Artist Usha Seejarim presented an installation called Keepers of the Common at the Investec Cape Town Art Fair (ICTAF) in February 2018. Seejarim uses domestic objects – clothes pegs, hangers, steam irons or brooms to create her sculptures.
These everyday ‘common’ items are usually used by women in their daily chores – making them the ‘Keepers’ of the common. Despite the recent changes in women’s roles domesticity still tends to become women’s work. For the many women in this country who are domestic workers there is a kind of empowerment that allows them to provide for their families through domesticity. Seejarim uses these banal objects to make comments on gender, women and women’s work.
This installation won the Tomorrows/Today section of the ICTAF in February 2018.