obsessed culture its understandable why no one speaks openly about menopause and what it means.

This body of works seeks to share the highs and lows of being a woman at this life stage – all of the associated symptoms and surrounding experiences and complex emotions.

Its about sharing my personal journey – giving light and attention to a topic that’s still largely unshared.

Fanie Buys

“Grimering”, the Afrikaans word for make up, has a strangely grating sound: something soft and pliant raked across one’s larynx. This body of work is inspired and drawn from soft porn made for magazines like “Loslyf” and “Scope” in the 80s and 90s. Pictures of women contorted to present pleasure: teased, tanned, and lacquered in to the same colours and shapes. “Grimering” is a meditation on the mildewed images that shaped the sexuality of many men my age: the last great heists on secret places with forbidden books. Like makeup these images are used to hide, but also to keep the reality of a cruel industry hidden.

I’ve made these works on paper and used a process of chemical treatment and pressure to give the impression of an oil painting as a flat and shiny print (ironically this is usually the other way around). The works show women chosen to emulate my memories of the magazines I have discussed above. The women seemed to me, a young gay man, incredibly glamorous and powerful: able to rapturously seduce the men I so badly wanted to pay attention to me. The paintings, viscous layers of shellac, are bouquets of memories and contradictions.

Lisa Coetzee

I find these words by Tracey Emin taken from her autobiography Strangeland evocative and somewhat a theme for where I currently find myself:

“The words went round and round and round in my mind and my body until I knew they were no longer my words but something that had been carved into my heart. And now my soul was crying.”

As someone with a Generalized Anxiety Disorder, words circulate in my mind constantly, often creating an overwhelming feeling of debilitating misery and loneliness. Words that I speak to myself and those that others have uttered over me have been floating in my mind and body in ways that I am only just beginning to understand. Like Emin, I feel like my soul is crying. My work attempts to try to face my tears. They are becoming tears of strength.
After the last two traumatic years of my life, I feel that I can process. Processing allows for moments of interrogation into how I make sense of myself and the space that I occupy within my context as a woman. Being deeply connected to and engrossed in the process of making, I uncover an ‘otherness’ within myself. A somewhat unknown otherness, but through this discovery, an opening into a revelatory experience beckons and I try to hear myself with my eyes.

I mention process, processing and ‘the process’ as interlocking phrases or ideas, of which they are. Yet, there are nuances within these words as they manifest themselves within my studio practice. For me, process refers to notions of materiality, the act of mark-making, colour exploration and being aware of the limits which my body and mental health foster in a given moment. ‘The process’ feels like a combination of the bliss I experience immersed in materiality and the need to understand how I embody painful concepts at the same time.

Boitumelo Motau

My drawings and paintings are in aims of initiating and maintaining a dialogue between the conscious and the subconscious and subjective world of feeling, experience and memory.
I intend on accessing and drawing from both the personal and collective body of thought and experience.
Drawing becomes a space to create new narratives whilst conversing with existing personal and historical narratives.

Lianca Heemro

‘Die doek van my kulture’ forms part of a three-image photographic series. This work deals with the engagement of recorded histories, cultural semiotics, episodic memory and semantic memory.

Aspects of learning and unlearning are essential here. During the process of making these works, I had curiosity into understanding more of the mendable nature of remembrance. Die doek, translates into English as Headscarf. In my culture, Die doek has a long symbolic significant in cultural dress. Along with this, vibrant colours and materials are exceedingly linked to Coloured South African identity. When I think of my identity and the cultures that I come from genealogically, it is immensely diverse.

It is commonly known that during the time period of the Colonisation in South Africa, clothing/ tradition from various cultures had been adopted by the identity of people who classify as modern-day Coloured South Africans. With the symbolism of clothing, this is addressed.

The beginning of visual illusion in this work is addressed with the tampering of my skin colour to be grey and in this way referencing the power of black and white photography and film, and remembering the concept of perceiving the world in shades of grey. In this sense, I focus on referencing image-making and visual documentation of the past. The beginning of image-making historically and representation are part of that which are dually analysed.

Because of the interests in memory and visual perceptions, the next focal point is the notion of colour memory performance. Scientifically, the colour red has been proven to enhance memory performance; which is implemented in this photographic work in order to covey the importance of focusing on memory.

Part of my practice, involves me engaging with learning – more specifically self-learning, and revising my knowledge of my own cultural heritage. In these instances I use my own body and my own personal life experiences in order to explore formulated narratives in my work.

During the process of creating ‘Doek van my kulture’ I was conducting extensive research into Coloured South African identity, with a focus on origins of knowledge; origins of the identity; origins of languages; and the heritage of this identity’s position in education. My learning led me into long tunnels of thought and curiosity. It made me notice that I was observing my episodic and semantic memory.

