I am concerned with place and our connection to it. Over the years I have explored this in relation to ideas of identity and, more recently, utopia, and how place - and landscape - becomes a metaphor for our longings and desires. Nostalgia is a preoccupation. The dust I use to make drawings reflects my concerns with transience, as do the site-specific works that fade in a matter of days.
I align myself with the idea that the true significance of utopia is not as the fantasy of an ideal place, but rather the manifestation of a wish for a whole and enduring state of being. I am concerned with our inability (in the Western world anyway) to live with the inevitability of death. Utopia reflects the fear of death and the wish to be reconstituted and live on in place, and time, if not in body.
In the essay he wrote for the brochure for my solo exhibiton , Anticipated Memory, in 2007, Wilhelm van Rensburg wrote that I anticipate "memory by providing temporal spaces that shelter subjects in crisis."
In a recent work, Events Above The Gulf, I have drawn environmental catastrophe as a mirror of internal or emotional crisis. The word, folly is my current preoccupation. The word has its roots in the French word for madness, “folie”, and is defined in the OED as “The quality or state of being foolish or deficient; lack of good sense; unwise conduct.” It embodies the idea of destruction and collapse and the unseen link between them and their causes in bad governance, greed and the abuse of power.
In the drawings for Beast (2009 tondi), the entity Beast is the manifestation of internal forces, particularly desire, which is born in us during earliest emotional development. It is in psychoanalysis that I have found what I believe to be the root of our connection to place and our need to consolidate this connection in the fantasy and idealisation of nostalgia.
My preference for metaphor and allegory over direct representation does not reflect a dismissal of South Africa’s imagery, just the compulsion to find alternatives to the dominance of direct representation in so many traditions of South African image.
Artist Bio / CV
Born in 1962 Johannesburg, South Africa, where she lived and worked until relocating to London in 2007. Taught in various contexts, formal and informal, from tertiary to community art departments, until becoming a full-time artist in 2004. Since 2004 has been involved in development of her own artworks, also participating in various design projects. 6 solo exhibitions, including, Beast At Home 2010, Anticipated Memory 2007, Promised Land 2005, Giving and Not Giving 2000/1. Inclusion in Sao Paulo Bienal 2002, and various international and South African group exhibtions since 1984. Inculsion in public and private collections. Developed design for Very Lustre Jewelery collection, for inclusion in Dover Street Market, London, and Comme des Garcons Store in Tokyo. Represented by AOP (Art On Paper) Gallery, Johannesburg www.artonpaper.co.za