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Caitlin Greenberg: Unspoken thoughts - installation, Cristalica glass and burnt sand, 230cm (height) x 150cm (width) x 150cm (depth), 2021


Unspoken Thoughts

I explore my collective memory as a white South African English-speaking female through the medium of molten glass. My sculptural forms emerge through the glass blowing process. As I expel the breath from my lungs through the pipe into the molten glass, the glass becomes swollen around itself, producing a swollen sphere filled with memories and thoughts. The more I blow air into the sphere of molten glass, the more pressurised the fragile surface becomes. The tension created through the surface pressure symbolises my unspoken thoughts, my fragile voice, an expression of my filtered thoughts—my restricted voice.


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As a white English-speaking female growing up in a predominantly Afrikaans-speaking environment dominated by the patriarchal figure, my ability to have a voice has been inhibited. I have no voice within the culture into which I am born. Does my English-speaking upbringing qualify me to make statements about the culture in which I live? As an English-speaking white South African, I am seen as ‘other’ because I should be an immigrant.


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Where are you from?... you English?… Where are you from?... you European?… you African?... you white?... Where are you from?


My video and installation works, questions my culture showing the tension between the external object that inhibits and contains and the internal thought processes.


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Caitlin Greenberg: Unspoken thoughts (Diptych) - video, 2:57 min, 2021



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Caitlin Greenberg is a South African contemporary glass artist who completed her Baccalaureus Technologiae and Master’s degree (cum laude) at Tshwane University of Technology specialising in glass blowing and glass sculpture. Her practice is conceptualised around allowing molten glass to become an extension of the human body, the metamorphosising fluid medium intuitively directs her creative process.