Still Standing .... 2015, April

In April this year I participated in a group exhibition at artSpace durban in an exhibition entitled "Threads".

Artists who previously have incorporated thread in their work were asked to participate.   

The brief asked us to choose a drawing by one of our favourite artists which we in turn would translate into our own work.


Standing Woe-man 

My inspiration for this work was Alberto Giacometti’s ‘Standing Woman’.  I made the piece at the time of the xenophobic attacks in Durban and got to thinking how the bondage of an individual’s fear and despair (woe) can affect the community as a whole.

Perhaps in order for us to see the whole, we need to stand back, and like Giacometti, to question and to try to find a new way of looking and translating what we see.


[1] Born in the tiny village of Borgonovo in eastern Switzerland in 1901, Giacometti chose Paris as his city of adoption. When he left Paris to visit his mother in Geneva some 20 years later, little did he know that he would end up living there from 1942 to 1945. At the time he was not authorised to return to France due to his Swiss nationality.


The period from 1935-1946 proved to be a difficult one for Alberto. Not only was it wartime, but he was also undergoing one of the longest and deepest crises of his artistic career.  "This transitional period was a major rupture in his career," said Schneider. "He loses all contact with galleries and doesn't show his work. But it's a period when he questions his work and tries to find a new way of looking and translating what he sees." During this period his work also started to reduce in size, reflecting his attempt to represent bodies and heads according to how he saw them at a distance.

"I saw nothing but countless details. To see the whole I had to push the model further and further back. The more distant the head, the more it shrank in size, something that terrorised me," Alberto commented. 


 You can see more images of the work here



[1] – Geneva’s Rath Museum:  Nadia Schneider, curator of the retrospective, told – Nov 11, 2009