Mary Sibande is an artist living and working in Johannesburg who combines sculpture and photography to explore post-colonial South African identity.
A particular focus of her work is the portrayal of women within contemporary, South African society and the stereotypical positions which females are often still believed to inhabit. In basing her models on black, female domestic workers dressed in Victorian garb, Sibande not only explores past roles in a politically charged and once racially divided society but her personal feelings as a woman in present day South Africa.
“My work is not about complaining about apartheid, or an invitation to feel sorry for me because I am black and my mothers were maids [her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother were maids]. It is about celebrating what we are as women in South Africa today and for us to celebrate, we need to go back, to see what are we are celebrating. To celebrate, I needed to bring this maid.” – Mary Sibande.
Image: They Don’t Make Them Like They Used To (2008)