Haidee Nel

Date:04 July, 2019

Artist Statement

Camouflaged. Invisible. Silent…Motionless. Rock-like… waiting
to be free.

The Camouflage Series is a further extension of the Infantry I Girl Series 2014 – 2019, dealing with the interrogation of social issues around violence against young children. “Infantry” as a body of work, is the ‘unspoken voice’ of these tainted children.

In my mind the sculptures became monuments to all who find themselves at the front-line of this battle whether child, ‘adult child’ or inner child. The Camouflage Series are outdoor sculptures made from cast cement dresses; the original dress carved in wood. The limbs are cast resin and marble dust. The amour is made from found objects, coffee tins, old plunger, pig hair paintbrushes, stainless steel mesh. The bases that they are standing on are rocks found at the Overberg rubbish dump. The fragility of the figures
becomes more highlighted in the fact that they can be left outdoor exposed to the wind and rain, where time leaves its mark.

Initially the project was born from the realization of how many children around the world suffer from abuse and violence, and how do I protect the innocence of my own girl children from a violent and abusive world. During the creation of Infantry I, the girl soldiers, I felt an urge to look deeper into this heartbreaking subject matter and searched for new perspectives.

This body of work is a multidimensional depiction of the understanding of the cycle of pain, and how these incessant cycles are manifesting into the world around us and the effects on the child selves. Ultimately it would be the efforts of individuals who choose to break the cycle of fear and transmuting pain with the realisation of the willingness to love themselves: by nurturing and healing the inner child with mindfulness and responsibility. The choice is between creating a warrior of love or a warrior of fear. The CHOICE will inevitably create an opposing Human experience.