Barbara Wildenboer, South Africa
Barbara Wildenboer is a South African artist that uses a combination of analogue and digital processes to create work that mostly consists of collage, photo- and paper-construction, installation, digitally animated collage works and book arts.
Her trademark ‘altered books’ function as narrative clues, intertexts or ‘subtitles’ accompanying the other works, referring to subject matter ranging from ancient history, archaeology and fractal geometry to psychoanalysis. The altered book series Library of the Infinitesimally Small and Unimaginable Large (2011-present) was inspired by a short story by the Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges titled The Library of Babel. In this large-scale ongoing project she uses the library as a metaphor for the universe.
Wildenboer lives and works in Cape Town, South Africa and is represented by galleries in Cape Town, Johannesburg, London, Lisbon and Luanda. In 2007 she obtained a Masters in Fine Art (Cum Laude) from the Michaelis School of Art at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. The title of her Master’s thesis was Present Absence / Absent Presence and the research was concerned with aspects of melancholy, loss and longing as is embodied by the photographic medium. Before that she completed a BA(Ed) with majors in English literature, Psychology and Pedagogics at the University of Pretoria in 1996 followed by a Bachelor of Visual Arts from UNISA in 2003. From 2009-2016 she was working as the head of the Photography Department at the Cityvarsity College of Creative Arts where she lectured Theory & Discourse and History of Photography.
In 2011 she was nominated and subsequently selected as one of the top 20 finalists for the Sovereign African Arts Award for which she received the Public Choice Prize. She has been awarded several international residencies such as the Unesco-Aschberg residency (Amman, Jordan, 2006), the Al Mahatta residency (Birzeit, Palestine, 2009) and the Red De Residencias Artisticas Local (Bogotá, Colombia, 2011), the Rimbun Dahan artist residency (Penang, Malaysia, 2013), L’AiR Arts residency (Fontainebleau, France 2016 & Paris, France, 2022), Hannacc (Barcelona, Spain, 2018) and Le Jardin Rouge at the Montresso Foundation (Marrakech Morocco, 2022).
During her 2022 residency with L’AiR Arts, Barbara will be presenting her work at the group exhibition at the Atelier 11 during National Architecture Days, as well as at the Also Known As Africa art fair (October 21 - 23) with the This Is Not A White Cube gallery (Lisbon / Luanda), featuring 12 new hand cut altered books.