Don’t fence me in – Sue Hoppe


For the last decade Sue Hoppe had been feeling increasingly claustrophobic, living in a semi-detached house in the inner city of Port Elizabeth and it was becoming evident in her art. Razor wire and palisades became images that appeared more often, culminating in an exhibition protesting this sense of imprisonment at NAF in 2014, called Don't Fence Me In. Deciding to put a more positive spin on it, she gestated the idea of holding an exhibition of the same name, but with a fresh emphasis as a hope for escape, and gathered images of the open road. As happens, life changed, and the artist found herself living the freedom dream, in Prince Albert. The exhibition became a celebration of freedom rather than a protest against captivity. Then Covid-19 happened and that same theme has again taken on some of its original angst, yet not in the same way. It contains frustration at being made to stay at home, bound by all sorts of irrational rules, but is simultaneously a positive thing, forcing humanity to examine the crazy consumer-driven economy that has been destroying its very existence on Earth. The exhibition contains a mixture of photography, mixed media/encaustic and oil paintings.