LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR : Lisette Forsyth
Show opens: 6th August 2015, 5pm - 9pm in conjunction with First Thursdays
Exhibition continues till 22nd of August 2015
61 Shortmarket Street, Cape Town.
Gallery hours: 10-5 weekdays, 10-2 Saturdays.
Works may be purchased through the website prior to the exhibition opening, but will only ship after the 22nd of August 2015.
"When I lock eyes with a stranger on Johannesburg’s streets, there is a flicker, a flash communication, so fast it is invisible, yet so laden that no words might describe it. This stranger may be a man in a coat and tie, or a woman who wears the cotton uniform of a maid, or a construction worker stripped to the waist. Whoever he is, he clocks me as I pass, and reads me and my parents and my grandparents; and I, too, conjure, in an instant, the past from which he came. As we brush shoulders the world we share rumbles
around us, its echoes resounding through generations. He may look at me with resentment, or longing, or with the twistedness that comes with hating; he may catch me smiling to myself and grin. I am left with a feeling, both sweet and sore, that I am not in control of who I am. I am defined by the eyes that see me on the street. I cannot escape them. I cannot change what they see. We may one day fight one another or even kill one another, yet our souls are entwined because we have made another." - Jonny Steinberg
Lisette references A Man Of Good Hope by Jonny Steinberg, a book with which she feels a strong association. "I was advised to read the book when describing my exhibition to a friend, and felt an immediate kinship and connectivity with the author". Lisette's series of portraits of foreign nationals are created on a copy of the documentation which enables them to live and work in South Africa. In these works the artist seeks to depict the warmth and personality of her characters in contrast to the coldness of ID numbers,
conditions, stamps and crests that document the individuals to whom they belong. "These are people who we love and rely on. Finding people who would trust me with their documents - and in the process getting to know them better, has been very rewarding" says Lisette.
Accompanying each portrait is a brief description of each person's circumstances.