The seven monotypes have retained ideas and imagery previously explored in Khoosal’s work, now predominantly set in a range of blues which makes reference to her video work and interest in gesture. Spectrums of movement and relation are conjured by reoccurring depictions of hands and water bodies. Hands, as powerful input and output sensory tools for mediating communication, appear to be continually submerging and emerging. Water’s fluidity echoes the ephemerality of gestures; encasing and, conversely, encased by the hands. Each gesture’s presence changes through motion, hinting at transience through appearances and disappearances.
Khoosal speaks of gestures as instances wherein imagination and translation are called to the fore. In these oil-based monotypes, the form of the hands are sometimes stand-ins and, at other times, amplifiers for words, sounds and emotion. After the initial printing of each plate with oil-based ink, she added handwork using water-soluble crayons to create marks which articulated the material fluidity of water. The artist comments that printmaking allows for a tactile intimacy with making not afforded by her video and photographic work.
Through touch, the handling of material and physical manipulation of ink, gesture is not only the subject of her work but also a tool in its making. Gestures may create or connote contextual meaning. Her inky fingers, palms and wrists are used to imprint marks that act as residuals gesturing toward gestures.
Text by Mthabisi Sithole