CV/Artist Statement

RESUMÉ – TANIA BABB

 

1967 Born in Zimbabwe

1985 Studied graphic design at Ruth Prowse School of Art, Cape Town

1986 Apprenticed to Barbara Jackson (Ceramic Sculptor) Cape Town

1986 Group Exhibitions:

  • “Frogs” The Art Scene, Cape Town
  • “Candelabra” Montebello Art Center, Cape Town

 

1987 Group Exhibitions:

  • “Women by Women” The Art Scene, Cape Town
  • “Clay Creations” The Yellow Door, Cape Town
  • Two Person Show with Debbie Webb, The Art Scene, Cape Town

 

1988 Traveled Europe

  • Ceramic and Life Drawing Course at the Surrey Institute, UK

 

1989 Group Exhibitions:

  • “Boxes” The Art Scene, Cape Town
  • “Rites of Spring” Helen de Leeuw, Johannesburg
  • “Group Exhibition” The Yellow Door, Cape Town
  • “Group Exhibition” Desire Resnick Gallery, Cape Town
  • Worked as Studio Artist for Advertising Agencies:
  • McCann Erickssen
  • Berry Bush
  • Lintas

 

1990 Group Exhibitions:

  • “Pairs” The Art Scene, Cape Town
  • “Colourful and Contemporary” The Baxter Gallery, Cape Town

 

1991 Group Exhibitions:

  • “Contemporary Ceramics” Primart, Cape Town
  • Exhibited at Chelsea Craft Fair, London, UK
  • Featured as “Mover”; “People born to go Far”, Cosmopolitan Magazine

 

1992 Group Exhibitions:

  • “Tribute to Flowers”, The Art Scene, Cape Town
  • Two-person Show with Ronnie van der Walt at The Art Scene, Cape Town
  • Two-person Show with Ronnie van der Walt at Things Gallery, Johannesburg

 

1993 Group Exhibitions:

  • “Colourful and Contemporary” Baxter Gallery, Cape Town
  • “Opening Exhibition” Orchard Gallery, Port Elizabeth
  • Four-man Show “Cross Culture Sculpture”, Primart Gallery, Cape
  • Town, with Evette Weyers, John Casozi Matovu, Hercules
  • Viljoen and Faith Loy Plaut

 

1994 Group Exhibitions:

  • “Waterfront Exhibition” Art Route Sudios, Cape Town
  • “Three Generation Exhibition” The Art Scene, Cape Town with
  • Mother, Anne Babb and Grandmother, Valerie Tomlinson
  • Solo Exhibition at Borge House, Cape Town
  • Exhibited at Standard Bank Festival of Arts, Grahamstown
  • Taught Ceramics at Wynberg Workshop
  • Started TANIA BABB CERAMIC SCHOOL
  • Export Consignment of Sculptures, “Art of Africa” to Hamburg, Germany

 

1995 Group Exhibitions:

  • “Mount Nelson Exhibition”, Art Route Studios, Cape Town
  • “Young Women Ceramists of the Cape” Alfred Mall Gallery,
  • Waterfront, Cape Town
  • “Group Exhibition” Bellville Association of Arts with Neels Coetzee
  • SELL OUT Exhibition at Standard Bank Festival of Arts, Grahamstown

 

1996 Group Exhibitions:

  • British Council, Cape Town
  • Creative Clay at the Castle, Cape Town
  • Rust en Vreede with Art Route Studios.
  • Working trip to San Deigo USA
  • Work Represented in Gallery 8, La Jolla, USA
  • Work Represented in Trios Gallery, Solana Beach, USA
  • Four Man Show Constantia Village Gallery, Cape Town
  • Work Selected for National bi-enial ceramics exhibition JHB

 

1997

  • February , work selected for Fletcher Challenge Ceramics Award Auckland New Zealand
  • February to April, Successful working trip to USA
  • Work Represented, Show of Hands Gallery, Denver Colorado
  • Work Represented Running Ridge Gallery, Santa Fé, New Mexico
  • Restocking, Trios Gallery, Solana Beach, California
  • June, exhibited at the Standard Bank Grahamstown Arts Festival
  • November, Four Man Show Constantia Village Gallery, Cape Town
  • November, group exhibition Old Gaol Gallery ,Knysna , Cape Province
  • December, Four Man Show Constantia Village Gallery Cape Town

 

1998 Group Exhibitions:

  • Potters association Bellville .Cape Town
  • Man. Bang the Gallery . Cape Town
  • Blue and white exhibition . Kalk Bay. Cape Town
  • MAY – JULY Working trip to U.S.A

Restocked :

  • Trios gallery Solana Beach. California
  • Gallery 8 La Jolla. California
  • Running Ridge Gallery. Santa Fe .New Mexico

New Galleries :

  • Greenstone Court. Fallbrook . California
  • Artworks of Fallbrook. Fallbrook. California.
  • AUGUST Group Exhibition New York with Running Ridge Gallery.
  • SEPTEMBER 4 Woman Show . Alfred Mall Gallery. Waterfront

 

1999

  • Solo Exhibition Porcupine Plettenberg Bay
  • Potters Association Regional Exhibition
  • Had a baby ( !! )

 

2000

  • Work selected for the Altech biennale Johannesburg
  • JULY sent consigment off to Inspires Gallery in Oxford UK
  • Featured in December issue of Elle Décor, Marie Clare, Fairlady

 

2001              

  • Exhibited in opening exhibition of Art de Vivre Franschoek
  • Started black and white wildlife series.

