‘Skattie Celebrates’ presents Thania Petersen at the AVA Gallery, Cape Town, on Thursday, July 30th. The emerging artist’s works, exploring identity, will be on display for one night only.
In the exhibition, comprising two sets of work, Petersen explores her Cape Malay identity, first, in a twin series of portraits, representing the inspirations and transformations of Cape Malay adornments over centuries. “I trace the historical trajectory of forced removals from the point of entry, the sea, to further inland,” she says in her artist statement. A direct descendant of Imam Abdullah Ibn Qadhu Abdus Salaam, known as Tuan Guru, the father of Islam in South Africa, Petersen’s work, titled ‘I am Royal’, is about staking her claim on her heritage.
“I stake my claim to this lineage through classic self-portraiture, which presents regalia in a chronological process of identification, with a portait of me, as I am presently, completing the series.” In the second part of the exhibition, a work titled ‘Barbie and Me’, Petersen exposes the conflict of religion in a secular society. In this series of portraits, she explores the contrast between religious teachings and everyday life with its many material desirables, that can often be inconsistent with the values of Islam. This is the first time Petersen’s full body of works, from both series, will be on exhibition.
Thania Peterson was born in Cape Town in 1980, and schooled in both South Africa and the United Kingdom due to her father being a political exile. After finishing her A-levels, she enrolled to Central Saint Martins College of Art in the UK. She later moved to Zimbabwe, then to South Korea on apprenticeships. After several years of not practicing as an artist, in 2014, she began working on ‘I am Royal’, part of which was exhibited at the Cape Town Art Fair in early 2015.
You can view the event and all details here.
About Skattie Celebrates: Skattie Celebrates… is a project by the editors of thatskattie.com, Malibongwe Tyilo and Sandiso Ngubane, and is presented in association with ART AFRICA (formerly ARTsouthAFRICA). It carries on the spirit of celebrating young South African creative talent. The organisers aim to bridge the gap between the industry establishment and the emerging talent on the streets.
thatskattie.com is a fashion, arts and culture portal that evolved from the blog previously known as Skattie, What Are You Wearing?