‘Trace’, my 2010 Graduate Solo Exhibition was located in the Rehearsal Room of the 1820 Settler’s Monument in Grahamstown, South Africa.

With metal being seemingly masculine in its strength, I chose to manipulate, gauge, and sculpt this resilient and stubborn material into abstract modular shapes. At the time the process of exploring the medium, pushing its boundaries and pliability towards the feminine was most intriguing during a time where I was dealing with my sexuality.

The material left untreated was completely honest, bearing the marks of its transition on its surface in the form of beautiful scratches, dents, and age with oxidation, similar to that of one’s skin carrying the signatures of experience and histories of the past.

Because of this, I could deeply relate to the material. Originally I thought each piece was a portrait of my inner state and trying to find my voice as an artist. It is only later looking back and connecting the dots that I realized it was more about a body without a label and a specific chapter of insecurity.

Image credits: Ulandi Du Plessis

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