This exhibition has been inspired by my recent travels to South Africa and Tanzania in 2007 and 2008. The journeys were both educational and emotional. It was a time to reconnect with family who live there and build meaningful relationships in order to gain an understanding of my disconnected family tree and cultural heritage. It was a time to learn the histories and struggles of East and South Africa and note evidence of the very present ramifications of post-colonial and imperial powers, of recent segregation and current IMF and World Bank policies.
My work is a manifestation of the emotional and cognitive expression of these newly found connections. Many of the works in this exhibition reference African/European motifs and strike a personal resonance for me. By isolating visual cues from within my experienced landscapes, such as local security fences and gates throughout Cape Town, I am able to signify the emotional and intellectual barriers that are often consciously or subconsciously enhanced by our physical surroundings.
Be it individual or cultural, preconceptions, misunderstandings and fear emerge when in communication with the other, but with perseverance walls do come down and in their place comes fellowship, forgiveness and trust. The work hints at my continuing battle to understand.
Popular video games, fabric samples, airline magazines, military manuals and maps are used as resources that refer to the globalization of empire through popular culture (and more aggressive means). I often create contrasting cues between the formal elements, color, pattern, texture etc, and the adopted iconology I have employed. These contrasting cues further support my overarching investigation into the tenuous relationships between nature and culture. Through these works I remain optimistic in my hope for a more just global order, while on a local level I continue to consider how to bridge the divide.