Angel of the House
SMAC Gallery Cape Town is pleased to present a new solo exhibition by Johannesburg-based artist Usha Seejarim: Angel of the house.
Angel of the house
08 . 05 . 21 – 19 . 06 . 21
SMAC Gallery is pleased to present a new solo exhibition by Johannesburg-based artist Usha Seejarim: Angel of the house. The exhibition opened on Saturday 08 May at 11:00 at SMAC Gallery in Cape Town, and will run until 19 June, 2021. Featuring new sculptural works made with reclaimed ironing bases, as well as her signature use of wooden household clothes pegs, the exhibition includes an iteration of her large scale installation, Nesting (2019), first shown as part of the Centre for the Less Good Idea’s sixth season. As her first solo exhibition in Cape Town, Angel of the house marks an important milestone for Seejarim.
For the title of this exhibition, Seejarim evokes Virginia Woolf (through her seminal speech-turned-essay “Professions for Women” (1931)) who in turn evokes Coventry Patmore’s problematic yet culturally significant poem, Angel in the House. Woolf, of course, recognised the oppressive spectral presence in her own house, not only as of the external forces of patriarchy and misogyny but also as the internal thoughts and fears within herself, fuelled by attitudes of a hostile society.
Usha Seejarim was born in 1974 in Bethal, South Africa. She currently lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa. Seejarim is the recipient of various awards including the Secular Solidarity Association Sculpture Award at the Dakar Biennale, Dakar, Senegal and the Tomorrow’s/ Today Prize, at the Investec Cape Town Art Fair, Cape Town, South Africa. Recent projects include Vessel of the Fish, a solo exhibition at the Witte de With Centre for Contemporary Arts in Rotterdam, Netherlands and Un balai, pourquoi pas une balai, following her 2-month residency at SCAC Marestaing in MontesquieuVolvestre in France.
Seejarim has completed numerous public commissions namely: the public portrait for Nelson Mandela’s funeral in Qunu, South Africa in 2013; Figures Representing Articles from The Freedom Charter in 2008 in, Soweto, South Africa; and an artwork for the facade of the South African Chancery in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 2008, amongst others. Most recently she installed The Mundane and the Magical, 6m high set of wings outside the Radisson Red hotel in Rosebank, Johannesburg. Seejarim’s work forms part of public and private collections such as the Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa; the South African Foundation for Contemporary Art (SAFFCA), South Africa; the Johannesburg Art Gallery (JAG), Johannesburg, South Africa, The Constitutional Court Art Collection in Johannesburg, South Africa, and the Fondazione Fiera Milano, Milan, Italy among others.