Stephané Conradie

On an upturned bed frame in Conradie’s studio, a repurposed piece of furniture is laden with brass, wooden, ceramic, and porcelain objects. A bricolage of materials - somehow both clashing and harmonious - sits securely, but if disturbed, threatens to produce a cacophony of sounds.

The found and collected objects, all reminiscent of the trinkets that decorate working- and middle-class homes across South Africa - including other postcolonial societies - are used to form and inform her printmaking. These works reflect on belonging in a society that is undergoing rapid and often unstable change in the context of the home.

By sourcing materials from diverse households, Conradie locates the aesthetic threads that tie the often invisible domestic lives of South Africans together. For instance, the role of porcelain ornaments in interior decorating and how they define the sacredness of death and religious ceremony. Or, how often children were expected to polish brass objects. All of these are being transformed by the tastes of a new generation of cultural groups that were once forced to live separately. These works, therefore, become simultaneously nostalgic and optimistic reflections of a material history that is being re-negotiated.