Monday, 23 September 2013

Wilma Cruise

Will you, won't you, will you join the dance?

Wilma Cruise’s touring project titled Will you, won’t you, will you join the dance? showcasing a new body of work launched at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival on 27 June 2013.  The exhibition was well received by the public at the Festival and was reviewed by Cue, the Festival Magazine and Art South Africa.

Will you, won’t you, will you join the dance? derives its impetus from the nursery rhyme character of Humpty Dumpty, a fanciful creature, half man, half egg who finds himself in Alice’s daydream in Through the Looking Glass. I have re-interpreted this bad tempered anthropomorphic egg by creating a clay character roughly modelled in a bulbous round shape. In the exhibition he is depicted perched on a stool, legs crossed, or he is upside down, or dancing, his spherical form precariously balanced on his underdeveloped legs. As an indicator of his vanity, he is shod in a pair of bright red ballet slippers. I have called him H.D. Arnoldus, an allusion to the metaphorical imp that was said to sit on my shoulder as a little girl.  He also pays a passing nod to the tokoloshe, which in South African folklore is a malevolently mischievous creature”, says Cruise.

Will you, won’t you, will you join the dance? is the fourth exhibition in The Alice in Wonderland Sequence. What distinguishes this exhibition from the previous ones is that, in this exhibition the artist invites the audience to come and join in the dance as a way of being involved in and engaging the game of Alice in Wonderland. “You, the viewer, are invited to unravel the conundrums and the absurdities contained within the tales and re-interpreted in the artworks of The Alice Sequence. You are invited to make the connection between thinking speaking humankind, as exemplified by Alice, and the non-speaking other – even if it is, as in this case, a pompous anthropomorphic egg!” says Cruise.

Explaining her current work Cruise states, “In this series of exhibitions I interrogate the curious interface between Alice in Wonderland and the animals that inhabit her dream world. Using ceramic sculpture, painting, drawings and text, I explore the nature of animal/human communication within the fecund metaphor provided by Lewis Carroll’s tales of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass”.

The next showing of  Will you, won’t you, will you join the dance? is at Oliewenhuis Art Museum, Bloemfontein in July 2014.

Wilma Cruise, Detail of: Alice: Self Portrait ll, Mixed media drawing on paper, 200 x 100cm, 2011.  Photo:  Ant Strack

By Wilma Cruise from the Will you, won't you, will you join the dance? exhibition

By Wilma Cruise from the Will you, won't you, will you join the dance? exhibition

2013 Gyeonggi International Ceramic Biennale (GICB)

Wilma Cruise has been invited to participate in the 7th Gyeonggi International Ceramic Biennale (GICB) in Korea.

GICB presents newly created artworks made specifically for this exhibition by requesting artists to share their interpretations on the 2013 theme, ‘Community-with me, with you, with us’ in conjunction with social, geographical, cultural and aesthetical issues.  The GICB is the most prestigious ceramic biennale on the circuit.  "It is a huge accolade for me to be invited and it is a pinnacle of my career to date as a ceramic sculptor", says Cruise.

Cruise's work will be shown in the International Prize of GICB 2013 which is the main exhibition of the GICB. It is the highlight and the most important venue as it addresses different issues associated with the current tendencies in international contemporary art. The final selection for the exhibition has been progressed through a nomination format. Among the 91 artists recommended by 11 international committee members representing Asia, the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Oceania, only 30 artists are nominated for the main exhibition by the director Lee Inchin.

The GICB will open on 28 September - 17 November 2013 at Icheo in Gyeonggi, Korea.