12 october – 25 november 2017

Fried Contemporary is proud to present an exhibition by Avi Sooful opening Thursday 12 October from 6pm-8pm.


The works on show are charcoal drawings and sculptural objects reflecting on common household material objects and items that are suggestive of land. Further, the word object also serves to render disapproval, as the work leans towards socio-political and feminist issues inherent in the work. Land has become an object of ownership as well as a symbol of poverty or wealth.

Artwork: Woman on the move

An object such as a handbag is almost always associated with the feminine. It is a symbol of sophistication as well as something public yet private in its holding of contents. The over emphasis of the size of the handbag encourages one to consider this as an object, playful yet layered in meaning as the back displays the preamble of the Women’s Charter signed in 1954.

Artwork:  The old, new and unknown

Artist’s statement: The artwork is made up of 3 individual pieces, together reading as a single artwork. The idea of being indigenous and notions of invasiveness in current South African society infiltrates my conceptual thinking in translating spirituality and materiality. The immediate impression is a very masculine image which enhances the brutal yet complex nature of the situation in which we repeatedly find ourselves and our relationship to conflict. The shape of the Old, is taken from the symbol representing the Shiva Lingam which reflects on procreation of the world in its phallic representation. The shape is inscribed with the words, In the beginning was the… which remain incomplete. The New represents a mapping of the land and ownership. Shaped inside this structure is a spiral form and the word Alien is inscribed as an echo. The Unknown remains an ambiguous form, undefined as to its true purpose and structure.

I began my academic career in Kwazulu Natal as an educator in the township of Umlazi,
Durban before relocating to Gauteng. My area of interest remains a feminist position within
the visual arts. I have participated in numerous exhibitions both nationally and
internationally and the notion of landscape has occupied my work for the past ten years as
both political and feminist images. My installation works reflect on social values inherent in
South Africa.

I have worked in the professional environment of the visual arts for most of my academic
career. I spent 15 years as an academic and finally headed the Department of the Visual Arts
and Design at the Vaal University of Technology. I am currently a senior lecturer,
programme coordinator of the Fine Art programme at the University of Pretoria. I have
served as a panelist on the National Arts Council from 2002 – 2010, and currently serve as a
National President of the South African National Association for the Visual Arts. I serve on
the University of Pretoria Arts Committee which oversees purchases for the University art


Qualifications: MA (FA), BA (FA), HDE (post school), FDE (educational management), ABET