Ed Cross presents ‘A Sum of Days’ by Ann Gollifer, on display from May 17 to June 10.
A Sum of Days comprises 23 watercolour paintings produced in 2022, as lockdowns lifted around the world and relationships to domestic and public spaces were being widely reappraised. Made on leaves of vintage watercolor paper that were originally bound together in book form, the pages offered Gollifer an ideal ground for exploring her environment and its unique materiality – specifically, Botswana ochres and the relationships between their color ranges and textures.
Working from her garden on the outskirts of Gaborone, where the wild meets the cultivated, Gollifer mixes her pigments herself, grinding and processing them into watercolor paint. Her collection of Botswana ochres is facilitated by Mma Motsie Nkwemabala, a traditional mural painter and healer who has taken Gollifer to her collection sites, where she makes ochre cakes for her own use. Gollifer also buys Letsoku – a finely ground ochre in a wide range of colors from cream to yellow, orange, red, rich brown, pinks, and purple, traditionally used as face powders to smooth, varnish and beautify skin – from traders in ochre cosmetics.
Ann Gollifer (b. 1960 Guyana) has lived and worked in Gaborone, Botswana since 1985. A multidisciplinary artist, her own navigation of identity informs much of her work: she was born in a remote part of Guyana to British and Warao-Arawak parents, who travelled and worked widely during her childhood, and completed a Masters in History of Art at Edinburgh University (1983). An Artist member of the Thapong Visual Art Centre, Gaborone, Gollifer was part of the founding executive committee. Gollifer has exhibited in multiple group and solo shows across multiple countries, and her work has been collected by the British Museum, the National Museum of Botswana and the Triangle International Art Workshops amongst others.