Kyra Pape Brief Portfolio

Kyra Simone’ Pape’ a young South African artist, born in 1993, and raised in Johannesburg focuses her practice on drawing, sculpture and printmaking. She has her Master of Arts in Fine Arts by Research (2018) as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts Degree from the University of Witwatersrand (2015). As the Robert Hodgins award winner (2014) she went on to jointly achieve the Top Achievers award in the Fourth Year Fine Arts Department at the University of Witwatersrand (2015). She was a sculpture finalist in the PPC Imaginarium awards (2016) as well as being nominated by Artist Press for the Queen Sonja Print Award (2017). Recently she was selected for the Absa Atelier for the top 100, Give Art Light Exhibition (2018). Throughout her studies and practice as an artist, she has participated in numerous group exhibitions and recently had a Solo Exhibition, Transude, in completion of her Master of Art, Fine Art degree at The Point of Order (March 2018).


An individual experiences the world sensually, through the multiple senses of the body. We engage in this experience through the interaction of objects, materials and things with the self and the body.

My personal engagement is with sugar, mainly melted sugar. My abject allergy with sugar leaves my unstable body vulnerable and exposed with open wounds and internal rawness. The material is evidently experienced as a foreign entity, a strange mass, delicately violent to my person.

In an attempt to gain some power, I explore and playfully challenge its physicality and conventional uses in the same way my discomforting experience with it is challenged on a daily basis. While no power is gained a dialogue is activated. Thus through this material engagement with sugar(melted) the understanding of the material is able to alter. By means of the functional disruption in the images, sugar as a sweet and delicious ingestible item is proposed as a subtly violent and foreign entity with a tactility that ultimately draws the viewer into the space of the image.

While the relationship of the artist to the sugar is violent the interpretation of the work is delicate and intricate. The obsessive and intense mark-making showcases the intimate relationship with the sugar in a way in which the alien forms and masses become delicate and fragile moments allowing the viewer to see the potential of elegance in an otherwise unstable toxic material.

In my recent drawings you can see the way in which the ink and sugar morph and wrap around each other, blurring the boundaries and disrupting the distinction between the materials. This tangling and convoluting of shapes creates spatial relationships where both form and non-form coincide in a visual dialogue.

My relationship with sugar thus sits in a contradictory realm. While sugar is toxic, dangerous and alien to my body, as a material it is understood to be delicious, addictive and alluring. The physical structure once melted is unstable and as a result allows me, as the artist, very limited control in the making process. The dialogue between the artist and the sugar as result manifests itself into a visually alien form which sits mutually as obsessively delicate and familiar yet remains peculiarly abstract and alien. As a result I explore the material’s fluid existence where my primary interest is in the boundaries or non-boundaries that are being pushed, destabilised or contained.


151.50 (Hours) (ISXXXL01), ink and melted sugar, 100 x 210 cm 2018
ISXXXL02, Ink and melted sugar on Fabriano, 1.1 x 2.1 m, 2018
ISXXXL03, ink and melted sugar, 100 x 210 cm 2019
ISXXXL04, ink and melted sugar, 98 x 150 cm 2019
PPO 1 - 60, ink and melted sugar on Fabriano, 62.5 x 210 cm {12.5 x 17.5 cm each page}, 2018
ISL02, 70 x 50 cm, Ink and melted sugar on paper, 2018
ISL03, 70 x 50 cm, Ink and melted sugar on paper, 2018
ISM11, 35.5 x 50 cm, Ink and melted sugar on Fabriano, 2019
ISM12, 35.5 x 50 cm, Ink and melted sugar on Fabriano, 2019
ISM13, 35.5 x 50 cm, Ink and melted sugar on Fabriano, 2019
ISM14, 35.5 x 50 cm, Ink and melted sugar on Fabriano, 2019.
ISM15, 35.5 x 50 cm, Ink and melted sugar on Fabriano, 2019.jpg
ISM16, 35.5 x 50 cm, Ink and melted sugar on Fabriano, 2019
ISM08 35.5 x 35.5 cm, Ink and melted sugar on Fabriano, 2018
Kyra Pape, ISL01, 68 x 50 cm, Ink and melted sugar on Fabriano, 2017

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