Born in 1964
Born in Cape Town, South Africa,
where she continues to live and work.
Questions of racial and sexual identity are central to the work of this most visible contemporary South-African artist. Her own body is her preferred subject and she uses camera to record her “performances” in which her skin may be clad in aromatic spices, dyes and other coloured substances that simulate wounds. This series on emigration shows Berni Searle wandering barefoot across a grandiose but desolate landscape. She trudges through this inhospitable environment. The physical and emotional effort demanded by this painful journey was faithfully recorded by the artist, while the black volcanic soil formed a symbolic contrast with her hennaed feet.