Background

 

Elizabeth Gunter studied at Stellenbosch University, where she graduated with a BA degree in Fine Arts (Education). She obtained Honours (1980) and Masters (1984) degrees in Fine Arts and a PhD degree in Visual Arts (2011) from the same university. She has lectured art at various institutions, currently at the Visual Arts Department, Stellenbosch University, South Africa. She has had several solo exhibitions in the Western Cape, participated in numerous group exhibitions and her work is represented in private, corporate, and public collections both in South Africa and abroad.

 

Art practice as research

 

In her art practices, which mainly comprises drawing and sculpture, she deals with the human/animal relationship, employing the liminal overlap between opposites to demonstrate, even enact, mutuality and difference between non-human and human animal. As such, the fetuses of endangered species suggest that birth and death exist as contiguity, muteness becomes articulacy, and instead of an impenetrable membrane, skin becomes fused between inside and outside. To fulfil in its full function, skin is dependent on both inside and outside to remain alive. In this way, Elizabeth finds commonalities between human and non-human animal that erase a perceived rift.

 

Teaching Drawing

 

In teaching drawing, the entire progressive path of interactivity that operates between socio-cultural engagement, the drawing student, and the generative processes behind making a mark, delineate the curricula that Gunter designs and facilitates. Her drawing courses employ and encourage a personalized, yet diverse, grapheme in making sense of life-world. Her courses aim to develop in the student not only practical, conceptualizing, and technical skills, but also the ability and understanding to use drawing as a medium of dissent, challenge, and critique. As such, practising the range of visual expression that drawing can produce at every phase of its development is crucial, because as a visible text of individuation, drawing can provide an efficient vehicle for those interactive dynamics that communicate across social and cultural boundaries.