September 17th, 2016

Concerning Various Travels in Africa

Tinsel presents an exhibition of original paintings by fine artist Shelagh Scholes, with objects and jewellery inspired by them made by fine artist Emily Stainer and contemporary jeweller Geraldine Fenn. The pieces on show explore the narratives of victorians in Africa: the fragility of the foreigners in the harsh and dangerous landscape. Using a variety of media, Scholes, Stainer and Fenn have produced a collective body of work that is visually engaging, humorous, and beautifully crafted. These one-of-a-kind pieces draw on a rich diversity of art historical themes, and the show really is a must-see.

Some background on the artists:
Shelagh Scholes graduated from Wits in 1970 with a Fine Arts degree, which she followed up with an Honours in Art History. She spent her professional career as a teacher, and since retiring has devoted her time to her own work, exploring a personal and fantastic vision of Victorian Africa. Her influences are many, and include comics such as Tintin, outsider art, and colonial landscape painting.

Emily Stainer also studied Fine Art at Wits, graduating with a Masters degree (with distinction) in 2003. She then went on to get a Masters degree in History of Art from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London in 2006, and had several successful solo and group shows both locally (at the Goodman Gallery and Standard Bank Gallery) and abroad (at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool). After spending the last seven years living in Jakarta, Indonesia, Emily is now back in Johannesburg and re-focusing her energies on making art. She has many artistic influences, ranging from Lover’s Eye miniatures to toy theatres, anatomical models and automata.

Geraldine Fenn studied Archaeology and Classical History at Wits (1996) before going to Durban to study Jewellery Design. She returned to Wits in 1999 and ended up with a Masters degree in Fine Arts in 2005. Since then she has been actively involved in the contemporary jewellery scene through her gallery Tinsel, and has participated in and organised many exhibitions. She is inspired by many things, including Victorian jewellery, memento mori and netsuke.