Aneesah Girie

My artistic practice serves as an investigation and mapping of linage, movement and ingrained narratives that exists within textiles. My practice is centered around the ideas of materiality both of which is investigated through its physical forms as well as through metaphorical conceptions. The headscarf or the ‘Hijab’ is the primary material component within my art practice. These scarfs were given to me, passed down through familial linages and collected over the years. I am most interested in their material quality, not only through their worn and worn(ness) but also, how they become symbols of identification, re-presentation and womanhood. Through manipulating, strengthening, and re-observing what it means to represent and to wear these scarves intend to find ways of disruption: disruption of stereotypical renditions of the veiled woman, disruption of the supposed ‘soft’ ‘gentle’ and ‘subdued’ woman, the disruption of the supposed fragility and frailty associated with the scarf. But rather how the scarf becomes celebrated, acknowledged, recognized, and associated with agency, defiance and power asserted by and produced by woman.

Glen Fisher

The world is saturated with images, saturated with photographs, saturated with photographs of birds and wildlife. But a good deal of bird and wildlife photography is merely literal and representational. ‘This is what this creature looks like,’ it says. The more interesting work, I think, looks at creatures in their natural settings, or at behaviours. In these images, I am exploring something else. How does one photograph an egret, a spoonbill or kingfisher, an ordinary Cape Weaver, in a way that is aesthetically satisfying, that conveys feeling and emotion, that invites the viewer to contemplate what it is that he or she is looking at, and not merely observe and catalogue?

Mzoxolo Vimba

Sunday best, Kakade! Is an attempt to take away the power of representation from the photographer to the subject. The series comes after reading Susan Sontag’s essay -Regarding the pain of others; Here she argues against objectivity in photographs and contends that the photographer yields all the power. The series is inspired by Ntate Santu Mofokeng’s Black photo album and the lifetime work of Seydou Keita. It is about showing how Black people in townships around Johannesburg seek to represent themselves by letting them choose their photo setting and where it’s taken. The title Sunday best is inspired by the popular black south African saying “Sunday Best”, meaning you look really good or are in your entire splendor and glory as the word Sunday would to some usually suggest. I am interested in how the series can grow to respond, work with and or critique the works of Mofokeng and Keita. The point is to find out how different people look at themselves through photography without taking away people’s urgency and whether or not that is possible. The Xhosa word Kakade, meaning “vele” or “of cause”, comes as an affirmation of pride and or appreciation of one’s personhood’ be it in the moment of the photo-shoot or in perpetuity. In this series, I intend to work with and against this statement and discover if representation can go beyond the photographer’s perception, especially in townships where media has created an already existing image. Secondly, I would like to see if collaborating with one’s subjects as a photographer is possible. Furthermore I would like to see if the creation of a new “image” of the township/blacks is something to even concern oneself about or it’s just a waste of time.

Roberta Pazdro

I was fortunate enough to have my collage, RARE, selected for the 2020 Joburg Fringe. It continues to be one of my most popular pieces. Subsequently, several of my collages, including DOG-FACED BOY WATCHDOG and LADY OF THE LIGHTHOUSE were exhibited at the 2020 Turbine Art Fair PAPER EXHIBIT. Since then, my work has continued to evolve and I am proud to show you some of my newest works.

I love the process of analog collage-making. It is an ongoing process of losing self-consciousness in order to listen for the art in me that is waiting to become visible.

For me, collaging is process of discipline, craft and mystery. Flipping through magazines and old books, I turn a page and instantly an image speaks to me. I know I have to use it as a basis for a new collage. I am constantly challenging myself to avoid the obvious. Being patient and letting the work come into being on its own is key. Forcing a piece always leads to disaster

Strongly influenced by the Dadaists, I incorporate chance in my work whenever possible. My best compositions are aided by the Dada Spirit when I accidentally bump a not-yet-glued composition creating a finer arrangement than I had ever planned. One of the most exciting discoveries when turning over a scrap is finding what was hiding on the flipside!

The aim of my work is twofold: primarily I want to activate the viewer’s imagination when they view my collages but I am also a storyteller in some of my pieces such a DOG-FACED BOY WATCHDOG and LISTENING FOR LOVE. I hope the viewer walks away with a slightly new way of looking at the world.

Mpho Mothuntsi

My work comprises of hand made paper I recycle waste newspapers to make my own unique paper surface, the idea behind this creation is that I am inspired by the way people in my township area find creative ways to adapt to the environment especially during this difficult times- finding creative ways to make a living. This is often done by sourcing or repurposing materials from the same space. While people are answering a basic need they are also telling their own story.

