Kyra Papé

Kyra Papé is a young South African artist (1993), who lives and works in Johannesburg. As an abstract artist interested in materiality she focuses her practice on drawing, sculpture and printmaking. Papé obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Fine arts Degree (2015) as well as a Master of Arts in Fine Arts by Research (2018) from the University of Witwatersrand.

She won the Robert Hodgins award (2014) and in 2015 during her undergrad degree she received the Top Achievers award in the Fourth Year Fine Arts Department at the University of Witwatersrand. Papé was a sculpture finalist in the PPC Imaginarium awards in 2016 and was nominated by Artist Press for the Queen Sonja Print Award in 2017. Her sculpture was additionally selected for the top 100 in the Absa Atelier, Give Art Light Exhibition in 2018. 

Her work is a part of the Modern Art Project collection. In 2019 she went on a six week residency with SAFFCA at Entabeni Farm in Knysna with artist Fatima Tayob Moosa. Throughout her studies and practice as an artist, she has participated in numerous group exhibitions and had a Solo Exhibition, Transude, in completion of her Master in Art, Fine Art degree at The Point of Order (March 2018).

Artist Statement

My artistic practice has for the most part been a direct response to my personal physical material experiences. The body, as a form, is a temporary entity in a constant state of change. As a result it is in a conversational tension with itself, pushing upon its own boundaries. My primary interest is in the boundaries or non-boundaries that are being pushed, destabilised or contained via the work. My main material interest is with sugar (melted) as a result of the physical behaviour of the material in relation to a personal severe allergy. I attempt in my manipulation of the sugar to gain control over a material which leaves my body vulnerable and helpless. However, the sugars ever-changing unstable state continuously pushes back. I have expanded my exploration to include polyurethane foam, an acrylic medium and various inks. These materials explore viscerally potent manifestations where the appearance and texture of each material plays in the realm of amorphous masses and the internal body; leaving a fleshy corpulent alien image on the surface or in the sculptural form itself. My process of making is obsessive and meticulous, indicative of my bodily frustrations. Although the abstract masses tend to carry a sense of delicacy, familiarity and organic fluidity, they remain foreign and shapeless, keeping the work in a contradictory state.

Image: Courtesy of artist