Visitor 2008 – 2009

An interactive exhibition at the UCT Irm Stern museum (Installation overview)

The UCT Irma Stern Museum, or The Firs as she fondly called it, was the house of one of South Africa’s most renowned artists: Irma Stern. Here she lived, created and entertained. According to letters and anecdotes the late Stern was an inspiring and fiery character, but also a very tiring and demanding guest when visiting other homes!

Visitor opened on 3 October 2009 and was almost a solo exhibition. The works were created by Grobler in a wide variety of media, ranging from painting to knitting, ceramics to found objects. The interaction between individual pieces, as well as between the work and the physical space was of primary importance. The installation occupied the gallery and expanded into the garden, claiming more space every day.  In addition, other artists were invited to visit, do residencies and collaborate. In the spirit of a house as organic living space, the show transformed daily and product/art object existed in equilibrium with daily life. It was a celabration of human interaction and of life’s (slightly absurd) tendency to connect a seemingly random list of events.

The collaborations:
Over the past years, I have often collaborated with others, and although this will be almost a solo exhibition, I am inviting various guests to partake in this visual extravaganza. The most extensive project is the residency programme contained in the heart of the exhibition space (the small space directly behind the entrance wall): 14 artists will use this space for 1 day each. Francisca Sanchez, Lien Botha, Abri de Swardt, Adrienne van Eeden-Wharton & Barend de Wet, Lynette Bester, Johan Thom, Niklas Zimmer, Seth Harper, Jacques Coetzer, Michael Taylor, Ruben Gutierrez, Sonya Rademeye and Katherine Bull.

Other collaborations:
• Lien Botha opened Grobler’s first solo exhibition in 1999. It was therefore exciting to collaborate one diecade later. One image from this photo shoot had been transformed into a large beaded panel (beaded by Qalo Beading Studio) for Visitor and another formed part of Botha’s exhibition Parrot Jungle (The Photographers’ Gallery, Shortmarket Street, October 2009).
• Singer Monika Voysey merges (quite literally) with a knitted sculpture (3 and 10 October, 11h00-12h00)
• Life drawing session (closed event): Monday 5 October
Participants: Johann Louw, Clare Menck, John Murray, Nomthunzi Mashalaba, Wonder Marthinus, Norman O’Flynn, Conrad Botes, Marna Hattingh & Marlise Keith.
• The closing event on Saturday 24 October was a collaborative gift ribbon/ lace making performance with Pierre Fouché and a picnic in the garden