Colijn Strydom • The Bacchae of Buitenkant
Bacchae of Buitenkant – Artist’s Statement
The Bacchae of Buitenkant alludes to Euripides’ classic play, The Bacchae, which tells the tale of Dionysus, the god of pleasure, wine, ecstasy and fertility, who takes revenge on Thebes and its ruler, Pentheus. The Bacchae were Dionysus’ followers.
The play is a backdrop against which I explore where and who I am. It addresses gender roles and gender fluidity, which brings an additional layer of autobiography to the work.
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Themes of fragmentation and fluidity are reflected in a combination of image, text, tactility and performance, and a mix of media that includes drawing, painting and photography.
The photographs arose from a desire to physically situate myself within the drawings and speak directly to my experience. The props featured in the photos are quite humble, and either made of cardboard or sewn by hand.
'The play is a backdrop against which I explore where and who I am.'
I make work to discover things, striving to be sincere and self-aware, and often turning to humour. These lighter moments are juxtaposed with contrasting moods and images to produce a dense and complex viewing experience.
More about Colijn, the artist
Born in Pretoria, Colijn Strydom now lives and works in Cape Town. In 2008 he obtained a MA (Visual Arts) from Stellenbosch University. His practice is focused on drawing but extends to painting, photography and performance. His work has been exhibited widely throughout galleries in Cape Town and Johannesburg.
Through his art he engages with gender and Afrikaner identity and he often uses humour and other self-reflexive strategies. Strydom’s subject matter is varied and he frequently finds inspiration in poetry, history and folktales.