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‘ The Meal is Not The Menu’ a solo exhibition by Grace Cross

October 3, 2017 @ 8:00 am - October 14, 2017 @ 5:00 pm


SMITH is proud to present a second solo show of painting, fibre, installation and video works by artist Grace Cross. Titled The Meal Is Not The Menu, the collection explores the haunting effect and potential of history, archaeology and spirituality on contemporary art making.

Cross’s unearthed source material – ancient artefacts, ritualistic symbols and antiquated lexicons – is reworked, reinterpreted and ultimately reinvented as a contemporary universe of quasi-spiritual totems.

Cross draws from both ancient and more recent historical references; from the Cradle of Humankind, Neolithic Mesopotamia, and the Gold Rush era to more personal and contemporary narratives extracted from Johannesburg, the American west, India, and Greece.

Working like an insurgent female mystic or modern soothsayer, Cross’s works are also spells; the conjured imagery and playful use of materials conspire to invoke new meaning. The resulting works are constructed spaces in which symbols, thrown like bones, envision the future from the temporal present

“My paintings seek to represent a cosmological world, where the ground, made of woven fibre, becomes the landscape that my paint adheres to. The substrate and the content cannot be separated because of their symbolic nature. I work with pictures that are so full and so extensive that it is impossible to take that step backwards, screw up one’s eyes, and enjoy the whole. I want to get people to move not just their eyes but also their whole person along and around the picture plain as if they were reading a map or playing a game.”

The Meal Is Not The Menu will run from 21 Sep – 14 Oct 2017 at SMITH, 56 Church Street, Cape Town.


SMITH studio
56 Church Street
Cape Town, Western Cape 8000 South Africa
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021 422 0814