Home, NAF 2018 | Elfriede Dreyer


National Arts Festival (NAF)

Grahamstown, Eastern Cape

26 June - 8 July 2018


Unrooted and Rooting (2018)  formed part of the exhibition HOME that was selected as fringe exhibition for the  Grahamstown National Arts Festival  in 2018.



My two works on exhibition, Unrooted and Rooting (2018), map the human body in its utopian need for home as a place of safe shelter and belonging. The works relate to my personal experience of losing my home in the Knysna Great Fire of 2017, and my subsequent effort of setting up home all over again.


Apart from my own experiences, the works also relate to modern life, in general characterised by induced human travel and migrancy, resulting in rhizomatic patterns of living. The bulbous rhizome can transplant and displace itself easily having shallow roots; a metaphor that reflects my own realisation that material goods are transient and human life like a boat precariously floating on water. The cartography of home in the two works shows mortal human flesh as unrooted and as rooting.


I selected a conceptual colour palette of embodiment in fleshy pinks and browns so as to evoke the metaphors of  wound, scar and crust, as well as the swollen edges of the wound on the skin when it starts healing.

The works engage with notions of home as heterotopia, but also with dystopian event and place, and are grounded in my ongoing research in the subject area of utopian studies.



Elfriede Dreyer, Unrooted, 2018.  Collage and mixed media, 1010 x 1280mm

Elfriede Dreyer, Rooting, 2018. Collage and mixed media, 1010 x 1280mm