Approved: 16.08.2014

Bonita Alice

Artist, Lecturer / academic, Researcher, Teacher, Writer

Approved: 16.08.2014



    Artist Statement

    For several years now my practice has reflected my independent research in the area of Animal Studies. In other words, my interest in non-human animals, the ways in which we relate to them emotionally, their complete dependence on our protection, and on our ability and inclination to think wisely and correctly about them and their rights as members of an extended community. 

    My interest has long been with psychological matters. My explorations of ideas around emotional attachment to place brought both internal and external landscapes into focus and then overlapped them. The dynamics and consequences of internal (or emotional) disharmony on an individual level - as addressed by ideas in Psychology and Psychoanalysis - suggest to me a stream of metaphors for crises in the physical world. And because bad governance and decision-making are so often directly linked to environmental destruction, the echo often seems more than just metaphorical.

    In my studio practice I test the boundaries between artmaking and the language of animal advocacy. It seems clear that to be effective in either or both it is necessary to keep a degree of separation in the language at least. However animal ethics and rights issues are a major concern for me and inevitably infect and inform my images and my thinking.

    My reading includes Animal Studies, Philosophy, Psychology, Psychoanalysis and History. I return regularly to the fiction of John Berger. His strategy, in his fiction, of not specifiying  place or time resonates with my own inclination to fictionalise what is very close. Similarly, the novels of Jose Saramago.

    My work has varied in its forms, from huge temporary land art installations using anamorphic perspective to the small painted, sculpted and drawn works that are my focus now.

    My imagery of the past several years can probably be described as allegorical or fantasy in the sense that I avoid representation of known forms or places. However, probably as with most fictions, my impetus is always firmly rooted in the real, in current events near and far, personal and global.

    The artists whose work I return to are often, though not consciously, German, including Beuys, Kiefer and Baselitz, I refer constantly to Japanese painters and printmakers and follow the work of, amongst others, Cornelia Parker and Tacita Dean, and recently, photographers Britta Jaschkinski and Charlotte Dumas.

    CV & Education


    2006 - CELTA certificate (ESOL - Teaching English as a second language)

    2004 - Art Critical Writing Module in Masters of Fine Arts Program (as occasional student)

    1990 - MFA - Michaelis School of Arts, University of Cape Town, South Africa

    1985 - BAFA - Department of Fine Art and Art History, University of the Witwatersrand,      

                                           Johannesburg, South Africa


    Solo Exhibitions

    (Currently preparing for next solo exhibition, provisionally entitled Strangers of Commanding Aspect, at AOP April 2015)

    2012 - Beast in a Dangerous Landscape, AOP (Art on Paper) Gallery, Johannesburg

    2010 - Beast at Home - AOP (Art on Paper) Gallery, Johannesburg

    2007 - Anticipated Memory - AOP (Art on Paper) Gallery, Johannesburg

    2005 - Promised Land - The Premises Gallery, Civic Theater Complex, Johannesburg

                                        US Museum and Art Gallery, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa

                                        KZNSA Gallery, Durban, South Africa

    2001/2 - Giving and Not Giving - Millenium Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

                                                    Bell-Roberts Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa  

    1994- Exhibiiton of sculpture - Everard Read Contemporary, Johannesburg

    1990 - Exhibition of sculpture - Goodman Galleries, Johannesburg

    (Most solo exhibitions were accompanied by a publication with texts written by the artist, and various writers and academics.) 


    Group Exhibitions include..   

    2014 - Jerwood Drawing Prize

    2014 – A5, Art Athina, Athens, Greece, Project by Lubomirov-Easton, London

    2010 - Halakasha - Exhibition of artworks and objects relating to football, Wits Art Gallery, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg  

    2008 - Exhibiiton of Contemporary South African Art, Myerson Art, London

    2006 - Launch of South African art Bank, Johannesburg Art Gallery

    2006 - Exhibition of work about Johannesburg, 3 Artists, Johannesburg Art gallery

    2002 -  Sao Paulo Bienal - Commission of two-part site-specific work entitled Spirit

    2000 - A.R.E.A.- Exhibition of Contemporary South African Art,  National Gallery of Reykjavik,                                                                                                                                                                                                    Iceland      

    1999 -   Emergence ...  25 Years of South African Art, National Arts Festival,  Grahamstown                                                                                                                        

     1998  -  !Xoe Site-Specific ... Exhibition of site-specific works, Nieu- Bethesda, South Africa                                                                                



    2007-current   Ongoing studio practice, studio at V22, Dalston, London

                         ESOL teaching (English as a second language)

    (prior to relocation from South Africa to London...)

    2007 -   Collaborative design development for contemporary diamond jewellery collection, shown at Dover street Market, London in 2007/8

    Ongoing - studio practice

    1998 - 2003  -  Lecturer in Sculpture and Head of Department of Sculpture, Department of Fine Art,  Witwatersrand Technikon (now University of Johannesburg)

    1996 – 1998 -  Private adult classes in Drawing, Sculpture and Art Literacy                                   

                           Freelance Art Consultant to private and corporate collections

    1992 - 1995  - Lecturer in Sculpture, Ceramics and Drawing, Department of Fine Art, Parktown College, Johannesburg

    1991-1992 - Assistant Curator, UNISA Art Museum, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa

    1987 - Leave replacement - Lecturer in Sculpture, Department of Fine Art and Art History, University of Kwa Zulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa


    Awards and Residencies

    2006 - Ampersand Fellowship - 2 month occupancy of Ampersand artist's apartment, NY, USA

    1996, 2003, 2008, 2013 - Residencies, Cite des Arts, Paris

    Public Collections include

    Johannesburg Art Gallery, Durban Art Museum, Standard Bank Collection, SABC, South African Reserve Bank, Speer, UNISA Art Gallery


    Installation for premises of Norton Rose Attorneys new headquarters in Johannesburg.