Sub-type: Journal Theme(s): Adult colouring books. Regulation of public spaces
Place publication: Johannesburg Publisher: Yalla Scoola Exhibition 2017
Reference note: Behind the scenes of White Curtains public art project: interviews with artists, contributing texts, exhibition images and archival documents.
2014: One sunny Saturday, as I was drying my umbrella on the balcony of my room in Sea Point suburb of Cape Town, I was told by my housemate that Body Corporate regulations forbid hanging anything from the windows. 'They also dictate the colour of all curtains must be white' she added. Since that day, every time I walk the streets of Sea Point I notice that all the curtains, in thousands of windows, are white. I found this social custom to be fascinating in the post apartheid context.
I researched if there is a municipal regulation uniting all buildings in the suburb. But I found none. Instead, my search led me to a poem. On a public forum I found 'My White Curtain' by Nokulunga Zondo. The poet reflects gently and critically on the philosophy of living with a white curtain.
2015: In collaboration with Nokulunga and illustrator Frank Lunar, supported by VANSA, we published the first edition of White Curtains colouring book. We use the trend of adult colouring books to question the social construct of hyper regulation of public spaces.
The book was a sold-out item on the shelves of Checkers Sea Point, inserting critical art into the mainstream of local consumerism.It inspired three group exhibitions and two interventions in public libraries.
2016: White Curtains Diary is published - telling behind the scenes story of this socially engaged curatorial project. The new publication features interviews with artists, texts by academics and Sea Point residents, images of the exhibitions and archival documents.
The book is available at selected libraries in Cape Town and online on ISSUU (Yalla Shoola Publication). Designed by Carlos Marzia and co-edited by Naz Saldulker. Printed at: The Printing Press.
The project presents in two parts: the colouring book and the project book
220 x 160mm
Exhibition notes: ;‘Booknesses: Contemporary South African Artist's Books’.