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on the beach - white sand 2019

brick paving

July 2019

I am 5th generation Cape Coloured.

My ethnicity is not one of genetics but one of socio-politics

Due to how far I am on the ancestral line, the likelihood of me understanding our, her and his - torical context is slim.

My history has been systematically erased; therefore the value and importance of storytelling has never been more significant, in strengthening the bond of ancestral ties.

 

brick paving is a project that explores the importance of preserving cultural memory without exploitation, by navigating the materiality of photography and its relationship with clay.

This navigation is explored through acts of letter writing, ceramics, and a de-colonial lens-based practice; that speaks to childhood memories which have not been documented in any other form.

 

These memories hold a weight that only exists in the mind of my five-year-old self. As I write I am also ‘chasing and competing' with those memories, and the knowledge I have now of those people and that space.

 

In order to have a self determined form of representation, traditional western methods of blueprint making (cyanotype) have been applied to the clay tiles. Family photos of Yzerfontein are imprinted, which are blurred with the natural chemicals of the photographic process. This is not to erase my family and myself from history, but to protect them from the continuous exploitation and weaponisation of African bodies.

 

Symbiotically the use of clay bricks and gold, shares an integral relationship to the exportational and exploitational role that it has in South African. In particular the unregulated exploitation of

thin South Africa and outside) reaps the benefits. An unfolding occurs, as the systems which are made to elevate the country continually deprive and strain the ideologies and living rights of African descendants.

 

The project intentionally safeguards the photographs while sacrificing the letters, because it's not written in my language. It’s the language of those who stripped me of any connection and expression to the land.

Despite my efforts to reclaim it, I still feel the shrills within my bones, and wails of those who died for me to be here today. Those letters in its broken state are whole. The pain lives in the making, and It’s not a sacrifice if the release of that pain exists in the breaking.

 

But to those who dare step on them to reap the benefits of my histories, first have to face the discomfort with their own.

 

The process creates counter experiences; not as a means to overwrite the oppressive behaviours of colonialism. But instead, it’s an offering to this land and a way of asking for permission to house these memories and experiences. Under a self-determined ideology and framework, which acknowledges and respects indigenous and postcolonial indigenous ideologies.

It speaks to reclaiming colonial narratives of representing African bodies, the materialising of cultural memory, and the journeying of cultural healing.

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Ceramic letters and photographs

on the beach (1)
on the beach (1)

Porcelain - clear glaze and stains 210 x 297x3 mm June 2019

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on the beach (2)
on the beach (2)

Porcelain - clear glaze and stains 210 x 297x3 mm June 2019

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to you (11)
to you (11)

Porcelain - bisque May 2019

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on the beach (1)
on the beach (1)

Porcelain - clear glaze and stains 210 x 297x3 mm June 2019

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Objects may have shifted due to the nature of the projects installation. Though they are broken, they do not hold less value. 

Second Iteration 

Second Iteration 

Third Iteration - Webbs Auction House

Forth Iteration - St Paul Street gallery 3

Fifth Iteration - AD19 - graduation show, AUT WM Building 

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