Artist Statement: Through the Garden Fence: Kathy Ackerman Robins
In context my work is situated in the complex and layered apartheid South Africa.
My starting point is a 1960’s childhood in suburban Johannesburg, peering Through the Garden Fence to an alter- native world. A world enlivened by the sounds, smoke, smells of brewing beer of the local domestic migrant workers relaxing in an empty piece of “veld” shaded by blue gum trees.
The legacy and honouring of the people who worked in the garden and house, depersonalized in work clothes yet transformed after hours. This inquiry touches on race, land ownership, land less, humour and tenderness.
My body of works is juxtaposed between the appropriated English style garden of Roses and Hydrangeas of the 1960’s Johannesburg with its borders, boundaries and grids to the post-apartheid land of the indigenous, organic and en- tangled plants situated in the Western Cape.My work comprises of photography, layering of images, painting prints, assemblage sculptures and moulds, copper, resin, embroidery, sound and video. This mixed media reflects the materials of the 1960’s.This body of work attempts to capture some of the echo’s through the kaleidoscopic lens blurring and multiplying the images.
This ongoing body of work as part of my Masters in Fine Art reflects on the ongoing engagement around gardens as a sanctuary yet the dichotomy of the blurred lines and land within and beyond those boundaries