Home  |  Marketing Booknesses  |  Branding Booknesses  |  Booknesses Colloquium  |  Exhibitions & Catalogues
Ginsberg & Kentridge Conversation  |  Images

FADA Home Preface About Artists

Ilka van Schalkwyk



Type of book work: Editioned / printed work
Dimensions: 105 x 148
Media: mixed media on Gesso

Artist's / designer's statements

My latest artist's book entitled, Throwing Stones: Paradoxical Freedoms deals with different types of freedoms. How my freedom and your freedom aren't necessarily the same. The book comprises 13 pages and is A5 in size. The first page is a quote from Salman Rushdie's 'Imaginary Homelands', which perfectly sums up the concept of the work. It states that:

Redescribing a world is the necessary first step towards changing it. And particularly at times when the State takes reality into its own hands, and sets about distorting it, altering the past to fit its present needs, then the making of the alternative realities of art, including the novel of memory, becomes politicized. 'The struggle of man against power,' Milan Kundera writes, 'is the struggle of memory against forgetting.' And the novel is one way of denying the official, politicians' version of truth. (1991:14)

The rest of the book juxtaposes 'heroes' and 'villains' of history and the speeches they made. An example of this is Winston Churchill and Adolf Hitler. For Churchill I chose his speech 'We will never surrender' made in 1940 for Hitler I chose his 'my patience is now at an end' speech made in 1938. Both speeches deal with freedom and in both I have taken a quote from the speech and highlighted it by masking it with my synaesthetic alphabet. At the back of each speech, is a collage made from photos of current as well as historic events that relate to the quote and the speechmaker. On each of these collages is written a lyric from a song.

For Churchill it's 'Hey Bulldog', by the Beatles. For Hitler its 'Lazy Sunday Afternoon', by the Small Faces, specifically the lyric, "Wouldn't it be nice to get on with me neighbours?"

Churchill's collage features images of Brexit and the original poster of The Great Escape, whilst the lyric reads, "you don't know what it's like to listen to your fears." When you 'read' this image and lyric in conjunction with the quote, which is about standing together and never surrendering, the message of the artwork comes to the fore. And the irony and paradox of freedoms come into play. My argument is that although rock music is seen as wild and unruly and the leaders of freedom are seen as stern and stoic, in fact they all have something in common; their belief in fighting for freedom. The title of the exhibition 'Throwing Stones' is a pun not only on the saying that people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, but also on the band, the Rolling Stones.

Artist / Student


2016-2017 M-Tech Fine Arts, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
2014 BA Honours Journalism, University of Pretoria, South Africa
2009 BA Fine Arts, University of Pretoria, South Africa
2005 Matriculated, Crawford College Pretoria, South Africa


2016 semi-finalist SA Taxi Foundation Art Awards
2010 winner of ABSA l'Atelier


2016 Part of SA Taxi Foundation Art Awards Final 30 exhibition at Lizamore and Associates Gallery
2014 Blood, Sweat and Tears exhibition at ABSA Gallery
2014 KKNK
2012 Solo exhibition, Yesterday at ABSA Gallery
2010 ABSA top 100 exhibition


San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Jack Ginsberg Collection
University of Wisconsin
University of Minnesota
University of Vermont

© Jack Ginsberg Centre for Book Arts (JGCBA). All rights reserved.