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Lady Skollie’s ‘Groot Gat’ Exhibition Opens at Norval Foundation

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The Norval Foundation proudly presents “Groot Gat,” by Lady Skollie – an exhibition that powerfully addresses identity, belonging, and rethinking history. Running until September 15, 2024, this marks the third exhibition celebrating Lady Skollie’s 2022 win of the prestigious Standard Bank Young Artist Award.

Lady Skollie, Something Sweet, Something Sour, Mixed media on paper. (Image courtesy: Everard Read)

Born in Cape Town, Lady Skollie is an artist, activist, and feminist who confronts the gaps in her heritage caused by colonialism within Cape Coloured communities. The exhibition title, “Groot Gat,” which translates to “big hole,” symbolizes the significant gaps in South African history. It also refers to Boesman’s Gat, a freshwater cave in Kimberley once used for indigenous rituals and fishing, later seized by colonialists and stripped of its sacred purpose.

In “Groot Gat,” Lady Skollie creates a fantasy realm inspired by Boesman’s Gat. Here, the San, Khoi, Griqua, as well as all Brown people from South Africa thrive in an environment rich with tradition and uninterrupted history. Visitors will also encounter vibrant and monumental cave drawings, untouched by time and vandalism, alongside artworks that address generational trauma in many South African communities.

Lady Skollie’s “Groot Gat” delves into the Brown and Black experience in South Africa, further questioning collective histories and seeking enlightenment. As a ‘Coloured’ person from Cape Town, she scrutinizes the label and reflects on identity.

Her modern ‘pop’ paintings tackle colonialism, trauma, and family patterns, further aiming to fill the voids in collective histories. “Groot Gat” offers visitors a space to redefine themselves without the weight of pain, powerfully addressing identity and belonging.


Derrick Chidumebi is a creative writer and growth marketer hailing from Lagos, Nigeria. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Industrial Chemistry from Olabisi Onabanjo University, Nigeria, and is the founder of The Eko Place, a media/marketing agency based in Lagos, Nigeria. Currently, he serves as a writer for Art Network Africa.

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