My work focusses on the fascinating ways in which people construct the narrative of their life through memory, bias, and idealistic perspectives. I’m interested in how our lives and relationships to others are bound by fiction.
My grandmother, Susan (Susie) Prinsloo, finds her way into my art from time to time. Before my brother and I went to school, we would stay with her while my parents were at work – she basically lived next door. Let me add that our family has up until recently, never lived within the urban boundary of the town/city we lived in. Before we moved to the Western Cape, we lived and played in the hills of the Uitkyk Pass near Nelspruit, Mpumalanga.
I remember her teaching us how to knit and to make brooches using igneous rocks and safety pins. She also made the best rooibos kombucha tea. This time spent in nature, being creative and not being influenced by peers, undoubtedly influenced who I am today. It is not surprising that I often use imagery of Susan in or as reference in my art.
She passed away in 1993, but she lives on in the hearts of our family and in my art.
The idea for this work came from the fact that I have no knowledge of who my neighbours are, apart from what I can infer from their early morning arguments. My ineptitude when it comes to speaking Korean, further amplifies this inability to fully understand by surroundings completely. I’m isolated in my apartment by my lack of knowledge. And even when I try to imagine who the people are that I share my walls with, I am limited by my own experience, imagination and understanding of life. My understanding of the world limits me. How we judge other people, or situations, speak more about us than it does about them. These limits extend to my own identity and relationships with other people, as these things are bound by my own perspective. We all are.
Scene III, Digital Print, 2016
Bound by Fiction, Mixed media, 2016
The viewer was encouraged to write down dialogue or clues as to what was happening in the scene. Some photos of the installation at the exhibition.
This is the second of three pieces I plan on showing at the Daejeon Arts Collective‘s 8th group exhibition in November. Three weeks to go and one piece left to embroider. I’m watching Gotham season 1 while I stitch, so I should be up to date by the time I finish the final piece.
A friend mentioned that the girl resembles the Canadian ‘record producer, artist, musician, singer, songwriter and music video director’ named Grimes. I had to Google who that was, but I see it. She can be whoever you want her to be.
*This piece is now in the collection of Venus Lukic.
As I mentioned before, I started embroidering a turtle sketch that I made a long time ago. I started both the turtle and the girl with the pink sweater at the same time, but go carried away trying to finish the sweater. The sea turtle is finally done now too.
Initially I wanted to use colour on the turtle, but I liked the way it turned out after I was done doing the outlines, so I added colour to the background. It took way longer than I thought it would – about 2 seasons of The Sopranos worth. As someone mentioned on facebook, it now looks as if the turtle is weightlessly gliding through space. Works for me.
*This piece is now in the collection of Eibhlín Ní Fhallamháin.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about the direction my jewelry work might go, looking at many pieces and collections by other designers, and trying to figure out what my “style” might me as a designer. I dislike the concept that a designer needs to adhere to a style in order to be recognised or stand out, but I guess that’s the way the world works. There is a growing trend in the market of dainty, minimalist jewelry. There are tons of really great designs out there. Some are really easy to make though – I know because I’ve tried making some of them. That’s how you learn right. If I start selling my own jewelry on a bigger scale, that’s probably the way to go – with my own twist of course.
There is however the artist/designer side of me, who wants to see what is possible with this medium, who likes to be challenged. Applying techniques and skills available to me, to create a piece that it truly original and unique – without being overly gaudy. The market for these pieces is obviously a lot smaller. These are supposed to be pieces that you attach sentimental meaning or value to. I want to explore that side of this trade as well.
To me design – in any field – is figuring out how to create something with the resources, skills and techniques available. It’s a process of solving a problem; having and idea of what you want to achieve and then figuring out the best way to apply techniques, materials and skills at your disposal to replicate the image in your mind. I want to explore that side of this art/trade as well.
The following piece falls into the second category of my designs; the once off originals. I mentioned in the previous post that I want to make series depicting endangered animals or habitats.
This piece was inspired in part by a piece of art by Arymiss which I recently acquired, in part by the Monstera plant making quite the comeback – I am not immune to trends – and, as my mother pointed out, because it’s reminiscent of our lush, tropical garden in Mpumalanga, where I was born.
I mentioned that I would start embroidering the sea turtle sketch next, and though I did start on it, I got sidetracked and completed this one instead. It’s one of my temptress sketches, but she’s wearing a sweater instead of a corset. I watched the last three seasons of The Wire while doing this one.
*This piece is now in the collection of Rosalie and James Knaack.
I have always had a thing for the song Big Yellow Taxi by Joni Mitchell, though I grew accustom to the Counting Crows version. I took the sketch I made at the 1000 drawings event and made an embroidered version. I think I’m going to explore embroidery for a bit.
*This piece is now in the collection of Melisa Pierce.
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