Contemporary, conceptual, visual artist.

“My work is an attempt to visually articulate an intangible concept.”

Born in 1983 in Johannesburg, Ciara Struwig is a visual artist whose diverse work revolves around the ideas of the transience of identity ; the aftermath ; evidentiary practices.

Dialogue between forensics and art

She has an intense interest in the use of forensic methodologies in art making and has recently immersed herself in a work focussing on the construction of the post-aftermath identity. Here she combined the concepts of forensic and creative methodologies and practices to communicate the transient nature of corporeal identity.

“The origin of my interest in crime and forensics emanates from a longstanding interest in detective fiction and the increasing move towards forensic realism in the entertainment media. It also stems from my fascination with the often hidden processes in artworks and the traces we leave behind performing any activity, be it a normal day-to-day activity or an exceptional or uncharacteristic one.  It seems natural for this interest in the intersection between forensics and art, and driven in part by the public taste for a forensic aesthetic in contemporary artmaking to influence my own art”.

Photography, historical processes and aesthetics

Ciara has used digital photography in her creative process but is mindful of its limits. The creation of technically and realistically perfect photographs is now ubiquitous without much specialist knowledge. Digital photography is used everywhere for recording and documentating, historical photography is obsolete in this area. The easier it becomes to take digital photographs and the more available and usable photo-editing software gets the more people will feel the need to “bring something more” to their creative efforts, possibly merging digital and traditional processes or even melding these with other artistic methods and media to create a unique, artistic original. A feature of historical photography, based on light sensitive salts and a chemical process, is that the photographer has to manage these processes himself. He can add creative touches at any or every step in the process. Each work, even where differences are intentionally small, is by its very nature a unique original.

“The control of method, the variability in results and the individuality of each outcome, together with the challenge of physically realising the vision that is in your mind is what I find so interesting and captivating  about the historical photographic processes and aesthetics. This to me gives it the ability to hold its own in a new role as a valued artistic technique.”

Three-dimensional creativity – wood, metal, multi-media

Works; Projects; Exhibitions

Her work has been shown in several group exhibitions both locally and internationally, and she recently had work included in the corporate collection of the South African National Defence Force.

Ciara has worked as a co-curator and technical advisor and has been extensively involved in facilitating several community development projects in the craft sector.

Ciara holds a Masters Degree in Visual Arts which she studied for through UNISA.

Her submission to the 2017 SASOL New Signatures competition was selected as one of the top 100 entries in the country.

She also entered the 2017 ABSA L’Ateleir competition and her work was place in the top ten submissions from all Africa.