“I have always been drawn to those moments of escape where I could freely dream up different worlds.”
Where are you from?
Your style in 3 words?
Intuitive, Sensitive, Playful
Your weakness? Your strength?
Weakness: I have a very high demand for myself, which can be exhausting. Strength: My love for the world.
What makes you different?
I might enjoy being covered in clay, paint, and soil more than the average person.
When did you decide to become an artist?
I knew I would become an artist when I was a child playing in the mud and living in trees. I have always been drawn to those moments of escape where I could freely dream up different worlds.
Do you choose your art form, or does the form choose you?
Sometimes I choose, sometimes I am chosen. Most of the time, we meet each other somewhere in the middle.
What do you find most fascinating about the creative process?
My first love was painting. I love the immediacy of it. When I paint, my whole body is involved, which makes me feel connected and present. It is interesting for me how this need for immediacy and bodily involvement has through the years translated into other mediums I use in my practice. Whether I work in glass sculpture, rock installations, woven works, performance art, or even photography, my body and senses are always directly involved and impacted by it.
A few words about your favorite creation?
I always deeply love what I work on in the present moment. This means that my favorite creation constantly changes as new ideas emerge. Currently, I am most absorbed by the works I am making from clay I found in a quarry whilst attending the Bodhi Khaya Artist Residency in the Western Cape. Spending time with this clay is like sitting with history. The geological time of its existence makes my own feel brief. The sticky, wet, weight of it seems to carry within it the recent history of this land, which has experienced violence inflicted on it and between the people that have inhabited it. This weight grew heavier as I pondered the future, both social and environmental. My work Weight/Wait (2023) reflects this heaviness and the need for resolution. In this series of work, I formed the clay into stone-like shapes, tied them onto a string, and suspended them over the quarry pond. Ever-so-slowly, the weight of the clay pulls down, the tension of string starting to cut through it. I observe in suspense as the string cuts deeper and deeper, waiting for resolution. Finally, the string cuts through, and the clay land into the water with a ‘plomp’. The string starts to settle as the clay dissolves, returning to the waters of the place it came from.
What surprised you most about your first art shows?
How much work goes into it beyond making the artwork itself? From the curation to the installation assistance, the cleaners, printers, and gallery staff, there are so many hands and hearts involved and everyone plays an important part. I was also surprised to see that my work could affect people emotionally, and how different those emotions were for different people.
Someone else’s work that inspired or inspires you…
Ana Mendieta, Otobong Nkanga, Eva Hesse, Wangechi Mutu, Marina Abramović
Who would you like to work with someday and why?
Scientists, farmers, musicians, dancers… I enjoy learning from people with expertise in a wide array of disciplines.
A new project coming up or an idea you want to work on?
Over the past two years, I have been engaging with the landscape of the Western Cape and its waters. This landscape, and its people, have been affected by ever-growing extreme weather conditions, from severe droughts and fires to violent floods. I have been investigating the spiritual connection that different cultures had with the waters of this land and how it has been suppressed by “modern” civilization. My question then is: how do we foster again this connection and come back to a place of care and respect? I am currently developing a new body of work that brings a more human aspect to my previous works. These new works deeply engage with the concept of reconnection and healing, both from within myself and alongside other art practitioners whom I am collaborating with.
Finish the sentence „More important than my career is…“
…being connected to people and the world around me.
2023: Where are we going?
Humanity is severely impacted by growing uncertainties in the world, both on a humanitarian and environmental level. I hope that in the year to come, we find a balance within these ambiguities, leaving us better equipped to navigate the environmental and humanitarian conflicts we are so deeply struggling with.
Do you think about time as an artist?
All the time! Drying time, setting time, melting time, studio time, thinking time, looking time, waiting time, holding time; so many times.
When the going gets tough…
you step into it, sit with it, endure it, and stick it through.
Put on your future vision glasses: What direction is our generation moving in, what will our world look like in 50 years?
Posthumanism is in full swing. The future for the planet looks dire and the weather is extreme, but communities are working collectively towards partial healing. Extractivist and Capitalist policies are giving way to circular economies. We are continuously exploring new ways of living better together with each other and with the Earth’s resources. It is a bit of a trial-and-error process, but most of us are trying.
What would you do if you could change the World?
I would create a world where people listen to each other with intent and respect and are heard in return. Also, more nature.
What does freedom mean when it comes to art?
Freedom in art means being able to continuously create in a sustained, secure, and supportive environment.
If the universe is everything and it’s expanding, what is it expanding into?
Tell us about your future plans…
My plans are to continue making and learning, to collaborate over boundaries, and to build a sustainable career as a full-time artist. For the near future, this includes participating at Art Cologne in November 2023 and a solo at the Investec Cape Town Art Fair in February 2024.
Your city’s favorite spots?
A4 Arts Foundation, Cape Town, Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town
Pajamas and Jam, Strand
A book that everyone should read…
Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe
Last but not least: what is your favorite Song?
I don’t have a favorite, but when in doubt, I always play Nina Simone.
One last statement please: „Wood or stone, gold or art?“
Stone and art. Same thing.