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THIS IS WHERE WE MEET (article first published : 2006-05-16)

The KZNSA is hosting an exhibition by Jill Trappler in its main space.

The work for the original show in Cape Town started in 2003. It makes reference to earlier work but Jill maintains that she found new possibilities both in the way the work has been made and the reading that has informed it.

The pieces she has selected for this exhibition are those she feels will work together in the Main gallery space of the KZNSA. Her aim is that the work carries a presence of her intention and focus while allowing the pieces to speak individually.

“I clearly remember deciding that I needed to look at the tone of the colours I had been using,” explains Jill Trappler. “I found direction in African textiles and as a weaver by trade this gave me a way in. I have been able to shift my colour, find new surfaces, work with pattern and relocate or contextualise this body of work from a different view point, using previous experiences as references.

“Each image contextualises itself,” she continues. “It has reference to a piece of clothing or a cloth that has been or could be worn for an occasion, a ceremony, a purpose. In sensing the piece I hope you will be able to meet the person, (or pretend to be the person) who would have worn it; imagine the body beneath it, the movement and texture of the cloth on the skin. In this way the paintings create a context for the person/portrait, place and time that they hold; they describe the interior of the image and enlarge the narrative at the same time. The image describes what isn’t there.

“When we meet, the cloth that is worn is usually our first experience of the person. It locates them for us. This is not done as an assessment or judgement; it is about looking for clues and making observations. The movement of the cloth, the colour/s, texture and patterning all talk of the wearer and inform our meeting.”

In this is where we meet, Jill Trappler has also inverted a tradition for which she has great respect. The kimono is a good example of this. While it is a cloth created with a specific purpose in terms of use, it is also used as an art work. She has tried to make art works that refer to this kind of clothing, clothing that carries a tradition or sense of ceremony, a specific intention. It brings a presence with it. Some of the clothing is reversible.

“The movement and music of cloth starts in the spinning, weaving and dying process. Incantations and verses are very much part of making a cloth. In North Africa these are referred to as “cefi.” - sound and rhythm are part of the colour and mark making in painting for me,” she explains. “When a cloth is worn it carries the music, song, verse that it has been made with and mixes with the music of the body that carries it. This is where we meet.”

this is where we meet runs at the KZNSA Gallery until June 4. More information from the KZNSA on 031 202 3686 or Jill Trappler on 021 422 1865 or 082 558 8115 or e-mail: trappler@telkomsa.net or visit www.jilltrappler.co.za




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