HE(A)RD SERIES | 2020
“Ditsebe tsa gago ,” which means “your ears” when directly translated to English. This phrase can be used in a teasing or offensive manner to call attention to someone’s ears, insinuating that they don’t listen or that they have big ears. The context in which it is used can vary.
The series is a play on words, specifically the homophones “herd” and “heard”. The artist uses images of cows, which are typically seen in herds on farms, as a metaphor for women who are being watched or surveyed. The artist includes ear tags that are used on farms to keep a record of their herds. In this series, the ear tags are used to
highlight the surveillance of women’s bodies, as well as a form of identification for each of the portraits.
By incorporating the Sepedi phrase and using the homophone of “herd” and “heard”, the artist creates a layered and nuanced piece of work. The use of cows and ear tags as metaphors allows the artist to comment on the ways in which women’s bodies are often surveyed and monitored. The inclusion of the ear tags as a form of identification for
each portrait adds another layer of meaning, as it speaks to the ways in which women are often reduced to their physical characteristics or attributes.