KKNK 2022

Visual Arts Exhibition

Welcome to the 3D tour of the 2022 Visual Arts exhibitions of the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival. This year’s exhibitions are grouped under the theme Unravel. We hope you’ll enjoy following the footsteps of everyone who walked through the Prince Vintcent building in Oudtshoorn during the festival to experience these 13 fascinating, tactile presentations.

Group 17761 1 | KKNK 2022

Unravelling can conjure up a variety of associations. On a material level it is tied to the untangling of threads or woven elements. This bond with materiality results from being intertwined with ideas of unknotting, untwisting and untangling. Through this process of disengaging entanglements, what once was conjoined becomes untied and returns to a basic form. When a knot, a mass of threads or a piece of knitted cloth thus unravels, it separates into a single thread. In this sense, unravelling causes something to come apart, to disengage or disentangle.

But untangling has both positive and negative inclinations. When pulling a straggly thread hanging from your sleeve, you’ll unravel, or completely undo a knitted sweater. In such a case, a hole in a sweater requires mending to halt the process of unravelling, which would otherwise destroy the item. In a different scenario, when something is knitted too small, a sleeve might benefit from being unravelled – forming part of the process of redoing and fixing the garment.

Besides being interweaved with materiality, unravelling is in its essence tied to philosophy and its search for clarity and understanding. Like a cloth being separated and distilled into single threads, the unravelling of a mysterious, unknown or complicated subject, idea or theory might cause it to become familiar or understood. Seen through this lens, unravelling is a way to clarify, to see plainly, to come to grips with the separate elements that something consists of. It is a process of being freed from complications.

Something that’s unravelled has been completely undone, whether it’s a spool of thread, some knotty shoelaces, or your mental state after a long and frustrating day. You can also investigate, solve or explain something puzzling by picking it apart and untangling the details; or merely follow the trail of clues like a line of string.

The exhibitions forming this year’s Visual Arts programme resonate either with the material connection of unravelling, or the philosophical untangling of histories, identities and pre-conceptions – presenting viewers with opportunities to mentally unravel intertwined ideas and interlaced materials.

Dineke van der Walt

KKNK Visual Arts Curator

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