Antionette McMaster

In South Africa, violence against women is endemic. Statistics on femicide, rape and domestic violence demonstrate unprecedented prevalence rates. My work engages with constructed masks and costumes photographed in site specific areas. It deals with the hidden persona of the victims, hiding behind the masks and costumes, yet there is a subtle hint showing the abuse that the victim experience. There will always be a glimpse of abuse no matter how hard the victim tries to disguise it. My intention is to create a space and platform that will give birth to a different narrative which will help start conversations on how to move forward from these horrible atrocities against our women and children. My aim is when viewing my art viewers will be called not just to compassion but also to social action.

Bongani Mahlangu

The current body of work extends the initial conversation along the theme ‘Isizwe Esimnyama’ which means the black nation in isiZulu. The work is concerned with the notions of identity, civilization and development understood and judged by black South Africans on self and other black Africans. The work therefore juxtaposes that which is perceived as progressive and modern (beliefs put on a pedestal) with that which is perceived as backward (marginalized and demonized – cultures, objects and beliefs). Examples include the debate on culture and religion, western and African weddings, conflicts in perceptions between African and western medical practices, rural homesteads and rapid urbanization in the context of wealth creation, etc. The work essentially asks whether we are indeed progressive or regressive in our choices as society and whether the principle of Ubuntu and a sense of community is still relevant.
This body of work is heavily influenced by Mr Mahlangu’s work experiences as a researcher and facilitator working with both the affluent ad impoverished communities in a society whose government stresses and grapples with the need to eradicate poverty and address inequality. The work therefore looks at identity politics among Black Africans through the lens of acculturation in the aftermath of colonialism and apartheid. This is reflected in how the work plays itself out in identifying nuances on how different forms of formerly marginalized communities grapple with issues of self-identity, progress and what being civilized means within this community and by extension how the new political dispensation has responded to socio-economic needs of such communities. The work comprises of isiNdebele titles as I am Ndebele by birth and I am exploring what it means to be a Ndebele man having grown up in a township.

Raymond Fuyana

My work is mostly influence by the surrealism art, as he creates the reality of a new world filled with unique and different perspectives. As a member of the deaf community, Raymond used his personal experience of the world to freely express his artistic journey. Raymond allows his viewers to experience the contemporary element of his art as he references the benefits of communicating through technology. The achieves this by creating dreamlike African landscapes, oceans and galaxies to emphasize his feelings, moods and emotions.

Nandipha Yanta

Handle with care
I chose to handle this part of my artistic practice with care as I am speaking about the representation of black women and their bodies. Black women have been subjected to a violent history in terms of how they were represented in the media and in society. The violence dates to a time where black women were devalued due to sexual exploitation during slavery which conditioned people to view them as unworthy as well not having equal rights as men. It is also about the self-care of black women, the idea of a black woman immersed in leisure, relaxing and comfort without having to deal with the daily struggles of misogynoir and homophobia. This is a sensitive concept for me because I am a black woman and a work in progress. Using myself in the paintings is a way to confront the politics surrounding my own identity, my sexuality, issues surrounding self-esteem and seeing myself as worthy enough. The rich texture of these painting conveys how I view black women. I view them as beautiful beings who have pride in themselves, their sexuality, and their bodies. This essentially tells black women to take their power back and reclaim their lives and to choose their own narrative. This body of work is more about self-representation as a black woman and how I would view myself. It is an uncomfortable process and I am unfolding and discovering myself. I am choosing my own narrative in how I would like to be represented. It is a process which allows me to read more into why there is a violence against black women and why they are deemed as angry, loud, feisty, hpersexualised and animalistic. As my body of work evolves so does the intersectionality of black women as I can not only focus on myself because I am surrounded by a community of different beautiful black female bodies. It is important to have different views in art making as it broadens my perspective on life itself.

Nina Erasmus

The approach of my collages has always been to give new life to the old and forgotten. I always find myself thinking about the forgotten coffee table books that have not been looked at in 5 years, dreaming of the possibilities they hold. Further more collaging, for me is also a reflection of what is published at a specific time. It’s obvious to say: The books i got in Belgium, while i was living there are different to the one’s here in SA. I like that my work is mirror to that along with my own experience. I like how the size of the page bring people closer for further inspection, how they are draw to the narrative they get from looking at my work. I like my pages to dictate my choices, it’s quite freeing to open myself up to the possibilities and to listen to what you are seeing. It’s quite a spontaneous process and the stories might come before i start cutting or after i have pasted. But, for me, the pages are boss and dyslexic brain is there to make the connections.

Elgin Rust

Under the title of Post-Plastic, I explore and reassess our relationship with our environment. I attempt to highlight how materials we create to make our lives easier are impacting our physical and mental health. Plastic, originally applauded as a cheap saviour of humanity has turned out to be our number one pollutant, its toxic contents seeping into every pore of our existence.

Using inflatable objects as my starting point, I explore what plastic means for our society in the long run. Armed with a collection of other peoples’ “pool party trash”, discarded pool toys such as balls, lilos, armbands, and rings, I use these objects by applying art processes directly to them, capturing forms that could be termed “post plastic”.

