Dreams as R-evolution / NIHSS CREATIVE COLLECTIONS - Best Exhibition Catalogue2022 by Coral Bijoux
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NIHSS CREATIVE COLLECTIONS - Best Exhibition Catalogue /Art Book Category 2022

Dreams as R-evolution is both the catalogue for an art installation of the same name, and a work of art itself. The book is a sumptuously-designed record of an exhibit conveying the work of Durban-based artist, Coral Bijoux, landscaped into the spaces of the Westville Plant Nursery. Among the images that open the book is text by the artist that functions as a poem, a warning, and as historical observation. “When you want to enslave a people, you steal their ability to dream.” Reminiscent of the U.S. Black poet Langston Hughes’ 1951 lyric, “A Dream Deferred,” (What happens to a dream deferred/Does it dry up/Like a raisin in the sun…Or does it explode?), Bijoux’s text prepares us to consider dreaming as an act of insurrection. 

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We are all victims of conformity, shackled to what others have decided we should be. The trauma I experienced on Robben Island and under house-arrest crippled me. At forty-one, I found healing from art but my greatest lesson began when I started working with found material. It liberated me from conventional thinking. Trekking through this undergrowth of this book – the habitat of monkeys, birds, snakes, wild animals, and waste –  I came across a new fantasy world, a neglected wilderness that Coral Bijoux transformed into a playground for young and old. It helped me to visualise what we can still offer to the world. – LIONEL DAVIS visual artist and struggle veteran Cape Town. 

about the author - Coral Bijoux

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Coral Bijoux develops her ideas and concepts through an auto-ethnographic visual language which is fecund with metaphor and symbol, textured surfaces echoing layered meanings. Her artwork, curatorial practise and projects centre on these experiences and observations using predominantly installation, sculptural forms, drawings, photo-montages and paintings. She is mostly self-taught as an artist, has a teacher’s qualification; more than 27 years’ experience working in the arts, education and heritage sectors; an Honours degree in Gender Studies (summa cum laude) and is working on an inter-disciplinary Masters in Art Degree at the Drama and Theatre Department, UKZN.