Monday, November 10, 2014

SHIFT [IN] COLLECTIVE: A FADA Visual Arts BTech Exhibition; Barnes, Hall, Mashinini and Rowley.

Michael Peterson Studio Shot.
FADA Gallery Opening. 

Thursday 13 November

Time: 18:00 for 18:30 

From: 13-20 November

Chelsea Rowley studio shot.
Chelsea Rowley
This body of work deals primarily with the creation of ambiguous imagery. Through the use of a painterly and mainly two-dimensional medium, I have investigated the indeterminate and tentative nature of the ambiguous image. Within this visual portrayal of ambiguity lie certain dichotomous aspects such as corporeality and artificiality, and landscapes and macro imagery.

When confronted with such ambiguous imagery the viewer is made aware of the act of observation and spectatorship, and, more importantly, of their role in the interpretation of the image, as they recognize certain connotations of aspects and objects and subsequently link them to certain areas of each work.

Michael Petersen
Through this body of work I seek to explore my own identity as a coloured male in contemporary Johannesburg. Through the notion of claiming space, I seek to represent the coloured identity as an undefinable, intermediary culture rich in contradiction.

I do this by drawing a parallel to the mythological entity known as the trickster, in which I address motifs, values and anecdotes pertaining to the coloured culture in a manner which is separate from stereotypical understanding.

Not only does the trickster seek to claim space within a given environment but also within himself. The collection is focused around the sub theme of ‘things my mother said’, addressing both nostalgia and absurdism.
Michael Petersen studio shot.

Siani-Michelle Hall
City in Transition

Johannesburg is a city that is losing its ‘self’ because of its multifaceted identity. The original identity of Johannesburg has been ‘camouflaged’ due to the fact that there are so many different cultures existing in one space.

This body of work investigates the constant shifting spaces of the city of Johannesburg. Through the constant reiteration of my photographic material of the city and the over layering process of the ink wash drawings, I attempt to develop the city of Johannesburg into a camouflage space commenting on its composite identity.

Zanele  Mashinini’s work is primarily about an exploration of a selection of different cultures within the African continent. A distinctive element in her work is cowhide which plays a role of being a signifier of culture and cultural customs and traditions. 

She investigates the notion of dowry as well as her identity and sense of place, focusing mainly on African brides and African customs. Mashinini is particularly interested in the concept of dowry because there will be a point in her life where she will settle down and get married. This exploration of different brides serves as a study which prepares her for when the time and opportunity for her to become a bride avails itself.  She presents herself in specific African contexts, mimicking these African brides in different poses so as to achieve ways in which culture has influenced the women’s representation in each of the societies in which they belong. Mashinini explores her Swazi culture, Xhosa culture as well as the influence of the BaSotho culture in her identity.  She therefore hybridises her identity and sense of self with cultures different from her own.

My work deals with family history, shame and the trauma that follows shame. My concept deals with Three Generations of women. I thought about what makes my grandmother, my mother and I similar; I found the links to be ordeals and traumatic experiences that each of us experienced at a young age. I chose to represent this by using memory as a tool and I re-enacted these memories to create my sculpture. An interview that consisted of 36 questions was conducted with my grandmother, mother and I. I found similarities in very specific questions and one thing I’ve learnt because of this interview is that the secrets amongst family members are abundant and dark, and only once you know about them do you realize how similar your lives are or have become. It is almost as if there is an existing pattern (invisible and un-controlling) or wave that has been passed on from generation to generation. 

One of these patterns is that of abuse. I use drawers and doors as a metaphor for secrets. The object becomes the metaphor. You can only see the secret once you open the drawer. The drawer holds secrets and memories, inside each drawer is a story. The same applies for the doors (secrets on top of secrets). The way I was brought up plays a big role in the way I think and the way in which I make art and also the decisions I make on what to display and tell. Therefore I have chosen to reconstruct these memories and share secrets through different aspects by using different objects and have them displayed. I wanted to send messages in these drawers, they act as a “peephole” into my family’s life, a side of my family and I that becomes exposed, and opening each drawer is like invading a personal space. It becomes almost uncomfortable to know to invade a personal space that has been exposed. Your identity is formed the way other people perceive you and in return this is how one perceives one self.

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