“In 2019, I got out of a relationship of domestic abuse. I've always been a hopeless romantic, and that experience completely changed what I understood love to be. This work expresses that. I used motifs and romanticism to speak to this fairytale love that we see in the media (the kind that we all know isn't real). However, I also used Indian culture and art style to bring our historical fairytales into this media – because this idea of a magical love story exists in multiple cultures. It doesn't have to look like Cinderella, you know? The word 'FANTASY' is physically torn out of the image to suggest that I've known all along that it really is just a fantasy...A couple embraces intimately; the masc figure caressing the femme figure's face as a longing look is shared between them. But there's also a bloody dagger in his hand, and she sheds a tear, so there's an indication that he's violent and it hurts her. Maybe he stabbed her; perhaps he stabbed himself, or he protected her – violence within relationships is nuanced and unclear. Love doesn't always look like what it seems; part of it is beautiful (gaudy even) and part of it is terror.”
henna and found bindis on Fabriano Rosapina | 100 x 70cm | unique
Taking as thematic keystone the Desi Durban culture in which she was raised, Tyra Naidoo’s practice offers a personal reflection on South African Indian heritage and womanhood. “Using combinations of fragile and aggressive materials and processes, I articulate a dialogue of the subtle violences experienced as a marginalised body,” she writes. “I attempt to create progressive information and spaces to achieve safety, security, and belonging for myself and my community.” Born in KwaZulu-Natal, Tyra now lives and works in Cape Town. She is a graduate of the Michaelis School of Fine Art.