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Deirdre Pretorius



Type of book work: Unique / sculptural book-object (one-of-a-kind)
Dimensions: 80 x 115
Media: Paper and vintage tin box

Artist's / designer's statements

The work consists of a vintage tin in which is stored an accordion fold digital printed book that folds out to reveal three objects at the end: a found insect, inherited brooch and a recently cut braid of my own hair. It addresses personal issues of memory, loss and grieving and was created in memory of my grandmother "Ouma Koekoe" who passed away over a decade ago. A "Boeks" is a combination of the Afrikaans words boek (book) and boks (box).

My mother had a habit of storing things in "good" commercial packaging made from tin or quality cardboard. I have subsequently done the same and have many "memory" boxes filled with photographs, cards and other personal ephemera, some of which was incorporated into the "Koekoeboeks." The vintage tin is printed with an image that is similar to the images which appeared on the placemats which were always set out on the table in Ouma Koekoe's kitchen.

The front of the book shows photographs of my grandmother's home, which I took many years ago. The back of the book is covered in a pink pattern, my grandmother's favourite colour, compiled from objects that I associate with her: roses, glass teacups, ginger biscuits and so on. At the end of the book are tangible objects: found, inherited and taken from my body. Their physical presence form a strong contrast with the surface quality of the photographs and the absence of my grandmother in the pictures.

Artist / Academic


D Litt et Phil (Historical Studies)
MA (Information Design)
Honours (Art History)
HED Diploma
BA (FA) Hons


2015 Erasmus Mundis Inspire Scholarship for lecturer exchange to Uppsala University Art History Department, Sweden
2007-2010 Thuthuka grant for developing researchers
2013, 2014, 2015 Travel grant to conference from FADA Research Committee


2016 Ceramic Plate exhibited at GW Tellus Sculptura: An Exhibition of Ceramic Sculpture, The Association of Arts, Pretoria
2013 Installation and one artist book (collaborative work) exhibited at "Reflective conversations" group exhibition, North-West University Gallery
2012 Eight photographs exhibited "FADA Exposures: Transformations exhibition", FADA Gallery University of Johannesburg
2011 Artist book exhibited in group exhibition "FADA Collaborations/Articulations exhibition", FADA Gallery University of Johannesburg
2007 Group exhibition "Streek" as part of Aardklop, Potchefstroom Museum


North-West University.

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