My ongoing fascination with inflatable objects either used as toys or swimming aids conjures images of happy family summer days by the pool. Added these may evoke tragic migrant journeys towards a better life and the associated cost of living. These notions are immortalized through processes applied to the original object and in this manner the works speak more loosely of time and transformation.

Thus the prints and sculptures attempt to record the darker side of the plastic inflatable. Originally associated with safe family fun, the process I apply turns the idea of the inflatable inside out. By casting the object in concrete, it becomes devoid of warmth and despite its tactile shape, it is far from safe. This creates a sense of the uncanny, imbuing an ordinary object with emotive power. Thus the work can be understood to stand in for people. The sculptural surfaces bear witness to ruination, conveying the notion of the last breath. In this way, the series speaks of the process of deconstruction, of lives post a traumatic event.

Hannah Saunders

My work focuses on and explores the identity of South African women but can also apply to women all over the world. This focus encompasses gender based violence, prostitution and women and religion among other similar topics. The aim of all of these works is to create a conversation and convey a message that you cannot shy away from.

Mary-Jane Morris

Does humankind see itself as part of nature or as separate, perhaps even superior to nature? Having worked in the environmental field for over 30 years, this question frequently occupies my thoughts. Exploring the connections between humankind and nature is central to my artistic practice. Nature’s harmony and rhythm is all around us; the belonging of one thing with another. My exploration of connectedness is reflected in my focus on water and weather. This is an area of ongoing fascination for me, especially as I studied climatology at a post-graduate level. As my preference is to engage with nature on an experiential level, I constantly seek ways to directly interact with water in my art making. Rain, dew and mist become not only sources of inspiration but also a means of creating imagery on the surface on which I am working. Water is magical. Our bodies are made up of mostly water – an absolute manifestation of our connection to nature.

Genevieve Schwulst

My work aims to investigate the ongoing of everyday life. Through the routine-like aspects that take place within our day-to-day. This for the work frames it well , the initial and current theme is of everyday and how everyday can tell a narrative. The discussion of the conceptual meaning behind it. The first initial thought when seeing the style and composition was the ideas of anagogical modes , parables or biblical tales. (Frame of reference or inspiration is Gustave Dore)

Andre Swart

Durban In Isolation is a body of work I have been busy with from April 2020 until present. This is an ongoing project documenting the isolated state of humans on Durban’s busiest, most democratic and inclusive spaces, The Durban Beachfront. The aim of this project is to show, that even in such a busy and all inclusive setting, isolation is rife. Especially considering the last year or so, where isolation was deemed a necessity for the greater good of mankind.

Greta Matthews McMahon

Being an abstract painter means that I rely solely on the inherent energy of materials, colour, texture, shapes and brushstrokes to articulate and express my thoughts and ideas. Since the picture plane rarely offers anything representational ,the vocabulary of these elements becomes the very essence of my visual language.It’s the pattern and relationship between these elements which weaves the story into a meaningful whole.
Each material I use are chosen for its unique frequency and its the inter relationship between these frequencies experienced in a space of no-mind which evokes ,reveals and whispers the story to the viewer.

The ideas and inspiration for these works are supported by my love and interest for mythology, archetypes, dream language, science , spirituality, nature and celebrates the dance between the masculine and feminine.
Making art becomes a ritual and a ceremony which restores the Self into a balanced whole and helps to bridge the gap between heaven and earth.

Jennifer Hull

I truly hope to evoke emotion, I hope to create work that is conceptual and encourages reflection or introspection. I feel strongly about mental health, the search for enlightenment and the state of our consumer society.

My work must be created in a state of flow, it is intuitive and spontaneous. Too much planning tends to make creation feel unnatural and this can show in the piece. The work submitted here forms part of a collection that touches on greed, gluttony and wanting or desire. Apart from being major issues in society and the root cause of so many problems, these are themes I’ve intimately explored and continue to explore in my own mind and behaviour. When desire is gone, suffering ends. Superficial desires can never be satisfied, this can only bring suffering.

The two portrait paintings were painted last year when I just started exploring figurative work and was very inspired by primitive art’s patterns and mark making, scarification, but also pop culture for the same reason, such as prison tattoos and street art.

Tshepang Diphaha

The topic for this series of work is “conceal and reveal”
I interpreted this as a sense of self and past traumas

Growing up as a black child in racist areas used to instil fear in me, the thought of how I couldn’t run away from my own skin sank deep into my subconscious, in 5th grade I was held back by a racist teacher in a racist school even though I qualified to progress. That event stuck with me till this very day and how I’ve expressed these pains in my work, is that I’ve distorted texts and images to represent the pain that resides within and poetry to give the work a “soul”. The images that I’ve used are from different photographs. The work also holds a modern day type of art, which is digital. My vision for my work is for people to interpret it how ever they feel