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Deepest Darkest presents Confessionale , the new group exhibition featuring Henk Serfontein, Marieke Kruger and Wilma Cruise. Curated by Marieke Kruger, the exhibition runs from October 24 – 5 December at the Deepest Darkest Gallery in De Waterkant, Cape Town.

Confessionale  sees the meeting of these three artists in a space reminiscent of a “confessional box”, where sins are confessed are in secret, providing a platform for interactive visual dialogue surrounding this idea of ‘confession’ – inwardly, outwardly, and between each other. In doing so, underlying hidden narratives and experiences are explored and eluded to, binding common denominators between the three artists’ shared interest in the fractured and wounded human body, with the gallery as meditative space.

The significance of the actual process of making, the preoccupation with surface and the nature of the material itself are key themes of the show. The therapeutic and transformative process of making is explored – the alchemical process of being and becoming, in which case the very act of making or drawing becomes a ritualistic and meditative act towards arriving at a possible ‘new space of being’, a new situation, a new beginning.

Meet the Artists

Acclaimed sculptor Wilma Cruise will exhibit the central work of the show. Her haunting work executed in fired clay often explores muteness, that which is beyond articulation. The notion of the wounded body was explored as early as 1990 in her work after a tragic incident in which a close family member was killed in an act of terror. Notably so, the wounded body has been a subtle leitmotiv in her entire body of work ever since.

Marieke Kruger is known for monumental expressionistic drawings executed in charcoal powder with a psychological intensity and technical urgency. They interrogate a particular psychological and spiritual interaction with their surrounding space. Central to her current practice and research is her focus on prisoners as the subjects of her work. Kruger has been involved in drawing and printing rehabilitation workshops with various prisoners incarcerated in facilities in and around Cape Town, both within and outside of prison.

Henk Serfontein is known for the collaborations with female Afrikaans writers and in a recent project titled Handskrif confessional verse was written in the palm of the hand in which text became a stigmata and intertextual wound. Inspired by Antjie Krogs book of poetry, Verweerskrif/ Body Bereft he presents a series of floating fragments of human arms and hands executed with brooding light and arresting detail. He has often worked with the notion of vulnerability and compassion in his work, almost obsessively exploring the typography of skin, the body becomes a site of trauma, mourning and forgiveness.

Confessionale acts as a kind of personal visual Truth and Reconciliation Commission by, and with each artist. One in which the visual imagery quietly bear testament. A story of the familiarity of ageing skin, the discomfort of a fresh wound or the complexity of the memory thereof.

The gallery assumes the role of confessional space where the artists share their shared humanity and individual woundedness. Their bodies fractured, remembering, and through the acts of drawing and sculpting, transcend their pain, hinting at the possibility of healing.

WHERE: Deepest Darkest Contemporary Gallery, 20 Dixon Street, De Waterkant, Cape Town 8001
WHEN: Opens – Saturday 24 October / 12pm – 5pm. Closes: Saturday 5 December.  Gallery Hours: Tues to Sat 12pm – 4pm
INFO: Deon +27 79 1384 203  I Visit

COVID-19 Protocols:
All visitors to the gallery are required to wear masks at all times. Hand sanitizer is available upon entry.