Helen Sebidi: The Child's Mother Holds the Sharp Side of the Knife (1988-89)
This work is portraying the social issue of gender roles. It is not a literal but rather a symbolic depiction of Sebidi's pre-occupation with these roles. Commenting on her work, she says: "I see a woman chained, pulling her tradition. In our language they always say 'yours is yours.' You've got to handle it, you've got to be, don't let go . . . In African tradition they say it is the woman who holds the sharp side of the knife. Here, woman is holding the knife in this way and is saying: 'this is what I have to do, and it's my way.'"