'Three people and the worlds they live in'
An exhibition of painting, printing and stitching, "Threads", curated by Bronwen Findlay, will be held upstairs at the Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg, from 7 August to 15 September 2001.
By suggesting projects that Faiza Galdhari, Daina Mabunda and Bronwen Findlay can share, Findlay produces walls hung ceremoniously with long cloths, creating a sacred space. Such divinity is not sombre, but celebratory, marked as it is with Findlay's exuberant red flower splotches, Mabunda's delight in colour and Galdhari's calligraphic design. Large scale and intimate detail combine refreshingly to join difference in a visual union.All three artists have a unique and individual style, but by showing the work in the same space certain commonalities become evident. At times this may be seen in the choice of motifs or subject matter - flowers, birds, insects. Mabunda has used safety pins on cloth in the Shangaan tradition. Findlay has used paint to simulate safety pins and beads in her work. She has produced a series of paintings two metres in length on which a series of paint marks are repeated reminding us of stitching. These dots of paint have their origins in items such as beads, pins, seeds and rice.
Her subject matter derives from objects which may be scattered or sprinkled, the marks produced are repeated and do not have to be contained by a frame or border. Decoration and pattern plays an important role in all three artists' work. In the work of Galdhari this decoration or pattern may be seen in the way she responds to the world of Islam. Calligraphy and ornamentation play an important role in her decoration on a series of painted plates as well as a hand painted cloth and a number of prints (etching, screenprints and lithographs). Galdhari qualified as a printmaker, Findlay has become known mainly as a painter and Mabunda embroiders fabric and does beadwork. However, in this exhibition all these labels are playfully questioned. At times Mabunda seems to be creating line drawings in beads, Findlay makes embroideries with paint and Galdhari combines painting and printing.
This exhibition is about differences and similarities - about responses to three lives, about colour and texture, about painting and printing and stitching, about three people and the worlds they live in.