5 February 2024 - 29 March 2024
Participating: Ilen? Bothma | Janel Capraro | Veronica Sleigh
Featuring three female Artists from the Western Cape of South Africa who all find nourishment, renewal and inspiration from their habitual time spent in our Ocean. The exhibition reflects on this calling and presents a collection of works comprising several mediums such as functional objects & ceramics, painting, mobiles and sculptures, made to assist in a journey that transcends into the incorporeal.
Ilené Bothma’s painting presents us with the image of a nude female, seemingly captured, yet with her gaze remaining defiant. Potentially bound or restrained by the Artist’s signature symbology of constraint (usually a porous material), the title: Siren’s Song, does however also accentuate the potential or overlooked senses or abilities that remain at her disposal, in this case, her song. Feared by those who find themselves ‘out of their element’, the mythical creature alluded to here was said to lure their prey to watery deaths by the power of their beautiful voice or songs which was said to enthrall even the most strong willed man, who could not resist the fatal allure - once heard.
Further descending into these abyssal depths of ‘the unknown’ dark, and leaving the shoreline behind, we might encounter other creatures, like those created by Veronica Sleigh, who would assist us on our perilous journey home or farther into the further. Providing vessels for her ÁquaAir Elementals with found objects (which she refers to as treasures) collected throughout her extensive travels and by practicing daily beachcombing as part of her daily ritual, conjuring objects akin to Folk Art who act as guides and endless inspiration.
Seamlessly travelling between the air and water currents, with wings that can also serve as fins, these objects are imbued with intention and purpose, becoming functional objects. The shadows cast by the mobiles and mixed media sculptures playfully create immerse ambiences of colour and form. The exhibition also contains several functional objects, such as Moletraps lovingly converted into candle holders, ritualistic altars as well as new ceramic candle holders created as homage to sea life by Janel Capraro. By harnessing the potential of fire, she creates ceramic sculptures that mimic the appearance of being wet or even alive ocean specimens.
This endless convergence of water, fire, earth and air accommodates states of flux which not only sustains eco-systems, but also perhaps demonstrates an alchemical fascination. As these Artists’ are perpetually compelled to navigate the perilous journey to create and make, despite fear and self doubt, their tenacity to overcome and to listen to the calling of the Siren’s Song persists.