Galerie Bonne Espérance presents the first exhibit in France of South African artist Pippa Hetherington – Inheritance. The exhibit is deeply personal and explores her own family history, but in doing so, explores South Africa’s complex and often traumatic national history. Pippa’s point of departure is photography but then she goes in surprising directions, using unexpected techniques and materials.
Hetherington’s family was part of the 1820 English settlers to South Africa. Using photography, textiles and rock pigment, the artist excavates personal and collective memories, amplifies tiny slivers of history, reveals what is often buried in order to understand her own heritage and the impossibility of disentangling personal and collective histories.
The lattice series plays with the perception of photography as evidence of truth. By distorting the image through cutting and reassembling in a weaving technique, Pippa looks at how memory is constructed and the decision of which moment to capture, collect and preserve – and subsequently which to forget.
In the interlaced portrait series, the artist manipulates her photos into mixed media works. Pippa juxtaposes Southern African shweshwe and colonial English fabric or uses shards of British crockery and military buttons from the Eastern Cape, the land of her colonial ancestors. We are a collage of stories – a matrix of past, present and future – interwoven. The fabric itself is a metaphor of woven dreams and desires.
Pippa Hetherington is a South African visual artist who addresses post-colonial identity, fragments of separated histories, trauma and memory. Working with photography, textile and rock pigment, she explores stories of loss, grief and remembrance
Pippa Hetherington : Inheritance
June 1 – July 31, 2023
Galerie Bonne Espérance
3 rue Notre Dame de Bonne Nouvelle