Penny Siopis (b. 1953) is based in Cape Town, South Africa.
This is a rare and significant print from one of the country’s top artists.
“In this series, I reflect on the public and psychological state of shame in our current times. However powerfully shame is recognized as part of our human condition it is difficult to represent. Like love, which may be shame’s antidote, it is often only manifest in clichéd and mannered forms. Shame: pools deliberately uses such forms and awkward child-like references to mark shame as a primary psychological state of self-exposure a child experiences and to which the adult self returns.”
– Penny Siopis
Penny Siopis was born in 1953 in Vryburg, South Africa. She has an MFA from Rhodes University, Grahamstown (1976), and is an Honorary Professor at Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town. She works in painting, photography, film/video and installation. Her work since the 1970s has covered different foci but her interest in what she calls the ‘poetics of vulnerability’ characterises all her explorations, from her earlier engagements with history, memory and migration to her later concerns with shame, violence and sexuality. She has exhibited widely, both in South Africa and internationally. Solo exhibitions include Time and Again: A Retrospective Exhibition, South African National Gallery, Cape Town (2014) and Wits Art Museum, Johannesburg (2015); Red: The iconography of colour in the work of Penny Siopis at the KZNSA Gallery, Durban (2009), and Three Essays on Shame at the Freud Museum, London (2005). She has taken part in the biennales of Venice (South African Pavilion, 2013), Sydney (2010), Johannesburg (1995 and 1997), Gwangju (1997), Havana (1995) and Venice (1993).