Lady Skollie was born in 1987 in Cape Town and currently lives and works in Johannesburg. A feminist artist, she is passionate about defying taboos and talking openly about issues of sex, pleasure, consent, human connection and abuse. She also uses social media and her regular podcast, Kiss & Tell, to candidly discuss these themes.
Her vivid compositions are deliberately awash with contradictions. Her highly symbolic fruit implicates both male and female forms and her dominant female figures also look like they are being held captive; they explore both the joy and darkness of the erotic. Her work is simultaneously bold and vulnerable, expressing the duality of human sexuality.
khoisan kween mother
To coincide with her current exhibition Lust Politics at Tyburn Gallery, London, Lady Skollie has produced this special edition screen print, taken from her site-specific mural - Khoisan Kween Mother, which currently occupies the entire back wall of the exhibition.
In this work, Skollie pays tribute to the Khoisan people, who 22,000 years ago represented the largest group of humans on earth, and from whom she is a descendant. The fact that today only 100,000 remain speaks volumes of the ruthless erosion of South African heritage caused by colonisation and slavery. This work is Skollie's contemporary interpretation of Khoisan cave paintings, while she also makes reference to more modern forms of colonialism - through motifs such as the Josphine Baker-style banana skin skirt.
She says: "I will never know the extent of knowledge, culture and true power the Khoisan possessed. All I can do is offer my new versions of Khoisan cave drawings, hoping that the 1,000-year gap in culture can be filled by my interest and respect. As artists of colour I think our sole purpose is to fill in the gaps left by colonisation.”
Her work has been exhibited widely across South Africa, with a number of special projects at the Michael Stevenson Gallery and the Association for Visual Arts. She has been featured on CNN Africa and CNN International on ‘African Voices’.