Interview: Lady Skollie | Garden of Egoli artist residency


Laura Windvogel AKA Lady Skollie, the history of art graduate produces projects that explore gender roles, sex, sexuality, relationship dynamics and the tug of war between masculine and feminine energy.

She is in town (Joburg) for a residency in association with MOAD gallery and Art Africa. In her first residency in Johannesburg (affectionately known as Egoli, from Zulu eGoli, meaning place of gold), Lady Skollie addresses the narrative of the Garden of Eden, the misconceptions and pressures of monogamy and the untamable sexual thirst inherent in human beings. I spoke to her about her alter ego, feminism and creating provocative work in a conservative society.

How did the alter ego, Lady Skollie come about?

I've always had to conflicting aspects of my personality; my side that wears pretty dresses and the other side that has a filthy mouth. This contrast is also evident in my work with slightly crass, sexual imagery in soft Watercolours, a medium predominantly reserved for little old ladies.

Would you say that you are an advocate of feminism? Is feminist a term you would use to describe some of your work?

I am a woman and I feel the discrimination and injustice of being an oversexualized entity in today's society, I hope my work challenges the stereotype that women are not in charge of their own pleasure. I am all for women finding power in their sexuality and freedom in acknowledging their desires. I would describe my work as social sexual commentary.

The themes of your work are gender roles, sex, greed and lust. Do you encounter difficulties getting your message across in a society that is still so conservative?

As most artists, my work revolves heavily around my own experiences and identity. I've always felt that my feminine and masculine energies struggle to coincide and so the themes of gender, sex and lust depicts my own struggles of coming to terms with finding balance. Society is very conservative when discussing sex but I think it's because pretending is easier than facing reality. We live in a country that is rife with sexual transmitted diseases and high teenage pregnancy statistics, yet sex education in schools is in dire need of a reality check. Once the theme of sex becomes less taboo we'll be able to engage in a dialogue that promotes positive sexual identity and experiences without judgement or false expectation.

Do you think that social media and online publishing have made it easier for artists' work to be more accessible?

Yes, the chance to represent yourself has never been cheaper or more accessible.

What motivates you politically, intellectually or emotionally to continue to create the work that you do?

I'm motivated by self investigation and knowledge.

Check out Lady Skollie's 'The Garden of EGOLI' at Museum of African Design (MOAD), 281 Commissioner Street, Maboneng Johannesburg, 15 October - 15 November 2015

​Find out more here

Credits: Image of Lady Skollie by Neil Roberts

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