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Friday, June 26, 2015


("Meatmail", embroidery on fabric by swany)

Opening on June 29 in artSPACE durban’s Middle Gallery is Prick! Subverting The Stitch by swany.

In 18th-century literature, the figure of the woman embroidering not only represented the pinnacle of good breeding and virtue but also one of sexual provocation. This is because, focused on her stitching, she was exposed to the male gaze.

The artist, swany, challenges the traditional decorative connotations of embroidery deliberately going against the assumed decorativeness of needle and thread. With his work, because it often deals with gender issues, he uses embroidery and stitching to deconstruct certain societal perceptions: firstly, that it is a craft associated with the feminine (specifically the female sex) and not considered an art form but a craft, and secondly, the manner in which he creates it which is associated with the masculine (in a factory, on production lines) as well as the non-creative, reproduction of banal images.

In Prick! he presents his recent explorations with embroidery and gender, which reflect his continued struggle against societal constraints and prejudices.

The artist has an honours degree in visual arts from UNISA and is currently studying for his masters in visual arts. He is employed as the KZN arts mentor lecturer for UNISA (part-time) as well as a designer in the clothing industry (full-time).

Prick! Subverting the stitch opens at 18h00 to 18h30 on June 29 and runs until July 18 at 14h00 at artSPACE durban, 3 Millar Road (off Umgeni Road) close to the Waste Centre. More information on 031 312 0793 or visit or