As you are most probs aware, we have this tiny thing we do called Skattie Celebrates, where we occupy – no, literally – a gallery space for an evening of celebrating an artist whose work we like, and believe has a bright future ahead of them. So far, some of you will recall, we’ve had a fuck-off nice jol celebrating now widely renowned artists such as Lady Skollie, Thania Petersen and Unathi Mkonto. No, no, ask a friend. All three were moerse nice jols and we are proud to have worked with these artists on their way to becoming the acclaimed artists that they are.
So, if you’re in Cape Town this Saturday, come on by to the AVA Gallery and check out the work of Rose Gelderblom-Waddilove, who is the latest Skattie Celebrant. If not for the art, come anyway and have a lekka dop with us. We’ve got tunes, boo! And get down we do!
But, like, a little bit about Rose, so you know what to expect.
The exhibition, which will be up at the AVA Gallery for the weekend, explores Rose’s journey as an artist, stretching back to her days at Westerford High School, where she defied expectations, exploring melancholic themes, rather than following the prescribed art subject curriculum.
“I was 16 and I was caught up with a group of friends that suffered a tragedy, and I had just started a series of charcoal and ink self-portraits. The work became a reflection, through my eyes, trying to create a memorial for the loss we went through. I was trying to create images that held my sadness, but something that could be a mirror for the experiences of others.”
Her other works explore themes of displacement (most recently through work produced following a trip to Palestine), solidarity, unity and tension in the context of South African history, as well as work inspired by the legend of her grandfather, of whom Rose holds a belief, died because of art.
“My grandfather became the inspector of art in South African schools, and had to drive around in some fucked up old Opel from as far as Kimberley, to Graaf-Reinet, and even up through Natal to the Transvaal, inspecting art in schools.”
He would later develop a lump in his back as a result of the intensive cross-country driving, inspecting the state of art in schools, and the pressure from the car seat. “This led to a back operation he had to have at the age of 36, but because of the heart disease from the fever he developed when he was five and his dad had left, his heart was too weak and his back was too volatile for them to operate on his heart. So he dies.”
“Stories of art and pain have motivated much of my research. Allowing me opportunities to travel, Palestine being my most recent trip. Palestine allowed me an opportunity to reflect on the state of the nation in South Africa, the symbolic ending of apartheid and issues of solidarity. My most recent work explores these themes through print, painting and installation.”
So, the title refers to Rose as “te kunstig”. I’m pretty sure some of you know I’m perhaps not using the Afrikaans term correctly, but it applies. Come through to the AVA and learn more about the legacy of one ‘te kunstig’ Gelderblom.
By Sandiso Ngubane