Maria Pienaar

Maria Pienaar studied visual arts at Unisa and graduated in 2016. Soon after graduating her interest in textile art developed and is now the focus of her artistic practise. This practise includes participation in several group exhibitions at the White River Gallery and at the Innibos National Art Festival. Maria participated two times as finalist at the Sasol New Signatures and exhibited at three international shows such as the International Conference of Animals in Law and Society in South Africa, The Action for Artistic Creativity on Eco-Living in Mauritius and at the 2nd Lessedra International painting and mixed media competition. Maria Pienaar had solo exhibitions at the Pretoria Art Society in 2017 and 2019.

"Raised on a farm in the Free State, I treasure my Afrikaner heritage. A prevailing theme in my work concerns my family history, since I believe that cultural heritage and personal memory contribute to my understanding of who I am.


Influenced by a heritage where time meant something entirely different, woman’s creative work was regarded with pride and cherished. The works featured in this exhibition (2023) are machine stitched on cotton duct. The process and material utilize thread, an archetypal symbol of life, placing emphasis on the fragility of both memory and life itself. The repetitive actions of stitching both obscure and emphasize the relationship between nature, memory,and culture.


These works are a reconstruction of memory and identity. The intertwining of stitches, time and memories allow the images to transcend the banal as mere copies. They are lovingly reconstructed and, as such, are elevated to a hallowed and special status. 


The works give the viewer an opportunity to look inwards, reflecting on his or her own family history and culture. One becomes aware of the transitory, fleeting nature of life and conversely how family contributes to ambivalent feelings and memories. Special moments in family life are captured and frozen in photographs. As records, the photographs fade and blur over time and in memory. Reconstructed in art, it allows the viewer uniquely personal new ways of looking and remembering." - Maria Pienaar

1953 -
Nationality: South African
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