'Harbouring Histories'Various Artists at Durban University of Technology (DUT) Gallery
This exhibition arose out of a memorandum of understanding between the two universities and a visit to DUT by Prof Donal Fitzpatrick, Head of the School of Art and Design at Curtin, in May 2009. Prof Fitzpatrick gave the keynote address at the Faculty of Arts and Design Conference on Creative Research Outputs. Tony Starkey, head of Fine Art and Jewellery Design at DUT, suggested to Prof Fitzpatrick that the two departments hold a joint exhibition of staff work at the DUT and Curtin galleries.
This process was taken forward by Julian Goddard, Head of the Art department at Curtin, and an exhibition on A3 paper, titled 'Harbouring Histories', was conceptualized. Staff members submitted works to three reviewers, Harry Hummerston and Brenda Ridgwell from Curtin and Dr Andrew Verster from Durban. Works accepted by the reviewers will be exhibited at the DUT Gallery in September and the Curtin University Gallery in December 2010. This is the first step in a long term project to establish close ties between DUT and Curtin University in the areas of staff and student exchange, research and curriculum development to ensure that the department of Fine Art and Jewellery Design at DUT positions itself in a global context. Twenty three artists will be exhibiting on the exhibition, such as Themba Shibase and Nirmy Ziegler.
The exhibition will be opened by Professor Graham Stewart (Deputy Dean, Faculty of Arts and Design, Durban University of Technology) on the 1 September.
01 September 2010 - 15 September 2010
Artist Name: Nirmi Ziegler
Work title: ‘global’
Date of production: 2010
Media: handmade paper, leaves, recycled, plastic bag threat
Dimensions: A 3 ( Ø 297 mm)
Ziegler’s work is created by using the process of papermaking from plant off-cuts or cotton rags. The pulp forms the basis for a process of layering. This is done with inlays applied on the wet paper. In a further process after the drying, some of these papers then become the support for prints, embroidery, and further collage. Her main concerns deal with environmental (outer) issues and an inner exploration.
Nirmi Ziegler: My investigation
The great benefits of science and technology are overshadowed by an irresponsible attitude of greed which destroys our environment. This ignorance of our reality (being part of nature, embedded and nourished by the environment, and a part of the whole), triggered my curiosity into the reasons for such irrational behaviour.
The ‘mapping’ of a round-shaped handmade paper with skeletonized leaf fragment inlays gives a strong suggestion of environmental destruction as man-made interference on our planet. The leaves, captured in their decay, are delicate and although aesthetically pleasing, refer to the ‘momento mori’ genre in art, which functions as a reminder of one’s mortality.
Time measures the journey of life vertically, while meditation approaches it in a horizontal way. Our brain has developed in such a way that it constantly produces thoughts, which are either involved with the past or with the future. Meditation is the approach to achieve a glimpse / view of the world without the interference of the mind and its constant production of thoughts. It means nothing other than ‘being in the moment’ and the experience is that of timelessness and deep oneness with existence. In meditation I experience the presence of plants as 'enlightened beings' of breathtaking beauty, life giving utility and an essential part in our ecosystem. But in our mind they exist as Diaspora while we indulge in an illusion of megalomania. I let the plants 'speak for themselves' by using them directly.