Serving Msunduzi through the Visual Arts
FOTAG Focus Articles
For a number of years the Natal Witness ran articles by FOTAG members. These articles called the FOTAG Focus discussed artworks from the collection on display.
Stripped ("Oh Yes") Girl
mixed media sculpture, 1995
Jane Alexander (b. 1959)
by Nontobeko Ntombela
Being around this sculpture gives me a very uncomfortable feeling. But what I like about it is the realistic confrontation that it brings out. To me it talks about male destructiveness and the male enjoyment of destroying women.
It looks as if the female figure suffered a lot before her death and her body looks disfigured and destroyed; and the title tells me that it wasn't her intention to be like that. I have a feeling that it might have been an action of rape. The quote, "oh yes", seems to imply that. Her hair seems to have been pulled out, and although she is dead her facial expression is one of pain and suffering. Her mouth is slightly open as if she wanted say something. Her body looks rotten, which might imply that she was found a long time after she died. And if you look behind her, she looks as if a post-mortem has been done on her. Her feet are close together, as if on a crucifix, and her shoulder is hanging over the clothes line, as if used to display clothes.
Although it is almost unbearable to look at, this sculpture reminds me of recent rapes in our society. It confronts us with reality. This is what people run away from and call a disgrace.
The title Stripped ("Oh Yes") girl has several implications as to what the girl was and where she was before she was stripped and killed. She might have been a prostitute who died doing her work or it could have been the rape of an innocent girl. Whatever the case, she was left naked, with no dignity, which is what happens in our society B but people are turning their heads away from it, instead of confronting it. The main focus is on the abuse of women and, to my understanding, this work of art is aimed at confronting people to face the reality of our degenerated world.
The Tatham Art Gallery holds an Art Collection that contains significant British and French artworks dating back to the 18th century. Its South-African art collection is focused on, but not exclusive to, the art of KwaZulu-Natal.
The Tatham Art Gallery hosts a range of Art Exhibitions. These include traveling and researched exhibitions as well as exhibitions initiated by the Gallery and compiled from the collection.
A selection of current and archival articles from the Tatham Art Gallery. These articles provide a historical and contemporary perspective on the Gallery and the visual arts in KwaZulu-Natal.