Locating and accepting ‘self’, natural beauty and the passing of time, is captured in “Coming and Going” a mixed media artwork by Lynette van Tonder, which rotates to reveal both front and back of the work. Faces read like road maps, tracing the journey of life. Eyes, like tender portals lead to a lifetime of emotions; sometimes dark glasses offer welcome protection from undue scrutiny.
A natural distortion of the face resulted from the free-style stitching used to draw the image onto slippery material. Light falls onto the artwork and creates animation, increasing and decreasing the depth of distortion, revealing unexpected allure. ‘Coming and Going’ is part of a series of works: ‘Cartographic Threads’ that explore the imperfection of life. It offers a personal response to the prevalence of pretense in popular culture, especially social media. The viewer in invited to go in search of themselves within the grid.
The background is made up of various methods and mediums combined. Hand and digitally printed maps and material and paper of recreated Google maps of the city in an attempt to locate some form of identity. The girl wearing dark glasses is drawn in stitches onto the mapped background, some overlapping onto her face. The reverse-side of the artwork is an integral part thereof.
Artist Statement: My methodology is a refusal of perfect embroidery or stitching. The palimpsest nature of our society is reflected in the layered work. Piercings of a needle over etched topographic maps of the city create shapes by the merging of two items into one, taking fragments of material and forging it into one image. Images are sometimes inspired from popular culture, because it is so tempting to live our lives through it, but most images are derived from personal photographs, drawings, experiences or observations.