Title: By whose hand? Robben Island III
Size: 16" x 30"
Edition size: 1/1
"After a very long drought of making images, I was invited on a two-week artist residency in the pre-famine village of Cill Railaig in Ireland in August 2017 and fell in love with the exquisite landscapes with its ancient standing stones and traces of ancient villages drawn with stones. The well-known comment by Carl Jung in Man and his Symbols came to life in his understanding of the symbolic power of the stones as “the containers of the spirit of the life-force with all its mystery”. A short while before, I had visited Robben Island and was struck by the way the stones in the desolate scrub held the memory and trauma of the site.
The series of Robben Island became a kind of counter-point to the green and mystical Irish landscapes, in which both sets of images hold historical traces of trauma of political and personal violence in the stones. Robben Island, a name resonant with both extreme oppression and the humanity that birthed South African democracy, is infused with material fragments and symbolic voices of that hold the memory of human resilience. These monotypes are another way to explore the evocative memory traces in the landscape" .
Kim Berman, 2018
Kim Berman / By whose hand? Robben Island III
Kim Berman is a professor in Visual Art at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) and is the Executive Director of The Artist Proof Studio in Newtown, Johannesburg.
Berman is a hugely energetic person who is deeply committed to political and social transformation in South Africa. She uses printmaking as a vehicle to reflect on the social and political processes that surround her.
Berman has the uncanny ability to take a neglected, peripheral landscape and to transform it into an image that not only comments on society but is also transformed into something beautiful and poignant.