The building of a culture is essentially about growth – the layering of traditions and narratives and the connections made. Many symbols, personal to me, are also relevant in the broader South African context. With land being a key issue in South Africa, our interaction with the environment, both natural and man-made, is complex and becomes increasingly more complicated as we exploit the natural world for our perceived well-being. Not only do we influence the environment by what we do within it, but our surroundings have a marked influence on us and how we think.
In this body of work, the monotype prints are created using physical, mostly natural, specimens – much like the traditional Japanese gyotaku method. Each work/circle is composed of two halves, each stitched with an element from its opposite half, signifying our commonalities rather than our differences. The circles suggest the lens of a microscope, the greater world in which we live and the circle of life too. The woven structures connecting the two halves suggest the colourful melange of life and culture at our core, around which we have to find a balance. The root impression on each side reminds us not to forget our past. Each work has an impression of my family seal in wax and a thumbprint as part of my signature.
With my quiet marks and impressions, I hope to stimulate the viewers’ curiosity to notice the small, transient details, and to observe and learn from the rhythms of nature.