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FADA Home Preface About Artists

Belinda Blignaut

Western Cape


Type of book work: Unique / sculptural book-object (one-of-a-kind)
Dimensions: 210 x150
Media: High fired glazed stoneware, bubblegum, lipstick, nail polish

Artist's / designer's statements

10 pages individually made, each containing a glaze resist technique, a simple "non aesthetic" or a ceramic experiment (broken rule). The slab "pages" have holes to facilitate the binding.

Emerging in the early 1990s, Belinda Blignaut (b.1968) was one of the group of young Johannesburg-based conceptual and experimental artists whose work served as a commentary on the social and political uncertainty of South Africa, often in challenging or, at the very least, critical terms. Her work suggests an urgency for protest. Through varied series over many years, Belinda Blignaut has been processing issues around transformation with the body at the centre of all. Through an engagement with readily available and everyday materials, processing immediate surroundings, she hopes to translate the ways we adapt, a quiet visceral investigation into life and the creative process.

Surfacing in all she does is an exploration into a more fluid world, to resist the effects of institutionalized culture. Her recent work takes her interest in the formlessness and abjection of her bubblegum sculptures into a new series of misshapen clay vessels and forms. There are combinations of purely intuitive experiments and wheel thrown or hand-built shapes that are cut and the individual components joined to make 'an other' whole. Through these intuitive choices and tactile joining processes, intimacy with the material is experienced. This experience is somewhere been wrestling and allowing the object to find its own personality, working from the inside on all levels. The same experimental processes have been used in her most recent works using wild clay, which she digs herself. The unknown element in using less pure clays is what drives her making process today, playing with imperfection, "error" and chance.

In 2013, from her studio, she began working with children and special needs people of all ages, providing a space for sensory experience and free expression for all, allowing this "unlearned" way of making to inspire her own practice.



No formal fine art education


1993 Vita Art Now


1993 Antibody, first solo, Everard Read Contemporary
1994 Sao Paulo Biennale
1995 Africus Johannesburg Biennale
2011 No Government No Cry and Newtopia: The State of Human Rights, Belgium
2012 Curated and showed on the group show, A Shot To The Arse, at the Michaelis Galleries, Cape Town
2013 BLOWN, second solo, blank projects, Cape Town


Johannesburg Art Gallery
Pierre Lombart Private collection/ SAFFCA, the Southern African Foundation For Contemporary Art
Jack Ginsberg collection of artists books
Warren Siebrits Private Collection

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