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Beads on board
W: 700mm x H: 600mm x D: 25mm
W: 28" x H: 24" x D: 1"
Approx. Weight: 3.4kg
This work is
For almost 50 years the ruling government strived to separate different groups in South Africa. The population was divided and ethnic groups were forcibly moved to segregated areas. This cut deeply in to the heart and soul of the majority of people and led to the alienation of an entire nation.
With the start of South Africa's democracy, hopeful people were dreaming of a new life, one of dignity and poise. The new flag with its beautiful colors and symbolism reflected the dream of a better future. Below the surface, however, groups were suspicious and angry with each other. Ubuntu was still but a dream.
For centuries, beads were known to show a reflection of the wearer's uniqueness. Therefore, it seemed significant to me as an artist, to combine beads and the colors of the flag to convey the arduous and painstakingly slow process of healing the people and working towards a collective identity: One Rainbow Nation.
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View all 12 works by Miemie van Loggerenberg
"Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures " - Henry Ward Beecher
The act of living is essentially the unwrapping and revealing of the layers of idiosyncrasies of the person. It tells what you think, what you feel, what you have to say and your values and believes. It expresses who you are and the way you think about yourself and the world. It is a unique display of your identity.
Modern man suffers from an information overload. Many different ideologies, believe systems and ethics are on your plate daily. In order to establish who you are and where you fit in becomes an arduous process of reflecting on and integrating your narration with your daily experiences, thereby inventing yourself continuously. South African people have an especially challenging setting. A history of segregation, intolerance between cultures, urbanization, separation of families, unemployment and poverty, foster people that are not grounded in a solid view of self. The foundation for the formation of a sound identity is at best flakey.
By revisiting ancient art, rituals, symbols and art-making I propose an alternative ground as footing for the formation of individual, social and collective identity. To accomplish this, I chose beads, wax and mixed media as mediums to work with.
Since the early ages wax was used by the Egyptians to preserve the recollections of rich and important people through the making of burial portraits. Thin layers of wax were used to build up a likeness of the deceased person. Layers were fused into a solid unit that represented the individual. This process is analogous to the layering and merging of sets of events, stories and ideas and the merging thereof into a sense of self, thereby providing continuity over time.
Archeologists found beads in the Blombos Cave in South Africa that were estimated to be 75 000 years old. Not only were beads used for trading, but also as symbols of expressing who you are. For centuries beads were used as a language. It would show whether the wearer was rich, poor, married, betrothed or widowed. I found the painstaking, meticulous nature of working with beads an applicable metaphor of the laborious but often na[0xC3AF]ve process of rumination and assimilation of material into a body of characteristics: The facts of who you are.
Through the use of specific colors, symbols and objects I not only strive to articulate the pain, bewilderment and loss that accompanies the alienation and annihilation of "Self", I also attempt to portray the possibility of an awareness of an altered reality, thereby facilitating a distinctiveness of person, group and nation.
If I am not me, who will I be?
"My Creator through my Creation" at the Alette Wessels Kunskamer (2003)
"My Mythology and Utopia" at. the Alette Wessels Kunskamer (Nov 2004)
"(Re) inventing Van Eyck" at the Arts Association (February 2009)
"(Re) inventing Van Eyck" at the North-West University Gallery in Potchefstroom (June 2009)
"Baroque: historical incarnations" by Johan Conradie & Friends at the Arts Association in Pretoria (May 2010)
Sasol New Signatures Art Competition's exhibition at the Pretoria Art Museum as a finalist (August 2011)
"Ricochet: The Space Between" (May 2013)
"Altered Realities", curated by Johan Conradie at the Association of Arts Pretoria (September 2015)
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