Wilma Cruise first started working with David Krut Workshop (DKW) in 2007, resulting in her solo exhibition at David Krut Projects (DKP) SPLIT LON.NY.JHB in 2008. She has worked collaboratively with the DKW printers over the following years, as in 2010 and 2015. This collaboration led to her solo show Advice From A Caterpillar at DKP. In 2020 we hosted her solo exhibition Cruise x Krut 2020 – an exhibition of unique paper collages and sculptures from the artist’s studio, shown alongside editions published by DKW. She also has written texts such as Reading Ceramics, published by David Krut Publishing in 2006 in Messages and meaning in the MTN Art Collection. Cruise has also been part of various group exhibitions at DKP.
Wilma Cruise was born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1945, three years before the Nationalist Apartheid government was elected to power. For the following forty-five years she lived under a regime that was predicated on the public identity of people. Hence, it is not surprising that the question of identity beyond the publicly conferred image should be of concern to her. Her art functions in the psychic space between inner and outer worlds. She uses the body, the site of experience, as the vehicle for the exploration of meaning.
Brenda Schmahmann (2001) has said, “Her works explore the relationship between subjectivity and speech. They investigate the ways in which we express desire, trauma, loss and need, not only through verbal and written discourses but also through the body. The body is performative. It constitutes itself into a speech act – a statement of conscious and unconscious wants.”
Many of Wilma Cruise’s works on paper are results of a suggestion that she turns the notes and research drawings for works in other media into editions. ‘I love words and I love text. In all my drawings, in all my prints, the text is often foregrounded and those are the kinds of ideas that I would use for the sculpture. So, conceptually they’re the same’.