Thursday, August 19, 2010


"Andrew Putter's sublime Secretly I will love you more won a richly deserved award. The artist utilised the exhibition space, creating an antechamber into which one stepped in order to gaze at an apparently traditional portrait of Maria de la Quellerie, wife of Jan van Riebeeck. Reminiscent of Frans Hals' portraiture, the formal three-quarter pose is rendered intimate by the direct gaze of the sitter and the delicate lighting filtered through from one side. However, just as the portrait's tranquil presence asserts itself, one is unsettled by the moving lips of the sitter and the gentle Khoikhoi lullaby issuing from these lips. The video-installation was inspired by the story of Maria de la Quellerie who, shortly after her arrival in the Cape in 1652, adopted a Khoikhoi girl-child. The intimacy of the mother-daughter relationship subverts the racial segregation and conflict that usually characterise South African histories. With Secretly I will love you more Putter puts forward an alternative narrative of love and longing between traditionally conflicting cultures" - Tavia McIntosh,

maria 's animated portrait framed and contained sings a haunting khoikhoi lullaby that is enough to give me nightmares.

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