Wilma Cruise: Thinking with Animals


Thinking with Animals, by Wilma Cruise is an exclusive online showcase featuring the artist’s unique paper collages and sculptures alongside editions made in collaboration with the David Krut Workshop. The exhibition includes media in the form of  stop-motion animations and annotations on the artworks written by Cruise herself. Thinking with Animals, serves as a retrospective presentation that encapsulates Cruise’s dedicated career in sculpture, works on paper and conceptual thinking.

Animals hold a significant place in Cruise’s artistic practice, serving as potent symbols that define her unique artistic perspective. Through her depictions of animals, Cruise explores themes of identity, memory, and the human experience, inviting viewers to reflect on their relationship with the natural world. A recurring motif in Cruise’s work is the use of animal imagery to represent aspects of human behaviour. By humanising animals, Cruise’s work prompts viewers to consider the emotional parallels between people and animals.

Throughout her accomplished career, Cruise has skilfully developed a visual language that formalises her renderings of animals (realistic or stylised) as unique compositional elements that advance her storytelling. In this exhibition, viewers can remark on how Cruise is able to accomplish this in both two and three dimensions.

Thinking with Animals proves to be a testament to Cruise’s unwavering dedication to her craft and her beliefs. Her practice is a powerful reminder of the significance of a compassionate coexistence.



“Animals have entered the space of my being-in-the world. They form part of the (auto)biography that is both part of my life and inseparable from it. Although my interest in primates and primate behaviour dates from my years as a young student when I embarked on undergraduate studies in primatology, my recent interest in baboons was sparked by the crisis faced by the local baboon population in the Western Cape of South Africa. Here man and animal compete for space and resources. It is a microcosm of human/animal conflict in which the individual animal is often forgotten. I attempted to capture the essence of what I read as “babooness”. I focused on the individual trying to imagine his/her experience of being in a world shared by uncooperative humans. Rather than anthropomorphise the baboons, I tried to evoke an “imaginative empathy” — recognition of the emotional similarity between species.” – Wilma Cruise 

The online exhibition is available to view on www.davidkrutportal.com, click here to view!


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