Medium: Hand-knitted found objects, knitting wool
Exhibiiton: Sasol New Signatures Art Competition (finalist), Pretoria Art Museum
A tumor is a lump of renegade cells which operate outside the normal rule of law in the body. Its growth is uncontrolled and uncoordinated with its surroundings and some teratomas or “monster growths” even contain hair, teeth and bone. Benign tumor is an abnormal but harmless mass. Malignant tumor or cancer grows aggressively, and invades other parts of the body to recruit new cancer cells. Cancer is a disease that turns the very substance of our bodies against us. “Benign/Malignant?” was made after studies of excised tumors and visits to the children’s cancer ward at the Johannesburg General Hospital.
The title of this artwork asks the audience to diagnose two tumors. Hand-knitted jerseys, toys and toilet-paper cozies are familiar suburban objects which normally evoke feelings of comfort, wholesomeness and nostalgia. When these items are manipulated to represent disease, these feelings are contrasted with fear, sadness and disgust. The artwork explores our attitudes towards physical appearance, sickness and mortality. The artist has had a long-time fascination with cancer’s dramatic coup d’état against the body, and is currently pursuing a PhD in cancer research.