Sue Williamson / All Our Mothers / 2013

About

Sue Williamson’s multimedia exhibition All Our Mothers, seen earlier this year at Goodman Gallery Johannesburg, travels to Cape Town this August. The show celebrates the strength of the extraordinary women who helped to bring this country to freedom, and examines the generation gap between these wise, iconic veterans of the struggle, and their granddaughters, the confident young born frees.

Williamson’s multi-screen video installation There’s something I must tell you portrays six intense conversations in which the older women recall important moments of their histories and their lives, and the younger women respond, and present their own forthright views on living in South Africa right now. Stories of exile, of the women’s march, of imprisonment evoke the ultimate question: Was it all worth it? The answers are sometimes surprising.

In making the series, Williamson worked with such key figures as the charismatic Amina Cachalia, to whom this exhibition is dedicated, the distinguished Dr Brigalia Bam, the 101-year-old Rebecca Kotane, Carollne Motsoaledi, widow of Rivonia triallist Elias Motsoaledi, Ilse Fischer, activist daughter of Afrikaner lawyer Bram Fischer, and liberation movement heroine Vesta Smith.

Amina Cachalia and Caroline Motsoaledi were two of the women portrayed in Williamson’s portfolio of etchings/screenprints of the 1980s, A Few South Africans, a series that was reproduced and widely distributed as postcards at a time when images of these women were rarely seen in the press. Today, those postcards and prints are in such museum collections as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the V&A Museum in London, and the Walther Collection in Germany.

There’s something I must tell you originated when Williamson was a Rockefeller Foundation Creative Arts Fellow in Bellagio, Italy in 2011 and received a phone call from Amina Cachalia to contribute to a book at the very moment the artist was thinking she would like to interview and photograph Amina again, and to reconsider the important contribution of that generation almost 20 years into the new democracy. And so the new project began.

Accompanying the video installation is a new series of more than twenty photographic portraits of women taken over a thirty year period.

The artist is greatly indebted to the National Arts Council of South Africa, the Goethe Institute and Business Arts South Africa for support for All Our Mothers. The producer of There’s something I must tell you is Monkey Films’ Clare van Zyl.

  • A Few South Africans: Amina Cachalia

    Sue Williamson

    A Few South Africans: Amina Cachalia, 1984

    Photo etching/screenprint collage / photoetching/screenprint collage

    70 x 64cm / image: 7...

  • Amina Cachalia, Fordsburg

    Sue Williamson

    Amina Cachalia, Fordsburg, 2012

    Archival ink on archival paper

    Image: 58 x 39cm / Image: 58 x 39cm; Paper 71.5 x 51.5 cm

    Edit...

  • Amina Cachalia, Fordsburg

    Sue Williamson

    Amina Cachalia, Fordsburg, 1984

    Archival ink on archival paper

    Image: 58 x 39cm

    Edition of 6

    Available

  • There's something I must tell you

    Sue Williamson

    There's something I must tell you, 2013

    Six screen video installation

    Dimensions variable

    Edition of 5

    Available

  • Helen Joseph, Cape Town

    Sue Williamson

    Helen Joseph, Cape Town, 1983

    Archival ink on archival paper

    Image: 58 x 39cm

    Edition of 6

  • Virginia Mngoma, Alexandra, Johannesburg

    Sue Williamson

    Virginia Mngoma, Alexandra, Johannesburg, 1984

    Archival ink on archival paper

    Image: 58 x 39cm / Image: 58 x 39cm; Paper 71.5 x 51.5...

  • Bed Camp, Crossroads, Cape Town

    Sue Williamson

    Bed Camp, Crossroads, Cape Town, 1983

    Archival ink on archival paper

    Image: 58 x 39cm / Image: 58 x 39cm; Paper 71.5 x 51.5 cm

    <...
  • Ellen Khuzwayo, Cape Town

    Sue Williamson

    Ellen Khuzwayo, Cape Town, 1983

    Archival ink on archival paper / Archival inks on archival paper

    Image: 58 x 39cm / Image: 58 x 39cm...

