top of page

Under the Surface

The project “Under the surface” consisted of 22 new works in a range of media. The installations were interactions between specific ‘ecologies’ of people and places. Creative work formed part of a continuous research project and developed over several exhibitions, which was used as an emergent method of tacit thinking, applying each structured platform as another step in the process to assemble ideas. The golden thread running through the research project was that communal relationships are core to both human culture and substrates in nature.

  • Looking in...and seeing beyound, at Unisa Art Gallery. October 2022. Catalogue compiled by the curator Ania Krajewska..

  • Under the surface, at White River Art Gallery, White River Mpumalanga. September - October 2022

  • MESH, at RK Contemporary, Riebeeck Kasteel, Western Cape. April 2022

Under the Surface 

White River Art Gallery in September, the second phase of the project was shown at White River Art Gallery, consolidating the theme of “Under the Surface”. In the artist’s statement, I referred to Haraway’s (2016) well-known phrase of “stories that gather stories”, which is relevant to presentations of real and imagined ecologies. In eight new works I reconsidered images in terms of “matter” in landscapes. My experience of the bushveld contains both melancholy and aversion. The research into Hares foot inkcap mushrooms reminded me of sooty stalked puffball fungi from childhood and it sparked the narrative in two encaustic paintings about living with your demons and shedding old skin. The works touched both personal stories and ‘ecological’ understanding of symbiosis in communities.

Art Times Magazine Feature. Pages 60-62.


Gallery RK Contemporary, Riebeek-Kasteel, Western Cape. 2022. .: MESH the fabric of friends. Artist Gwenneth Miller 

During April-May 2022, the sketches and planning were exhibited at RK Contemporary, Riebeek Kasteel,  in the exhibition title MESH: the fabric of friends.In this group exhibition Colleen Alborough, Emma Willemse, Gwenneth Miller and Mandy Conidaris curated the concept around the relationships of friends. We were fellow-lecturers at Unisa between 2008 and 2012, forming bonds as art makers and supportive art friends.
My work on MESH includes work from Gills of other creatures (2021), and extends the theme of fungi as a metaphor for intangible bonds. Only new exhibited for the first time as part of MESH are captured on this page. In these new works, the links between forest, kinship and meditive practice comes together. My references include photographs I took whilst walking through the forest with my family and dried, sealed fungi collected from artist Philip Badenhorst's enchanting wild garden.  There is some magic in this interrelationship between stuff and the human race, communities and friends.
AT FEATURE: MESH the fabric of friends, in Art Times
Residencies at Hoofstaat Contemporary, Riebeek-Kasteel, Cape.

The Material of Bells series
I have been collecting small hand-held bells over many years, and started drawing them as a meditation. Some were bought at specific places that I visited with my family, and others were gifts from friends. Each reminds me of the people, places or circumstances.  Bells symbolize calling, beginnings, endings, summoning people to gather, thus their act of ringing always mediates knowledge of an event. Rendering each bell becomes a form of contemplation that draws my mind to a place of calm during times of  trauma. I lose myself in scrutinising the physical details of the bell, trying to evoke the materiality of the object through my stains and marks of ink. Since the substance of a bell adds to its resonating sound, I was struck by the thought that what we emanate also becomes evidence of the fabric (material) of our consciousness, our convictions, and our values. Apart from the shape of the bell resembling a simple mushroom, the vibrating sounds the bells also acts as a source of energy. Recalling brings memory to life, like mushrooms recycling the energy below. One of the last works in this series, Sounding (2022), finds an echo between these seemingly disparate subject matter.