Art; Unearthed

SMITH Studio, following a successful show with Grace Cross in March and April of 2015, is proud to present a second solo show of painting, fibre, installation and video works by the trans-global artist. Titled ‘The Meal Is Not The Menu’, the collection explores the haunting of history, archaeology and spirituality on contemporary art making.

Cross, whose work is rich in symbol and representation, regularly questions the role of home and land, assumed gender roles and security of space. In this latest exhibition, however, she dabbles in the notion of unearthed source materials – ancient artefacts, ritualistic symbols and antiquated lexicons. These are reworked, reinterpreted and ultimately reinvented into a contemporary state of being.

The artist draws from both ancient and more recent historical references: the Cradle of Humankind, Neolithic Mesopotamia, the Gold Rush era, as well as more personal and contemporary narratives. Cross’ works become spellbinding pieces, the conjured imagery and playful use of materials conspire to invoke new meaning. The result is constructed, ethereal yet futuristic spaces.

‘My paintings seek to represent a cosmological world, where the ground, made of woven fibre, becomes the landscape that my paint adheres to. The substrate and the content cannot be separated because of their symbolic nature. I work with pictures that are so full and so extensive that it is impossible to take that step backwards, screw up one’s eyes, and enjoy the whole. I want to get people to move not just their eyes but also their whole person along and around the picture plain as if they were reading a map or playing a game.’ – Grace Cross

The Meal Is Not The Menu will run from 21 Sep to 14 Oct 2017 at SMITH, 56 Church Street, Cape Town. Visit for more information.

Combat Crawling, 2017, Oil on canvas, 101 x 101cm

Excavation Painting Site, 2017, Oil, acrylic, pencil, pastel, appliqué canvas on drop-sheet and pastel and paper, 190 x 146.5cm

Rug-of-war, 2017, Oil on canvas, 130 x 100cm

Featured artwork Cistern Innards, 2017, Oil on canvas with appliqué canvas, 117 x 222cm