Durban based multi-disciplinary visual artist and Durban University of Technology’s (DUT’s) Fine Art graduate, Sarah Kieswetter recently held a virtual exhibition as part of her Master of Technology in Fine Art thesis.
Kieswetter’s online exhibition was meant to address issues women face daily in the new media space.
Among other things, her thesis looked at patriarchal hegemony in the art space which is of the view that the internet, art galleries and social media spaces are inherently male-dominated and controlled.
She explained, “My master’s degree was based on the realm of feminism, with a primary focus on techno feminism. Techno Feminism is a branch of feminism that focuses on the digital age in which we’re currently living. It looks at how women are treated online and how we are on these digital platforms, and on social media especially on sites like Instagram.”
Kieswetter has always had a passion for art and making art has always been a chosen form of creative expression since childhood. Her interest in art is the reason she decided to study Fine Art at DUT in 2013.
As an undergraduate student at DUT she explored many art concepts including print making and drawing, crafts, ceramics and textile.
The concepts that she explores in her artworks largely draw from her lived experience as a young woman and leanings of feminism including her interests in activism.
Kieswetter began working on her masters in 2017 and this was when her art practice shifted away from tactile mediums to new media and digital art.
Activism plays a huge role in her work and she explores techno-feminism(s) in order to find answers on how artists including feminist activists can use technology and internet platforms to create and distribute their work.
Her exhibition work seeks to distribute and create awareness regarding the dominant patriarchal hegemonic thinking within contemporary society.
“If you look back in time you see that most of the artists if not all of the famous artists that we think about were all men, so I wanted to move away from these mediums and a digital medium that was new, having never worked in digital art before and kind of claim it as my own feminist medium,” Kieswetter said.
Pictured: DUT Master of Technology in Fine Art graduate, Sarah Kieswetter.