‘Voorgesit, Voorgegee en Nou Verlate’ (Served, Pretended and Now Desolate)

by Naretha Pretorius

One of my series of work is based on an all-encompassing theme running through my art work: the notion of serving, pretentiousness and questioning the church.  It’s a love hate relationship.  Treasuring what I once had, but rejecting most of the beliefs associated with it, and creating new believes through this journey of awareness.

Annamie commented on the post “The Important Men”, mentioning how the church is becoming more and more ’empty’ due to the availability of information (e.g. the internet), providing information and insight into various topics such as religion… removing the power from churches and ministers or priests (even the Bible) to be the ultimate source of religious information.  We as the human race are becoming more informed, and by that have the ability to think broader about complex concepts (such as the notion of God and religion), and once being more informed, hopefully we become much the wiser and less fooled.

 I created a series of work that in some way expresses this:  A dark church in a desolate landscape, void of people, with the only trace of human presence as a doily and teacup.  The work celebrates the beauty of church buildings (besides the ugly 1970’s and 1980’s churches in South Africa!), yet comments on the ‘darkness’ associated with the church buildings… connecting the notion of etiquette and tea serving with its practices and rituals and of course broader social comments such as gender roles.  The church representing a masculine and phallic figure, and the teacup and doily as feminine and petite…

I would love to hear your comments.

Please remember, I mean no disrespect to those that still support and believe in the church, we all have our ways of expressing our beliefs, and our ways of finding hope and experiencing a sense of spirituality.  My work is based on personal experiences and broader societal issues I feel worth commenting on.

I’d love to hear from you


Church, drawing, pastels, charcoal

The Three Churches (incomplete) - Giclee print, with compressed charcoal and pastels

Church, drawing, pastels, charcoal

Detail (Left Church)

Church, drawing, pastels, charcoal

Detail (Middle Church)

teacup, drawing, pastels, digital print, giclee

Teacup Detail (Left Church)