Women’s Work is a new exhibition being held at the Iziko South African National Gallery between 1 December 2016 – 30 April 2017.

WOMEN’S WORK:  Crafting stories, subverting narratives is an exhibition co-curated by Ernestine White and Olga Speakes and showcases the innovation demonstrated by a diverse group of contemporary South African male and female artists and artisans who utilize and transform techniques such as knitting, crocheting, embroidery, quilting and beadwork to create works that blur the boundaries between art and craft.

Igshaan Adams, stoflike oorskot

The artists within this exhibition push and interrogate the boundaries of their chosen techniques whether it be painting, sculpture, video or installation. The exhibition explores intimate and personal narratives, the effects of colonial histories and trauma on the body, issues of identity and its relation to land, religion and sexuality, as well as gendered power relations.

Visitors to the exhibition will have the unique opportunity to view rarely seen treasures that span 300 years of history in conversation with contemporary works of art. Women’s Work draws on five institutional collections – Art Collection of Parliament of the Republic of South Africa, Grooteschuur Estate Collection, Spier Collection as well as Iziko’s South African National Gallery and Social History collections in addition to numerous contributions from private collectors.

The juxtaposition of the past and the present serves to trace the trajectory of ideas, themes and techniques explored by South African artists. Seminal works by 18 contemporary artists will be on show  and visitors are encouraged to participate in hands-on workshops and learn about different aspects of creative production through in-depth talks from selected artists.

Rorkes Drift tapestry
Athi Patra



When? 1 December 2016 – 30 April 2017

Where? Iziko South African National Gallery, Government Avenue, Company’s
Garden, Cape Town

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