A collection of self-portraits that go beyond representation. A womxn-only group exhibition of prints and work on paper.
Throughout art history, a mark of a ‘master’ artist was the existence of an exceptional self-portrait – to be immortalized in an image and rendered as a true likeness to be sure that future generations could know the mark of this master. In as much, the self-portrait is an easy and handy practice tool – an intimate and accessible resource.
The legacy of the self portrait extends into the contemporary paradigm but has morphed into a continuous cycle of obsessive self-documentation or in parallel sometimes calls for the rejection of identifiers all together. Representations of self can mean an intricate and meticulous making of each eyelash and freckle, captured in paint, pencil, ink or digital particles. At the same time, fragmented and cut up glimpses or quiet still lives or mussed up pillowcases can also offer an insight into a notion of ‘self’. Coupled with text, confronted by form or abstraction, banged out in an interactive performance – the contemporary possibility of a self-portrait begs to explore and occasionally subvert its legacy and genre across various mediums.
This exhibition pushes past an external assumption of ‘normal’, confronting and querying representation of and self-representation by womxn artists working in print and on paper today. While interrogating the tradition and archetype of portraiture as a whole and self-portraiture concurrently, the exhibition presents work as various and in multiplicities as is afforded by the medium by virtue of editions. Consequently, the concept of a revered and singular self-portrait as an intrinsic and crucial marker of ‘master’ is subverted.
Opens Thursday, 03 May 2018, 18h00 until 21h00 @ 69 Burg Street, Cape Town.
Arabella was born in London and grew up in Tuscany before moving to Johannesburg where she spent her teenage years. She then went to Edinburgh University after which she lived and studied in Florence, London and New York. She returned to South Africa in 1990 and now lives and works in Cape Town.
Arabella Caccia’s recent work is inspired by an exploration of patterns found in the play of light and dark on natural forms. Her paintings and sculpters use and abstract language of semi-symbolic glyphs discovered in these patterns. The primary principal underpinning her work is the belief in the importance of process.
Born in 1994, in Kwa-Zulu Natal, Anya Ramparsad moved to Cape Town to attend the University of Cape Town’s Michaelis School of Fine Art. Majoring in print making her work is concerned with the combining of the scientific experiment and creative experiment.
By using the laws of physics to create images and processes to capture a trace of such a phenomenon, her work investigates the tools we use in science and art, and the relationship between these two disciplines to interrogate knowledge. The word ‘tension’ is a key word in her work but refers to not only the basic elemental properties of physics but also cognitive dissonance, an internal, abstracted tension. The ambiguities of the term allow the concept to fluctuate in meaning and perception. Through understanding tension in an abstract form the artworks are able to capture the phenomenon in the form of thermal mapping, light emission, chemistry and chromatic exploration through varying wavelengths of light through the reaction of a 9V battery and steelwool.
Duduza Mchunu was born in 1995 and grew up in Johannesburg. In 2014 Duduza moved to Cape Town to begin her studies. Having majored in printmaking from UCT’s Michaelis School of Fine Art, Duduza Mchunu creates work that seeks to challenge the status quo and speak for marginalised bodies. Although her major was in printmaking, Duduza creates work across various platforms and mediums often utilizing digital media as a form of immediate expression.
The work created oscillates between the times and consciousnesses, while Duduza occupies the role of mediator, interpretor and creator.
Digital print on photorag
42 x 59.4 cm
Gitte Möller (b. Cape Town, 1991) received her BA in Fine Art from the Michaelis School of Fine Art in 2015, and was awarded the Judy Steinberg painting prize for her graduate show. Gitte uses a range of different mediums and painterly devices to explore the symbolic and numinous possibilities of art making.
Drawing from ancient mythology, manuscripts and prayer paintings to motivational images and functional graphics, her works holds a complex array of signs, symbols and archetypes in suspension. The works speak of the internal mind and the possibilities of colour and emotion, while grappling with symbols present in the mundane and day-to-day motions of living.
Adrian Ranger was born in 1994 to an artist mom and an environmentalist dad. She grew up around South Africa and moved to Cape Town in 2014 to study at the Michaelis School of Fine Art, UCT. Adrian is a recent graduate, having majored in print making. Her work ranges from large scale to the minute – across varying mediums of mark making. Adrian has exhibited around Cape Town in group exhibitions and has sold work to private collectors.
Thematically, her work focuses on unpacking her own position and identity in South Africa as a child born in 1994. The accessing of her work is though exploring different modes of viewing the past in order to better understand it. Through the body of work presented in this exhibition, Adrian endeavored to locate herself within the history that represents her.
Stephani Müller is a recent graduate from the Michaelis School of Fine Art majoring in Printmaking. Her research-intensive practice combines various forms of printmedia, historic photography and works on paper to map the complexities and nostalgic tendencies of history, shores and travel, often by juxtaposing analogue and digital media forms
When not in her xsmall kitchen with silver stained fingers evaporating sea water to produce experimental photographs, she uses the space to trace memories via another palate.
In Conversation (1-4)
woodblock print on stone paper
34 x 29 cm
Public Sight (1-3: edition varies)
Woodblock print on stone paper
34 x 29 cm
Michaelis Honors graduate Tyra Naidoo is a Cape Town based artist who works across a variety of mediums. Her work was featured Adjective Online’s booth at Cape Town Art Fair. Tyra has participated in various group shows, her favourite of which have been organised by social-justice orientated NGOs.
Tyra’s work deals largely with her heritage as an Indian South African woman. Using combinations of fragile and aggressive materials and processes, she aims to articulate a dialogue of subtle violences experienced as a marginalized body. The prints for this exhibition specifically pay homage to traditional Indian miniature paintings. The work also aims to acknowledge the empowered woman within her culture such as Goddess Kali, who severed her own head to feed her people.
Alma Sissolak is a German born, Cape Town based artists. She works across the mediums of painting and photography – blurring and mixing photorealistic paintings on a huge scale and creating otherworldly photography.
In Alma’s practice, the viewer is given the choice to engage with her work in a more elaborate way. Her work over the recent years has resulted in a journey of looking at things in more depth and as such, she has begun to notice that surroundings are just as important as the art process itself, as art is an expression of one’s lived experience.