 

2002

2003

  • Exhibition Bellville Association of Arts

 

2004

  • Art of Living Expo
  • Decorex  Expo Cape Town Convention Centre
  • Framers Workroom Observatory Cape Town
  • SAPA Exhibition Rust en Vrede
  • Wildlife Exhibition Cape Gallery
  • Work selected for the Brett Kebble Art Awards

 

2005

  • Decorex Expo Cape Town Convention Centre
  • SAPA Exhibition Rust en Vrede
  • Studio Exhibition

 

2006

  • Exhibition with David Kuijers at Cape Gallery
  • Decorex Cape Town Convention Centre
  • Design Indaba Cape Town Convention Centre
  • Studio Exhibition

 

2007

  • Design Indaba Cape Town Convention Centre
  • Studio Exhibition
  • Charity Exhibition Red Cross Children’s Hospital
  • William Humphries Art Gallery Kimberley
  • Opened Signature Shop in Chelsea Wynberg Cape Town

 

2008

  • Design Indaba Cape Town Convention centre
  • Charity Exhibition Red Cross Children’s Hospital
  • Exhibition Bellville Association of Arts
  • William Humphries Art Gallery Kimberley
  • Exhibition Johan Smith Art Gallery Clarens
  • Exhibition at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

 

2009

  • Got married and had a baby
  • Continue to stock galleries all over the world and run Signature Shop in Cape Town.

 

2010

  • February Design Indaba Cape Town Convention Centre
  • July was invited  by the Namibian Potters Association to give 2 full day ceramic sculpture workshops in Namibia. 1 in Windhoek. 1 in Swakopmund
  • November was invited byt the KZN Potters Association in Durban to give 1 ceramic workshop
  • 2 man show in Kansas USA
  • 2 man show at Raw Vision Gallery Cape Town
  • Exhibited at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens Cape Town
  • Exhibited at Is Art Franschhoek Cape Town

 

2011

  • Took a stand at the Design Indaba Cape Town
  • 2 man show at Rust en Vrede Durbanville Cape Town
  • Invited to be the guest artist at the Natal Regional Exhibition held by the South African Potters Association.

          
I continue to stock and sell from local galleries
I continue to teach ceramics at TANIA BABB CERAMICS SCHOOL.

 

Artist Statement

In the realm of my own personal creative process, I have no earth shattering statement to make. I do not have any highly intellectualised reason for doing what I do, in fact, the whole process seems to bypass my intellect altogether. I do what I do because of a nameless urge to venerate what I perceive as life affirming sentiments. Perhaps if you scratched a little bit deeper you may find that this urge comes from the juxtaposition of life and death in my own life. Life when juxtaposed to death is vibrant and it is the small things that speak volumes. Life, death and love are all that matters really.

In the realm of my work in relation to my contemporaries and the ceramics world that I am exposed to, I do have opinions. Coming from a fine art and graphics background, ceramics presented itself to me as another medium in which to express myself. It soon became apparent to me that a lot of other ceramicists approached ceramics from another angle altogether. It is mystifying to me how firmly ceramics is tied to the functional. Such a forgiving, plastic medium is pregnant with possibility for rampant creativity and still my contemporaries seem to be hooked into always creating something, if not functional then a representation of something functional. A bowl. A teapot. A jug, that doesn’t actually work, but through it’s form these ceramic pieces pay homage to pottery’s functional roots. I don’t mean to be irreverent but just feel we are hobbling the potential of this medium by not liberating it from the functional.

Having said that, there are very honourable sentiments surrounding the functional in ceramics. The humility of enhancing ones day to day experiences by using beautiful ceramic crockery. There is almost an eastern reverence in appreciating the importance of beauty in small and humble everyday objects. I can relate to this and respect this. Am I being too ambitious wanting to lift ceramics out of the secular? Into the realm of fine art?

Having said that, I have grown very disillusioned with what I have seen happening in the hallowed annuls of fine art. It has swum too far into intellectual seas for my sensibilities. There is a place for the intellectual, but when it let’s go of the anchor of being firstly and lastly a visual experience it has moved onto being something other than art. What is revealed to the viewer via mark making or sculpting needs to have more mystery and be more open to interpretation of visual stimuli for any surface to truly be visual art. The viewer needs to have more leverage to interact with an art piece than I feel is currently the case. The messages are too brutal, one is left feeling winded and unable to respond. These are my opinions and I am open to being convinced otherwise.

I also feel I have to say something about being an artist in Africa.  Only when one leaves this continent for a while and then comes back does one recognise a subtle but pervasive energy, for want of a better word, that seems to emanate from the surface of this continent. Permeating it’s flora it’s fauna and it’s people. This vitality may very well be a subjective experience but I do see evidence of this in the creativity, particularly ceramics. The colours, the vibrancy, the fresh and new surfaces, the immediacy, to me are all evidence of a rawness that I feel is unfettered and untempered by hundreds of years of civilisation. There is also fertility derived from a cross pollination of cultures which I feel makes South African ceramics unique and globally exciting.