  • Mamphela Ramphela, University of Cape Town

    Sue Williamson

    Mamphela Ramphela, University of Cape Town, 1985

    Archival ink on archival paper

    Image: 58 x 39cm / Image: 58 x 39cm; Paper 71.5 x 51...

  • Fatima Meer, Cape Town

    Sue Williamson

    Fatima Meer, Cape Town, 1989

    Archival inks on archival paper

    Image: 58 x 39cm / Image: 58 x 39cm; Paper 71.5 x 51.5 cm

    Editio...

  • Cheryl Carilus, Cape Town

    Sue Williamson

    Cheryl Carilus, Cape Town, 1990

    Archival ink on archival paper

    Image: 58 x 39cm / Image: 58 x 39cm; Paper 71.5 x 51.5 cm

    Edit...

  • Judy Seidman

    Sue Williamson

    Judy Seidman, 2002

    Archival ink on archival paper

    Image: 58 x 39cm / Image: 58 x 39cm; Paper 71.5 x 51.5 cm

    Edition of 6

    ...
  • Rebecca Kotane, Soweto

    Sue Williamson

    Rebecca Kotane, Soweto , 2013

    Archival ink on archival paper

    Image: 58 x 39cm / Image: 58 x 39cm; Paper 71.5 x 51.5 cm

    Editio...

  • Vesta Smith, Noordgesig, Soweto

    Sue Williamson

    Vesta Smith, Noordgesig, Soweto , 2012

    Archival ink on archival paper

    Image: 58 x 39cm / Image: 58 x 39cm; Paper 71.5 x 51.5 cm

    ...
  • Caroline Motsoaledi, Soweto

    Sue Williamson

    Caroline Motsoaledi, Soweto , 2012

    Archival ink on archival paper

    Image: 58 x 39cm

    Edition of 6

  • Rica Hodgson, Johannesburg

    Sue Williamson

    Rica Hodgson, Johannesburg, 2012

    Archival ink on archival paper

    Image: 58 x 39cm / Image: 58 x 39cm; Paper 71.5 x 51.5 cm

    Edi...

  • Annie Silinga, Langa

    Sue Williamson

    Annie Silinga, Langa, 1983

    Archival inks on archival paper

    Image: 39 x 58 cm; Paper 51.5 x 71.5 cm / Image: 58 x 39cm

    Edition...

  • Esslina Silinga, Langa Graveyard

    Sue Williamson

    Esslina Silinga, Langa Graveyard, 1995

    Archival ink on archival paper

    Image: 58 x 39cm / Image: 58 x 39cm; Paper 71.5 x 51.5 cm

    ...
  • Annie Silinga, Langa

    Sue Williamson

    Annie Silinga, Langa, 1983

    Archival inks on archival paper

    Image: 58 x 39cm / Image: 58 x 39cm; Paper 71.5 x 51.5 cm

    Edition ...

  • Ilse Fischer Wilson

    Sue Williamson

    Ilse Fischer Wilson, 2013

    Archival ink on archival paper

    Image: 58 x 39cm / Image: 58 x 39cm; Paper 71.5 x 51.5 cm

    Edition o...

  • Brigalia Bam, Pretoria

    Sue Williamson

    Brigalia Bam, Pretoria, 2012

    Archival ink on archival paper

    Image: 58 x 39cm / Image: 58 x 39cm; Paper 71.5 x 51.5 cm

    Edition...

  • Gertrude Shope, Pretoria

    Sue Williamson

    Gertrude Shope, Pretoria, 2012

    Archival ink on archival paper

    Image: 58 x 39cm / Image: 58 x 39cm; Paper 71.5 x 51.5 cm

    Editi...

  • Installation picture [Sue Williamson / All Our Mothers / 2013]