My mother was a psychiatric nurse, and I felt a connection to the piece done by a nurse of bandages of the head. – Harriet
Shany van den Berg’s artwork is deeply tied to her autobiographical experience as a woman, mother and artist. Renowned for her technical acumen, subtle symbolism and agility to depict figuration and abstraction, she utilizes layers throughout her work. Layering, both physically and metaphorically, is clearly evident in Die Kop. Van den Berg started her career as a nurse, and she draws on this personal history with the materials she uses. Here we see the medical bandages she painstakingly wraps and ties around the model head. Based on a replica of a standard “universal” medical model head, Die Kop has been scaled to a massive size. Viewers of the work may observe themes of identity, healing, subjectivity and connectedness.