Internationally celebrated artist Berni Searle’s work deals with the body situated in South African history. She works in video, photography and installation.
The Fresh residency and research project saw seven young South African artists, including Berni Searle, participating in month-long residencies at the South African National Gallery. Fresh was funded by the Prince Bernhard Cultural Fund through an award made to Marlene Dumas. The objectives of the project were to support the development of young South African artists who had captured international attention or were just emerging on the local scene.
During her Fresh residency, Searle seized the opportunity to shift attention away from her own body, previously a major locus of investigation, towards investigating the lives and histories of relatives in order to piece together strands of a complex heritage that is simultaneously unique and typical of many citizens at the Cape.
Searle’s Fresh catalogue features an essay by Annie Coombes titled ‘Memories are Made of This’.