/ PAST Exhibitions
What I sawAn exhibition of recent work by Ingrid Stevens
26 July 2019 to 14 August 2019
Ingrid (aka Muffin) Stevens was a professor in the Department of Fine & Applied Arts at the Tshwane University of Technology. After 36 years as an academic she retired in 2017. She lectured in theory and research, as well as the practical creation of art and crafts. She has a D Tech (Fine Arts) degree, which focused on sustainability in South African craft projects, while her master’s degree investigated contemporary art criticism. She has published extensively, both in the popular press and scholarly journals, on contemporary art, South African crafts and theories of art criticism. She also creates art, exhibits and is currently a Professor Emeritus.
In What I Saw she combines decoration, which fascinates her for its meanings and histories, with various other themes, such as ordinary household objects which can be everyday yet strange, mysterious, even magical. Objects are complex signifiers, or ‘texts’. Some ‘texts’ are intimate, personal and domestic, like a teacup or bowl. Others make references to history and different cultures, like mosaics, paintings or fabrics. Some are amusing or whimsical, such as the snow globes that she loved as a child. Landscapes also carry messages, and she is interested in history as narrated through these.
Here she considers snatches of what she observed during a long stay in Paris and Morocco recently. Bits of what caught her attention, now altered, juxtaposed or combined through the filter of memory, are used to attempt to create a kind of magic or mood through recollection while using a play of colours. According to her all artworks ultimately are images of the interior of the artist and of the human condition: alive/dead; alone/in community; active/passive; satisfied/greedy, happy/sad and so forth.
Ingrid Stevens’s works are exciting, gripping, moving and leave a lasting impression.