Looking back on the past year, it is difficult to disentangle timelines and events while still in the deep fog of a crisis, and yet the steady presence throughout it all is the importance of front-line workers. In her online solo exhibition Stick It, Sue Greeff; South African nurse turned fine artist, offers an opportunity to retrace a personal history of Nursing in South Africa while contributing to the ongoing conversation of a global pandemic. Comprised of a series of portraits drawn from photographs in her personal archive, the exhibition is an exploration of her own memories of Nursing in the late 70’s and 80’s, whist offering an opportunity to reflect on the events of the past year.
While “Stick it” is a subversive term that exist in contrast to authority, for Greeff the phrase also lives in her memory as a female and flower child of the seventies. In the aftershocks of the pandemic and its economic consequences, we have the opportunity to reconsider and rethink where we place our value. The immense sacrifices, the invaluable care and the boundless compassion that nurses continue to offer without restraint must be visualized and valorized. With this exhibition, Greeff establishes a platform for these reconsiderations and acknowledgements to take place and she has touched on just some of the ways we can continue exploring the realities of the pandemic which has so drastically changed the world and everyone in it.
Greeff completed her BA(FA) (2015) at the Michaelis School of Fine Art and currently lives and works in Cape Town. Greeff has participated in a number of solo and group shows and her work is held in private collections locally and internationally. Her artistic practice looks at the crossovers between biology, psychology and art. Her fascination with the body and mind stems from her experiences as a midwife, psychiatric nurse and mother. She draws reference from art history as well as iconography borrowed from popular culture, news footage and social media.
*All artworks are unframed. Click on artworks for size guide.