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Saturday, November 9, 2013


(“Wall of remembrance - The Crash” (2013). Mixed media collage on chip board by Karen Pretorius)

Karen Pretorius’s Narratives of Memory is an exhibition coming to artSPACE durban. It pays homage to her daughter, Alex Mazzoni, who died in a car accident caused by a drunk driver on the night of her matric farewell.

The installation comprises artefacts and graffiti on ‘floating walls’, photographs and digital works. This intensely private work explores how place and memory affect the mourning of a loved one. She says, “This work comments on the effect of traumatic memory in daily life situations and experiences.”

These evocative works combine multimedia and paint techniques, creating a sense of being ‘out of focus’ or ‘just out of reach’. This between-space, spanning the real and the remembered, guided her working process and inspired the floating installation. According to Pretorius, “Contemporary artists comment on social, political and environmental concerns. We must be able to critically explore personal tragedy.” Narratives of memory is a brave, personal confrontation with the universal theme of traumatic memory.

Karen Pretorius was presented with a Merit Award in the prestigious Sasol New Signatures 2013 competition. Her third year work in 2012 garnered her an Excellence Award from UNISA.

The exhibition opens on November 19 at 18h00 at artSPACE, Durban and will close on November 30 at 14h00. artSPACE durban is situated at 3 Millar Road (off Umgeni Road) close to the Waste Centre. More information on 031 312 0793 or visit or