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SIMPLICITY MISS PETITE SIZE 8MP (article first published : 2005-05-25)

Sue Pam Grant is better known to most people – at the moment, anyway – as a fascinating and innovative playwright and an excellent actress. She will be seen in a different light at the NSA shortly with her exhibition Simplicity Miss Petite Size 8MP.

Rummaging through boxes in a charity thrift store once, Sue Pam-Grant came across some old dressmaking patterns from the 50s. She was transported by the words – in English, French and Spanish – etched in blue ink on the caramel-coloured tissue paper. The text served as a kind of code, filled with mystique, understood only by those initiated into its world – and connecting her to things that are extinct.

This became the springboard for a new creative direction for the artist, who has distinguished herself as an actress, playwright, scriptwriter and director in theatre and television.

Simplicity Miss Petite Size 8mp is her first solo photographic exhibition and it reflects a more introspective turn. “I am obsessed with domestic detail,” says Pam-Grant. “I love space and objects in space that reflect who I am.”

Where her materials were script, lighting and actors in her theatre career, Sue Pam-Grant now uses a Sony Cyber-Shot digital camera to capture the minutiae of her life. As an artist, she points her camera at seemingly mundane objects in her personal space – a rusted enamel bucket, a stained hand basin, washing on the line – to create a visual essay about the nature of mortality.

Original digital “snap shots” are printed onto small pieces of sewing pattern tissue using an Epson desktop printer, then layered over pattern pieces, wallpaper and fabrics, and re-photographed. These final images are enlarged (or “amplified”) and printed onto artist’s canvas.

The result is a poignant celebration of the ordinary moments that, when strung together, make up a lifetime. “Our memories are embedded in an object, a piece of clothing, a texture,” she says. “All these images are very particular to me, but they resonate with many people because they convey something about the essence of life.”

Simplicity Miss Petite Size 8mp opens at 18h00 on May 31 and runs until June 19. More information from Storm Janse van Rensburg or Nathi Gumede on 031 202 3686, fax 031 201 8051 or e-mail: curator@nsagallery.co.za or visit www.nsagallery.co.za




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