Nicolene Swanepool

Rydiere (Ceramic, Size variable, one of 6)

Rydiere (Ceramic, Size variable, one of 6)

Artist's Statement

Animals, especially domestic animals, (‘cultivated’ beings, so, in a sense, ‘encultured’ beings) are the obligatory servants of humans. In South African history, cattle are bearers of indigenous people and their history, while horses are bearers of the coloniser. Here cattle and a single horse are assembled into one ‘herd’. The heads are emblazoned with colonial and oriental Ming (VOC) imagery and beadwork patterns. Two heads bear the following message: Cow of the home, god with the moist nose, cow that makes nations fight; you have killed many men. The letters of this African maxim are impressed in copper wire, which was, like glass beads, traded by colonialists for cattle. Copper wire still creates polarisation, the destitute taking to stealing and bartering copper from cables, with resulting havoc in the world of the rich, who depend on the affected communication system and power supplies. 

Artist's Biography

Born: Vanderbijlpark, 1962. Lives and works in Johannesburg. Received her M.Tech in Fine Art from the University of Johannesburg and her BVSc from the University of Pretoria. Major exhibitions: Design Indaba, Cape Town; University of Johannesburg Art Gallery, Gordart Gallery, ABSA Art Gallery and Museum Africa, in Johannesburg; Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees; FNB Craft Now, Durban. Awards and scholarships: JAVMA Award