My Masters project is titled Fashionable Addiction – Itcomments on the impact of digital media on society, with particular reference to my home country the Democratic Republique of Congo (DRC) with its relation to developments of fashion and access to technology – It also comments on the consumerist nature of contemporary information technology in Africa, and how it follows a trend, relating to the FOMO (an internet slang acronym for Fear Of Missing Out) phenomena.
This project was inspired by regularly visiting a technician to have my second-hand laptop fixed. The piles of discarded computer parts I always noticed stored at his spot looked like sculpture installations to me. I therefore, started obsessively collecting and storing them myself. In the process I started to question issues regarding contemporary information technology and the rapid change in the consumption of products as a result of rampant capitalism.
I explore medicine as a medium for painting. The medicine comprises self-medicated pharmaceutical products, tinctures and galenicals. I am interested in the associations suggested by this medicine when it becomes painted surface, the figurative forms the surface can evoke and how these can transform into visual metaphor for notions of trauma and inevitably, healing. I am particularly concerned with animal/human relations, an interest sparked by my personal experience of a caged bear during my stay in Georgia, Eastern Europe in 2011. It was in the town of Gori that I first encountered the bear. I was immediately drawn to this confined beast and visited him every day. The notion of the bear, his surroundings, his behaviour and what I perceived to be his keen desire for contact with me, triggered strong feelings that I wanted to paint.
Quanta Gauld is in the process of completing a Masters in Fine Art with a practical focus in kinetic sculpture and new media. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art from The University of Cape Town (Michaelis School of Fine Art). Her current research aims to analyse a disconnect between humans and other exploited life, both human and non-human. By referencing the human body as a relatable site of violence, pain, and loss, through the materiality of kinetic sculpture, she attempts to establish an emotional connection between the viewer and the work to mend the disconnect between humans and the exploited living world.
In my PhD project, I challenge myself to revivify a somewhat forlorn and forgotten colonial- era object collection based in the UCT Manuscripts and Archives Department via a diverse range of creative and curatorial strategies. Most of these interventions are in some way marked by my own presence in the archive as a recently visually impaired researcher/ artist, seeking to orientate myself somatically and sensorily now that my ability to engage with material visually is compromised.
Francois Knoetze completed his BFA at Rhodes University in 2012. He specialises in sculpture, using trash and other discarded objects as a creative medium. His work also incorporates film and performance as vehicles through which to further explore the symbolic and aesthetic potential of the materials used in his sculptures. The primary concern of Knoetze’s work is the blurring of boundaries between body and object as a product of a consumer-driven culture. His work explores the personification of things and the objectification of persons by retracing discarded materials back to their sources – through homes, freight trains, factories, farms and shops – presenting an expansive account of the value systems and network of processes responsible for the commodities we accumulate. A large part of his practice comprises spending long periods of time sourcing materials from scrap-yards, recycling plants and trash dumps. During the first half of his Masters degree he will be working on a short film titled Cape Mongo, which will feature a series of site specific performances in and around Cape Town.
Jean le Clus-Theron
Johannesburg born, Jean le Clus-Theron is a BA Graphic Design and BA Art History Honours (cum laude) graduate from the North-West University, Potchefstroom campus. She has been successfully managing the NWU’s Centre for Creativity Training since 2008. In 2011 Jean presented a paper at an international conference at UCLA, with her first accredited article published in 2012. In 2013 she enrolled at Michaelis School of Fine Art under guidance of Andrew Lamprecht and Annemi Conradie. Jean was drawn to continue her studies at UCT due to her interest in various theoretic approaches to the phenomena of artistic success and importance in the Contemporary South African art market scene, read more at www.memearts.com.