Joani Groenewald

Joani is a lecturer in the Visual Arts Department, as well as a jewellery designer, goldsmith and artist. She sees her technical grounding, as a medium that allows her to make conceptual art. She  graduated with a Bachelor in Visual Art (Creative Jewellery- and Metal Design) degree from Stellenbosch University in 2009. After graduation she continued her technical training, and in 2011 she qualified as a goldsmith .In March 2015 she successfully completed her Masters in Visual Arts degree at Stellenbosch University. Currently she is enrolled for a PhD in Jewellery and Object Design at PXL-MAD Hasselt and Stellenbosch University. 

In 2018 Joani won the South African contemporary Jewellery awards and in 2019 se was awarded the second place in the Jewellery category of the PPC Imaginarium Awards. Currently her work is on display in the SanW Gallery in Shanghai, as part of the Now-Now exhibition. 

The Translated Landscape: Interpreting South Africa through Jewellery Praxis.

My current doctoral research, presents a practice-based enquiry into artistic jewellery design as a means of translating the South African landscape. The study offers an interdisciplinary perspective on theories of language and translation, as well as practice-based methodologies, in order to understand my own subjective and creative relation to the concept of ‘landscape’. 

My research is specifically interested in how a given landscape can function as a visual text that can, in turn, be translated through various multimodal practices. Such forms of multimodality resonate strongly with my creative practise, insofar as I rely on images of a specific landscape and translate these images into jewellery and/or sculptural pieces. Through this process, I unpick the complexities of translation and language as it pertains to memory and politics within the context of the South African landscape. In addition, my creative practise also offers a means to draw connections between landscape, memory, language and bodily experience. 

From a practise-based perspective, this study offers a novel take on translation, as I understand and use this term not only as a textual device (as a means of translating text from one language into another), but also as a multimodal device that allows for the visual/physical translation from one mode to another. This, I believe, allows me to reflect critically on my role as artist when translating images and landscape into jewellery pieces – a practice that speaks of an endeavour to act as mediator between different subjects, places and concepts, while it also offers a means to “explain, adapt and, perhaps, improve” the original meaning of the given text. (Sontag 1997: 15).