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Karin Miller's Captivating Collages

Pretoria-based artist Karin Miller's work demonstrates the popularity that traditional crafts still have in contemporary art. Since she was a child Karin would cut images out of magazines, draw and paint as an emotional outlet, which later led to her graphic design and Fine Art studies. Her intriguing works are therefore a mix of mediums that portray her multiple talents. 'I Wear my Mask for Warmth' is her latest body of work featuring eye-catching collages, which is currently being exhibited at Holden Manz Estate and at the Holden Manz Collection art gallery in Franschhoek. The latter has an exclusive contract to showcase Karin's work and has held two of her previous solo exhibitions to date, including African Venus and African Mandala. Migo Manz, co-owner of Holden Manz, says, 'I love the playfulness of her work, taking serious aspects and creating a collage of thought-provoking imagery with a distinctively local and recognisable feel of a contemporary South African art form'. What makes her work so appealing is its direct confrontation with subjects like politics, current affairs and history, and how she inverts these in interesting ways. Karin also features specific 'characters' in her collages, including the famous faces of Paul Kruger, Queen Elizabeth II and Jacob Zuma. Other themes explored in her pieces are religion, gender and race. As the artist explains, 'I use the two main metaphors of disguise and pattern - I play games of hide and seek with the viewer. Issues are veiled; in the discovery of detail, deceit is unveiled and absurdly inverted. My art deals with the inherently human ability to laugh at ourselves, and consequently, to play and take risk'. The above metaphors are evident in the images of characters hiding behind something and the use of props like masks, flowers, hands and other objects. Those of you visiting the Holden Manz guest house in Franschhoek will be in for a treat with Karin’s fascinating collages that adorn the interior. For enquiries you can contact Migo Manz on 021-876-4402 or the Holden Manz Collection art gallery on 021-8762738. If you're in the area pop into the gallery at 30 Huguenot Street, Franschhoek. You can also visit Karin's website at for more visual inspiration... Text: Kim Grové