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Gallery Portfolio

G A L L E R Y P O R T F O L I O

A collection of pieces, bodies of work, analyses, and descriptions.
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From the years 2018 onwards, I was invested and developing my career as a tattoo artist, working with more illustration and design-based works.


Current Body of Work (2024)

“Dee intends to explore and unpack the meaning of identity, both her own and that of individuals she knows intimately. This piece is a single part of a larger body of work intended to explore her husband Axel’s dysphoria and complexities of life being married to a pre-op trans male. While society tends to focus on the journeys of the transgendered individuals themselves, Dee is experiencing the journey as a partner. Axel came out to Dee a month before they got married, requiring her to navigate the transition between dating a woman to being married to a man. There is a lot of pain, grief, and heartbreak that comes with the happiness, joy, and freedom felt on behalf of the love of your life. To try and explore the relationship between these two individuals would take a lifetime. So we start with one piece.
Top surgery is out of reach for most South African trans people. Axel deals with this by using a binder; a compression garment designed to spread the breast tissue flat to mimic a flat chest. However, the more comfortable and discreet option is taping. Watching Alex tape is like watching someone sculpt. It’s a process that can take many attempts until it’s just right and his silhouette is good to go. When he gets it right, his face lights up as his physical self starts to match up to the self within his mind. No matter what other emotions may happen later, the rash when the tape is removed, the emotional pain of watching the dysphoria rebuild, the executive strain of adjusting activities around the ability to bind or not …
This moment, here and now, is euphoric.”


Individual Pieces (2014-2018)

“Kathleen Study”

Pastels on Fabriano
1m x 1.5m

“Stylist”

Coloured pencil
A3 sized

A small analysis on body dysmorphia, and the pressures of changing oneself to tackle the feeling.

“Kathleen Study II”

Charcoal on Fabriano
1m x 1.5m

“Reaching”

Coloured pencil
A3 sized

A second piece on body dysmorphia, taking away the structure and leaving the body suspended alone.


Rule Number One Exhibition (2013)

Rule Number One (2013), graduate exhibition
Love Thyself
“I love stories: leaving reality behind in favour of a fantastic Other World. At the age of 21 I was diagnosed as Bipolar. I was struggling with a lot of emotions, with very little structure in my life to support me. Depression. Anger. Self Esteem. Bipolar. I struggled with all these labels, and all these facets of a person wearing my own face.
“I used Dance as a combative tool. A tool to help me become stronger, more confident, and to equip myself to be my own support structure. My goal is to beat these demons that so often steal my face. The goal is to eventually love myself.”

PRESENT DAY ANALYSIS
At the time, I didn’t have the words to express this, and most certainly didn’t have the words to write an appropriate Artist’s Statement to describe it. Looking back on it now, I see the story I was telling. The darkness, the loneliness, the drama, the overwhelming colossal nature of these pieces. These were 6 metre tall pastel drawings, shown in a dark and completely silent space but for the sharp squeaking, foot drags, and small thuds of a sound-recorded pole performance I had done earlier on.
Even the process itself belies its true story: the charcoal backgrounds had been painstakingly laid down and blended and rubbed by hand; sometimes rubbing my fingertips raw. But it was the only way to yield that pitch darkness I wanted. The fact that I’m terrified of heights, yet had to stand on precarious chairs on top of tables just to draw the pieces. And hanging them was an actual nightmare, because then I was up on a shaky scaffold.
This exhibition was about fear, and self perception. I felt at odds with myself. I didn’t think I had what it took to be a professional artist. I felt lost and alone.