LONDON HAS A GARDEN (2012)
Type of book work: Unique / sculptural book-object (one-of-a-kind)
Artist's / designer's statements
In a book about London's attractions, I collaged a scene in which a British gentleman reclines in front of a Johannesburg gold mine. London's garden became its colonies. Since graduation I have been working primarily in collage, printmaking and ceramics, playing with text and images from old books in particular. I have a great love of literature and art history, and the spaces that house these treasures - libraries, museums and galleries. As a first-generation South African, I have always been fascinated by my British heritage - by its more personal aspects but also the undeniable impact that colonialism had on the country in which I was born. I would never claim to be British, but politically today I have a tenuous claim to being South African. Since graduating from university, my work has often used collage and ceramics to play with this tension, with the fact that history has an undeniable daily presence in South Africa. Collage allows me to turn a playful ethnographic eye on my heritage. I like to think of my collages and ceramic sculptures as dioramas or trophies to the everyday, but an everyday that is always shadowed by history. My collages and ceramics are often accompanied by Dada-like phrases cut from old books. I enjoy the odd profundity that arises when combining these nonsense phrases with ordinary domestic scenes. I love the space between text and visuals where, having had nothing in common, they can suddenly begin to communicate volumes by requiring a viewer to use their imagination to fill in the logical gaps - as a viewer you create your own story somewhere between word and image.