The Sixth In A Series Of Art Exhibitions By Recent Michaelis Masters Of Fine Arts Graduates. Michaelis Galleries is pleased to present APPLE GIRL by recent Master of Fine Art Graduate, Jill Joubert.
Michaelis Galleries is pleased to present APPLE GIRL by recent Master of Fine Art Graduate, Jill Joubert.
Jill Joubert’s work has been devoted to the interpretation and transformation of Italo Calvino’s fairy tale, Apple Girl, into performed sculpture. The exhibition consists of seven tableaux on wheels, conceived through the properties of carved wood and found objects, which also function as miniature puppet theatres. These were animated and performed in front of an audience by Joubert with the jazz artist, Athalie Crawford, giving voice to the tableaux and puppets. Alongside the sculptures, a document of the live performance will be screened during the exhibition.
Acknowledging the ancient trajectory of fairy tales, Joubert has borrowed from a wide range of historical references including the Palaeolithic, Judeo-Christian, Southern and West African, as well as from more contemporary artists like Pablo Picasso and Jackson Hlungwani. Typical of folk puppeteers the world over, she has also scavenged an eclectic mix of materials for her sculptures, many of which were chosen for their embedded memories. Avoiding realism, she has re-worked pieces of wood and old furniture, bleached animal bones, bicycle parts, used fabrics, snail shells and so on into simplified, stylised puppets, reminiscent of African puppetry traditions and European folk toys, all of which suggest an existence of a world beyond the quotidian.
Joubert’s work evades a clear definition in the conventional sense of the separate mediums of puppet theatre and sculpture, motionless tableaux and performance art, yet borrows liberally from them all towards her own interpretation and re-enactment of Calvino’s fairy tale.
Jill Joubert has worked extensively in the field of art education, recently taking early retirement as principal of the Frank Joubert Art Centre (1997 – 2009) to study for her Masters degree. Together with Colin Stevens and the late Lilian Landu, she started the Ibhabhathane Project in 1998, which is an NPO devoted to training teachers in art education throughout South Africa. Joubert was also a founder-member Handspring Puppet Company in 1981. She has an Honours Degree in Art History from UCT and attained her Masters Degree with distinction.