Below is an interview that Greatmore Studios, Cape Town, SA, released in their newsletter and a link to a podcast of an interview with SAFM, South Africa’s national radio station:
TAG catches up with two visiting artists to talk about life, art making and their upcoming exhibition.
TAG: Talk us through your creative process Dana Hargrove: I came to the residency with a sense that I wanted to work with patterns, perhaps African textiles or icons specific to the urban landscape in Cape Town. My work uses happy, cheerful colours but in a way is like a double-edged sword, it is loaded with multiple meanings.I think I had set my sights two high and that made me initially disappointed .I came to South Africa already thinking about all the crates of work that I would have to return home with. After two months though I had hardly anything to show! I had not really considered the ‘real’ time it would take to actually produce work in this very foreign place. It takes time to develop one’s ideas. Getting to know my father and sister during my visit to South Africa have been a huge part of my growth and creative process…when I initially came everything was a little uncomfortable as you can imagine must have had some culture shock but it has all worked out.TAG: What are your feelings about your upcoming exhibition, what can we expect?D.H.:I can visualize the exhibition! I feel happy about that. I was stressed earlier, but realising that it is an open studio event takes the pressure off and I began to just produce.I hope to strip the whole studio to whiteness and mount little canvases on the walls of different spike motifs that are common on many of the neighborhood fences- this will form some sort of installation. I am also hoping to accompany this body of work with photographs of fences, gates and communication lines that have informed my work over the last three months. For me photographs add a clear dimension to the show. In some of my work, I explore an Afrikaans structural fence called ‘broekie-lace which are very much embedded in Edwardian history and has links with imperialism. They are very colonial. Since I arrived I have been able to pick up the links everywhere with Europe- a culture that has a strong signature in the architecture. I was interested in isolated visual cues in the landscape that could speak for something else. The ‘broekie-lace’ as much as it speaks of security also can allude to the pretty barriers we erect in our communication with others on a relational level. I think people will understand the work. Some of my pieces are a little moody but all of it is pretty readable.