Fragile land: skin tissue
Thread, gut, teabags, watercolour and glue on Tissue Paper
48 x 48 cm
The aim with this artwork was to express the topography of the landscape onto a layer of ‘skin’, made from tissue paper and teabags to recreate skin’s fragile translucency, and then emphasising either physical or conceptual aspects of the geography through the use of threading (stitches for a wound) and watercolour (symbolic for the water in the veins and rivers of the land).
While life in the Karoo is resilient and ancient, a fragile balance underlies the seeming endless horizons, mountain ranges and ‘klip-plaatjies’. Like the skin of an elderly person, it is marked by creases, folds, and blemishes that captures its history and experiences. Any mining activity has long since been likened to an act of cutting into the skin of the earth.
This artwork was exhibited at the Pretoria Art Museum in 2015 as part of The Industrial Karoo – Fear & Loss, curated by Katie Barnard du Toit.