Source and inspiration
I took numerous photographs of my friend holding a wire lampshade frame over her head and combined these with photographs of a red-collared barbet that had lived with us. I had found it at the base of a tree with a rather self-satisfied cat lurking amongst the branches above it. This glorious little creature had free-range of our house and hearts for about 2 years before flying off for good. The concept behind the image deals with the idea of caging anything against its will and how that imprisonment denatures/dehumanizes and belittles the caged. Women are often valued for their physical appearance above all else – they turn into an exotic possession. This piece was juried into the 2016 Sasol New Signatures exhibition in Pretoria and was also included in their catalogue.
I am a multimedia artist who works predominantly in textiles. I believe that the ability to draw frees me as an artist, giving me the lexicon with which to express my ideas and concepts. Whether I am sculpting, painting or sewing, I am drawing, either what I see in front of me or inside my head; my work is based on what I see rather than experience. Once I have the idea of what I want to create, I begin collecting/taking photographs from which to work. I am a representational (rather than an abstract) artist, although the image may be fantastic (as in Clipped and Caged), it is still a recognizable image.
I believe that making art feeds and sustains you and am therefore also a teacher. I teach a drawing class from my studio in Kwelera Mouth (East London) every Saturday morning and also travel both locally and internationally in order to share the numerous workshops that I have created based upon my work in textiles, papier-mache, shoe-making, creative clothing and using abstract line as a form of meaningful expression.
I firmly believe that drawing is neither a talent nor a gift but like reading, a learnt skill. Which doesn’t mean that everybody can be an artist (just as not all literate people are authors), but it does mean that everybody can be taught to drag a pencil across the paper in a meaningful way.