Apr 07 2017
Groeipyne / Growing Pains by Haidee Nel

Groeipyne / Growing Pains by Haidee Nel

The title for this exhibition centers on growth and connects with Nel’s long-term preoccupation with the inner child in the adult psyche, which needs to be confronted from time to time in order for an individual to grow and function normally. Nel was also inspired by her own children, who at different periods in their own development have compelled her to reflect on her childhood and the various identities from that time that continue to shape her adult life.

In the absence of tools to enable this psychic work, Nel developed her own language; a model of young girl onto which she projects the issues relating to the inner child. The model, which she first dubbed Liefie, has evolved into a stylized sculpture, which she treats as a veritable Barbie doll, dressing it up and altering parts of its body to enact different scenarios.

In Groeipyne/Growing Pains she has created five renditions of this girl figure, which manifest as different characters drawn from different aspects of popular culture and children’s stories.

Via a red cape she evokes the figure of little Red Riding Hood in the sculpture titled Double by/Dubbeldoor. However, a wolf’s tail protrudes from the cape as do the legs of this animal, cast as Red Riding Hood’s foe. Nel has purposefully fused the two as a way of addressing the blurred boundary between the victim and perpetrator selves that lurk within people.

It is the well-known character from the children’s story Alice in Wonderland that is the inspiration behind the sculpture Rabbit hole/Haas Gat, though the blue plinth on which it is placed refers to the ‘blue pill’ that is a memorable part of the story in The Matrix film trilogy. In this work she similarly delves into the dark side of childhood, probing the impact and death of a loved one in a young person’s life.  It is just such a tragic occurrence that propels a child to experience the titular ‘growing pains’.

Familiar phrases and imagery associated with young girls, from a winged costume to a jewelry box ballerina, shapes another three characters titled Row row /Roei roei, Skat/Treasure and Bottervlieg/Butterfly.   The basic features of these characters remain the same save for their costumes and accessories. This uniformity is more obvious in the members of her ‘infantry’ – who wear protective gear in the manner of soldiers. This is part of Nel’s ongoing ambition to generate a 50 plus ‘army’ of sculptures of young girls who must not only battle with the inner child but must also fight off predator adults who abuse or hurt children, thereby leaving them with additional baggage to sort through in later years.

Dec 21 2017
WORLDART at Investec Cape Town Art Fair 16-18 February 2018

WORLDART at Investec Cape Town Art Fair 16-18 February 2018

21 December 2017

From the 16th – 18th of February 2018, the 6th edition of Cape Town Art...

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Dec 15 2017
WORLDART Summer Show 17/18

WORLDART Summer Show 17/18

15 December 2017

2017 was another good year for us at WORLDART. We participated in the SCOPEAart...

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Dec 14 2017
WORLDART Summer Show

WORLDART Summer Show

14 December 2017

Summer is here and we have new works on show by a few of...

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Dec 04 2017
Queer 2.18 Calendar Exhibition 2-11 December 2017

Queer 2.18 Calendar Exhibition 2-11 December 2017

04 December 2017

An exhibition of portraits at WORLDART (54 Church Street, Cape Town) from 2-13 December...

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