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SCULPTURE FINALIST 2016/CHANTELLE CHAMBERS

The influence of “zef” culture is revealed throughout the work.

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The artist grew up in a lower-class neighbourhood in Witbank, Mpumalanga. The influence of “zef” culture is revealed throughout her work.

She focuses on the otherness of identity and comments on themes such as grievance, remorse and the carnal anima (the inner monster). This sculpture is a carnal anima of herself – grotesque and abject, yet subtle and feminine.

It is a comment on the inner monster when in conflict. The creature is a rhino-human hybrid that symbolises the fear of losing the horn when one is most vulnerable. The cement in this sculpture represents the thickness of rhino skin. Chambers mixed polystyrene with cement during moulding and removed it with thinners once the cement had dried.

This rough texture symbolises the ugly inner monster. The sculpture was painted with a baby pink wash, as an acknowledgement that one can be monstrous yet still so vulnerable. One can relate to rhino poaching in the sense of getting hurt and being left with a permanent scar, mentally or physically.

The pink also represents femininity, and in particular the fact that women know it is sometimes necessary to be stubborn. This sculpture is saying that it is okay to let the inner monster out in order to protect oneself and it exposes the ugliness of oneself with a sense of pride. Chambers' grotesque work is mostly influenced by Roger Ballen and Jane Alexander.

Her work deals with inner conflict to convey the search for selfhood.

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