This series is a continued exploration of non-place. It references Western European landscape and still life painting traditions. Still life references an inner emotional world while the landscape is associated with the conquering eye of ownership and possession.
The predominant medium used for the paintings is watercolour on cotton paper. A medium that could be described, in a digital age, as being as outmoded as analogue. For the most, the works consist of three paint pigments, two of which are metals namely Cobalt (blue, green) and Cadmium (red, yellow, orange). The third is Ivory Black. These pigments have sticky associations. Cadmium and Cobalt are toxic to humans. However due to their stable and inert character, and their brightness they are popular with artists and used extensively outdoors as signage to regulate human behaviour. Most cobalt deposits are found in the DRC and is mined under questionable conditions of child labour and worker exploitation. Here most of the cobalt is mined by artisanal miners who tunnel into the earth to create a labyrinth of underground caves. The primary use of cobalt is not for paint but in the manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries for smart phones, drones, electric cars and solar power systems. Its use is therefore associated with progress and technological advancement. It is the metal that’s increasingly underpinning the digital world and the global economy. The colour Ivory Black (Bone Black) is derived from the carbon remains of incinerated animal bones and its origin harks back to the colonial era when ivory was burnt to create the pigment.
Inspiration for the series was also taken from subterranean termites, the Woodworm and the Western Australian White Ant. These insects are known to destroy interiors while leaving exteriors intact. The only sign of their presence are circular holes on the surface. The saying white anting is often used to illustrate the hollowing out of institutions and the eroding of foundations, especially political ones. However, it must not be forgotten that if it was not for the White Ant the digeridoo would never have existed. In Julian Barnes’ book The history of the world in 10 ½ chapters, the Woodworm, without ever being mentioned in The Scriptures, hitches a ride on Noah’s wooden ark (the second creation myth recorded in the Bible) and from then on remains the bane of many a land and seafaring adventurer intent on conquering, understanding and ruling the world. As the “1%” are eyeing to colonize neighbouring planets they are lying the foundation for, what in the future might be considered a another creation myth. This time the woodworm and the white ant will probably be left behind as they venture into the future with Germs, Guns and Steal as per Prof Jared Diamond’s book title. The metaphor of the woodworm is however unlikely to be dislodged from the human conscience.
2018 – 8 – 30 March. Bank 001: Emerging Contemporaries. In Toto Gallery, Birdhaven, Johannesburg
2017 – 2018, 12 December – 28 January – Oliewenhuis Art Museum – Bloemfontein. Emerging Visions: Telling the South African Story. The launch exhibition of the South African National Art Bank.
2017, 8 August – Tapir Gallery – Berlin. Showing of film It is so beautiful it must be artificial produced in collaboration with Isolde Krams. A 32 minute video depicting a surrealist scene of the beautiful but toxic mine dumps outside of Johannesburg, South Africa. We hereby invite you to join us for a drink and discussion about the topic concerning pillaging of minerals and land.
2017, June – Gallery 2 – Johannesburg – Winter Exhibition. With: Zolile Phetsane; Marcus Neustetter; Eric Duplan; Wessel van Huyssteen; Kyra Pape’; Gail Behrmann; Samson Mnisi, Laurel Holmes and Bronwen Findlay
The exhibition How to Paint a Highway? consisted of a series of large scale watercolour on paper paintings, inspired by travels on the N1. It investigates this structure within the landscape as both a unifying and dystopian South African space. The subject matter mainly consists of debris collected on the shoulders of the highway and is painted in forensic detail – reminiscent of topographical art – to excavate the layered histories of the objects depicted and the materials used.
2014 – Sasol New Signatures, Pretoria Art Museum
2014 – Showcase 2 at Bayliss Gallery. Curated by Gordon Froud.
2005 – 2006 Produced/Directed/Edited the films It is so beautiful it almost looks artificial (Exhibited at ABSA Gallery) and Miss Lellerap Raw in collaboration with Isolde Krams as part of her ongoing performance piece Miss World.
2004 – Perspective 30 – Johannes Stegmann Art Gallery (Artist)
1999 – SA coordinator. Rewind, Fast-Forward, Contemporary Art From South Africa at the Van Reukum Museum, Holland.
1998 – Katlehong Art Centre Artists – Sandton Civic Gallery
1997-98 – SA coordinator/Exhibitions Producer Dreams and Clouds South African cultural festival at Kulturhuset, Stockholm. Festival coincided with Stockholm, Cultural Capital of Europe ‘98.
1995-96 – Co-Curated the first National Gay and Lesbian Art Exhibition: Gay Rights, Rites, Re-Writes Exhibition which toured nationally. It opened at Martin Melck House in Cape Town, then Oliewenhuis Art Museum in Bloemfontein and the Gertrude Posel Gallery at Wits University.
1986 – Free State Artists – Johannes Stegmann Art Gallery, Bloemfontein
1985 – SA Students Exhibition – Grahamstown Arts Festival 1994
1984 – Rolfes Impressions – Johannesburg Art Gallery