Winner 2018 - Solo exhibition plans

Jessica Kapp won the title as overall winner for the 2018 Sasol New Signatures competition. As part of her prize, she receives the opportunity to have her own solo exhibition at the Pretoria Art Museum later this year. We took some time to chat to her about her plans for her exhibition.

1: Who is Jessica Kapp?

Jessica Storm Kapp is a graduate from Stellenbosch University currently practising as an artist in South Africa. Her fascination with artefacts and traces taken from various landscapes aids the messages of her work and reveals the capacity that objects have in rendering the experiences of their imagined landscapes.

2: Your solo exhibition for Sasol New Signatures 2019 is called:

Currently, my working title is ‘in the act of remembering’. However this is subject to change. The exhibition explores concepts of labour, experience, trace, habitat/home, bodies, memories, ambience, the histories of landscapes as well as artefact retrieval and collection.

Tell us about the sources and inspiration for this work?

This work developed after my fourth-year Final Exhibition ‘artefacts of belonging and is a continuation of that theme. It showcases a number of projects that continue along the same motif explored in my final year, namely the unearthing of experience using my own interpretation of the 2017 Knysna fires, and what they came to signify to me.

3: What is your overall vision?

This exhibition explores the resonance of home through the uncovering of memories and remnants belonging to certain landscapes. I will continue to use an earthly aesthetic as well as materials from Knysna within my work, combining it with museological devices.

4: What you expect from your audience and how they will react?                                          

My experience with this body of work is that each audience member resonates differently with the work. At least I hope that they will!  My intention is to use the image of the forest, the idea of nature to evoke experiences that are completely personal to the viewer, thereby prompting them to recall things from their own personal memory archive.

5: Tell us about your overall vision:                                                                                           

I set out with the intention of creating visceral experiences of my home, by identifying the key physical features that have come to categorise my own. In this way, I hope that my work may act as a vessel through which the ambience of home can be represented. It is by reconstructing fragments of found objects that I allude to concepts of loss, trace, history, attachment and reflection.

6: How does your solo exhibition relate to your previous work?                                             

Collecting, identifying and ordering objects according to their perceived value has long since been an interest of mine and one that can be consistently found throughout my work. My winning piece from Sasol New Signatures 2018 is called ‘Mapping Timeand my solo exhibition is an extension of that concept. In this way, the themes that I investigate are informed by my own experiences as an artist and as a scholar.

7: Which techniques have you used in this work?

I started out the year by creating some sculptural installation pieces and have a few printmaking ideas in mind. I think that the reason I keep revisiting sculpture is because of its bodily capacity; coupled with my interest in space and place, it has made the perfect fit between my conceptual underpinning and material link. Sculpture paired with the installation’s ability to render new articulations of space has allowed me to explore my own identity as an artist through the process of discovery. My work in this regard acts as a map, recording and cataloguing my journey to understand and affirm my notions of place.