Gardens resident Sitaara Stodel was one of five artists from around the world who were given an opportunity to show off their skills in a special solo section at the Investec Cape Town Art Fair this month.
The art fair ran from February 15 to February 17 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC).
The special solo section aimed to explore the effects of the digital world on lived realities and art-making.
The exhibition included solo presentations in all media, both new and traditional.
For Ms Stodel, this was a dream come true.
“I didn’t see this coming, but one gallery made a proposal because they believed my work fitted the theme. And it was so amazing to have something in my mind and want it to happen and it was actually there, happening,” she said.
Ms Stodel said she uses photography, digital and physical collage, video, installation, and print-making to explore different themes, including gender, identity and space.
She said she has always been passionate about art and she enjoyed collage.
She said she’s learnt to believe in herself more as an artist and actually invest in her art.
Her work is very personal but it resonates with others as most people, she said, can relate to that feeling of not belonging.
“I work with notions of home because I moved over 30 times growing up mostly due to evictions. We couldn’t afford most of the houses we stayed in and we were constantly being removed. I’m dealing with removals and exploring memories of home.”
She said she wants people who see her art to realise that there’s no such thing as a perfect home.
“There’s no such thing as a perfect family, perfect home, everyone’s going through things and advertising and social media have people thinking that everyone else has a perfect life. Not everything is as it seems,” she said.
Ms Stodel is inspired by her surroundings, particularly homes and spaces. Touching on the level of art in South Africa, Ms Stodel said the country may not be in the league of Berlin or all these First World countries but South Africa has something that they don’t have.
“We’ve gone through so much as a country, it’s a beautiful country with a lot of parallels and clashes and it’s an interesting country to make work. As the world progresses, so do we and the internet and technology make everything accessible,” she said.
Ms Stodel earnned a BA in Fine Art from the University of Cape Town’s Michaelis School of Fine Art. She also majored in photography.
She was awarded the Tierney Fellowship award, which allowed her to continue to create work while making a living.
Since then she has been in multiple group shows, working in the medium of photography, collage, video and print.