A solo exhibition by Minien Hattingh.
Show opens 3 May 2018 from 5.00pm.
3 - 19 May 2018.
50 Buitenkant Street, Cnr Roeland & Buitenkant Street, Cape Town.
Gallery hours: 10 - 5 Mon to Friday, 10 - 2 Saturdays
or by appointment
This body of work consists of numerous mixed media delineations created in 2016. In many of her works artist Minien Hattingh compares the female figure to the nightingale. Encumberments such as corsets, chastity belts, crinolines and chopines restrict movement and freedom, leaving them trapped in a cyclical demise.
In the Greek myth/parable Metamorphoses, Philomela’s brother incestuously defiles her. After the act, he severes her tongue to prevent her from vocalising the truth. The gods later transform her into a nightingale and she escapes death by her brother. Greek culture identifies the nightingale as a tragic symbol embodying lost hope.
As Philomela becomes the nightingale literally and metaphorically, we see a dichotomy of lost innocence turning into revenge: Male dominance leaving a mark of female vulnerability and a voiceless standpoint. After the degrading act she is left frustrated with a vengeful spirit. The nightingale's song becomes the author/ artist’s song/voice. If a nightingale is caged it refuses to sing. Similarly a female cannot thrive in a caged disposition. “A common parallel drawn regarding all of the female depictions is that there exists a devaluation of the self, whether bodily, psychologically or emotionally ( #metoo #timesup).
Only two male figures are portrayed in this body of work, seeming to appear ambiguous. On the contrary, they may inherently trying to cleanse the stigmas placed on women and heal their pain. “ – Minien Hattingh