Coir Rope on the Art of Assemblage at Jo'burg Fringe 2011

Coir rope is made from coconut husk. For this work, I burned the coconut husk to make charcoal. I then crushed it up, added water to the crushed charcoal and painted with it. This ‘drawing’ was painted in layers to build up the depth of black.

Title: ‘Coir.’

Size: 1.4 x 1.4 m.

Artwork 3

Coir ball.


In Polynesia, coir rope is considered the most valuable material on earth. It is one of the only salt resistant textiles on earth. It is used for everything from, fishing and building houses to being bound up into balls to be used as currency and display of wealth (by hanging from roof trusses). It is prized above all things. In the west this material is barely observed. I have spent a huge amount of time and skill difficulty that in the west is acknowledged to be of high value subverting one cultures values in exchange for another’s.

Title: ‘Coir.’ ( as viewed in pdf catalogue of the show)

Size: 300mmx 250mm.

Artwork Coir ball.

Description: A traditionally bound rope ball of coir containing gold.

The work speaks about the same systems as the drawing but adds the notion of trust into the equation. A word of mouth currency. The buyer must trust the gallery that the gold is contained within the sculpture and the gallery must trust the artist. The gold cannot be seen without undoing the rope ball that if unraveled will lose its status of art object.