In my MFA Study, I propose to interrogate issues of identity through the mind of a 90s born millennial (South African) woman whose world is shaped by her background in the ‘New South Africa’. I will be working with conceptualizations of female characters in various myths (some imagined/ self-constructed), history, as well as engaging in the representation of women in contemporary popular culture that is informed by films, various fashion trends and music videos. During this project, I will use performativity/ performance art, photography, installation and video in order to map out how popular culture informs constructions of history and mythmaking. I address the absence of the (black) female body in the monumentalisation of public spaces.
I wish to create work through the medium of collage, montage and mixed media assemblage that investigates the existing gender stereotypes pertaining to the roles of women. Through the aforementioned modes of working and through using satire and humour, I wish to subvert these stereotypes by performing and enacting them in ways that suit the subject while satiating those members of society intent on ensuring women are doing what women are “supposed” to be doing. I hope to find “loopholes” within these gender roles that enable one to perform ones “feminine duties” without having to.
Juxtaposing fractal and Euclidean geometry, my MFA project examines ecology in relation to the production of art. The project focuses on wood as a primary material in art production. My lifelong fascination with forests and trees and their symbiotic relationships with other forest organisms inform my practice. Through my work I study the apparent paradoxes and contradictions in our understanding and ideas of nature and ecology. By using various forms of wood such as living trees, timber, and decayed wood, as well as other natural materials and organisms found in forests, such as mushrooms, I make sculptures and structures that investigate our relationship to both the materials and the landscapes that they are taken from.
My Masters project is titled Leisure Island. My proposed project will comprise of paintings through which the relationship between leisure and the upper middle class in contemporary South Africa is investigated. The visual language of leisure from my white upper middle class point of view will be explored. Family photographs will be used as reference images for the paintings. Paint will allow me to escalate moments of interest from the photographs. My painting process will be an investigative one where I propose to create paintings that reveal privilege and uncertainty. A subtle eerie and filmy quality will disrupt these leisurely scenes in order to consider the subject matter within a pre-and post-Apartheid South African context.
Michaelis School of Fine Art
University of Cape Town
31 -37 Orange Street Gardens
8001 Cape Town