Fresias and Guilt.
I grew up in Plettenberg Bay, a South African seaside village, not unlike Hornby Island where I work and live now. As a child I enjoyed climbing over the tidal rocks to pick wild, creamy fresias growing just beyond the busy breakers’ spray. I would make a pact with myself that I had to climb by the steepest route to pick a blossom, thereby spinning the activity out into a labour intensive performance. I do not remember why I exacted this penance from myself before being allowed to grasp the fragrant prize. Guilt maybe? But what did I know about guilt at the age of about eleven? Later I worked as a stenographer and learned to write Pitman’s shorthand in the speediest way.
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Believes that drawing can intersect freely with the warp of the unconscious. In contrast, the pixelled grid, which is shared by Medieval style woven tapestry (ends per inch) and digital prints (dots per inch), dictates a taut saga between old and new technologies.
Knows that whatever technology she uses to make marks in her visual art practice are done in the spirit of extended forms of drawing.
Works With eclectic theoretical issues in a formalist aesthetic that incorporates composed and found text.
Time and all things possible.
I completed a BA at Cape Town University in English Literature (Anglo Saxon and Chaucer), and African Studies (Xhosa), African Studies was one of the routes whereby young, white post colonial people, who had rejected the status quo of apartheid, sought to find information beyond legalized racism. I had the good fortune to study Comparative African Government and Law with Professor Jack Symons. In 1966 I came to Canada, had a prolonged illness, recovered, and accepting my fate as a visual artist, did a BFA and MFA at the University of Saskatchewan. There I learned an invaluable language – the visual elements of formalist art.
Give me an honest pencil.
Chance, and possibly the old impulse to take the steepest route, lead me to the Edinburgh College of Art where I spent a post graduate year in the Tapestry Department. (More language adjustment to the numerous Scottish dialects). Thereafter I was invited to be the 1990 Visiting Fellow to inaugurate a tapestry course in the Fine Art Department at Monash University in Melbourne. (Another language adjustment to Australian vernacular.) Now, always an image maker, I continue to confront the meanings of dissonant languages through the sub texts of visual marks. Give me a pencil, computer, or medieval type loom, and I will stroke disparate technologies into dialogue with each other. I try to keep the performances slow, the meanings open, and I always hope that the process may, at least, be honest.