The Crises art series from the late eighties was based on an interest in migrant labor policies which in my opinion were the direct consequence of the break up of the family unit in South Africa. I was interested in the hostel crises which affected women and family. My concern regarding the hostels, lack of adequate housing, land issues and so on crystallized into the Woman of Worth multiple. These consist of twelve panels, using a media of charcoal, resin and Rooibos tea on paper. The work explores the last verse in proverbs in which a husband praises his wife for her accomplishments in business and the home. For many a somewhat controversial passage.
Rooibos tea was used by the San people over four hundred years ago, and is a typically South African product. It is a ‘health’ tea yet has interesting connotations in that it was often a cheap alternative given to prisoners. At the same time tea has domestic associations. Rooibos was used in the Woman of Worth multiple to show that woman throughout the ages, do both domestic work as well as handle business.
Many African woman were left behind to raise their families whilst their husbands went off to work in the mines. These woman struggled alone in often desolate rural areas to support their families. The men shared living quarters in ‘mens only’ hostels under the most appalling conditions and were seldom able to support their families from afar.
Media: Charcoal, Resin, Rooibos on Paper . Each of the 12 sections hang inside a perspex boxed frame.
Size: 5m wide x 2m high Multiple of 12 units.
History: 1997. Exhibited at the King Plow Centre in Atlanta in an exhibition entitled "Towards Mandela". Sponsored by Leadership Atlanta & 100 Black Men. 1998-2000. Exhibited at the Jewish Museum in Atlanta 1998-2000.