Lagos Biennial 2019

This collaborative project between photographer Ed Suter and collage artist Karen Stewart was presented at the 2019 Lagos Biennial “How to Build a Lagoon with just a Bottle of Wine” which focused on the intersections of art, architecture, and urbanism. In this work the artists have taken everyday functional but overlooked spaces around Cape Town, South Africa that carry both foot and vehicular commuters to and from their places of work, worship and home. Functionally these spaces connect people with the city but they also have an elegance and odd potential for contemplation. There is a surprising grace and harmony the artists see in the use of harsh concrete forms, places of function and unexpected beauty amidst the non-stop roar of traffic noise. The images raise questions about the stark economic disparity in an African city with a huge wealth gap. The artists create a feeling of an ideal state, a reflective space for people to think about their place in radically changing cities.

Original Paper Collage and Photo Limited Edition, 81.1 x 59.4cm, 2019. Avaliable:  Candice Berman Gallery

Original Paper Collage and Photo Limited Edition, 81.1 x 59.4cm, 2019. Avaliable:  Candice Berman Gallery

Original Paper Collage and Photo Limited Edition, 81.1 x 59.4cm, 2019. Avaliable:  Candice Berman Gallery



100% Design

7 - 11 August 2019

This work is about materiality and honouring the beautiful paper that I work with. In this series I am using papers that friends of mine brought back from Tokyo for me. Washi papers have an ancient tradition and are still made today. Each paper house has its own unique designs.


Art is about being human, so if you are human you can appreciate art. My art making process is  precision orientated and inspired by pre-digital graphic design processes I learned 20 years ago. I invite the viewer to create their own unique meaning.



Body of work presented by Candice Berman Gallery 2019

When I make art, I feel a calm come over me, the intensity of the process absorbs me and forces me to focus my mind 100% on the task. If I loose focus, the pieces simply do not fit together. What I am wondering is – can the feelings I get when I make the work; calmness, euphoria, enjoyment and peace be transferred off the page to the viewer? In other words, can my work act as a medicine for the brain? Can the experience of looking at my work act as a calming agent to the viewer? Can art be medicine?

To purchase works visit


Paper Collage, 20 x 20cm, 2019

An anxiolytic (also antipanic or antianxiety agent) is a medication or other intervention that inhibits anxiety. All of the works in this series are named after the active ingrdients in these medicines. There are other substances that can also produce and anxiolytic effect and the work plays with this idea.


Paper Collage 20 x 20cm, 2019

There is a growing international movement of people who are investigating and using psilocybin, mushrooms, LSD, MDMA and other illegal substances to cure a whole host of mental illnesses. Clinical trials are showing positive results. Some works are named after magic mushrooms.


Paper Collage, 20x20cm, 2019

I offer these works in the hope theycan help people to connect with their own feelings of joy, peace and stillness. I also want the work raise awareness and destigmatise mental health.



Anxiolytic Effect



Paper Collage, 60 x 70cm, 2019



Paper Collage, 70 x100cm



Paper Collage, 41 x 35cm



Paper Collage, 60 x 70cm

Agrocybe 51 x70 2019 1MB_edited.jpg

In our crazy, messed up world, we need as many things as possible to remind us that there is good in the world, that there is a higher order of thinking humans are capable of, and most of all, that there is hope.

Karen Stewart



Latest Collection Sept 2018

In this collection I am working with one of my favorite themes - how humans relate to their environment. We are living in a fast evolving city - Cape Town's spaces are changing radically in real time. How do we adapt to these changes? How do we feel about the increased densification of our city? How do citizens deal with their anger at what they perceive to be a City council that seems to want to only make money from rates - without thinking about the consequences for the sound, air and water pollution that all of this development brings?

In this body of work - I try to create a feeling of an ideal state - a reflective space for us to think about how we are in our changing spaces - both physically and emotionally.


May - July 2018


Continuing with the theme of Global Warming this series moves in a new more textured direction. I have always loved how cropping changes the way we see a work - each little spot becomes its own micro world which our eye can focus. I have introduced the hand-made mark and brought back watercolour work. I have had lots of fun playing and remaking origninal watercolour works into the new “Painting” series.


Paper Collage, 61 x 43 cm

Come and see more of my work, book a visit at my studio.

To buy work contact Candice Berman Gallery

Tel: +27 010 880 5240/5241 

Candice Berman Gallery

Riverside Shopping Centre,

Tel: +27 11 463 8524



Early 2018 Works on paper

“Weather Girls” is about the  profound way the weather affects city dwellers - we have become complacent about nature's  impact on our lives. However the water crisis in Cape Town has helped us change our behaviour and attitudes to water consumption and preservation.

The crisis created a frenzy of political reactions and a flourish of public commentary. My work is an abstract digestion of the failures and triumphs we have made as a city to combat the so-called “Day Zero”. It is work that seeks to focus on the issue of global warming – adding to the message many artists are bringing home to their communities about the need to act, be aware and change our lifestyles to combat water scarcity.



2017 Works on paper

These abstract paper collages function as a personal map of how I experience Cape Town. This work reflects the rich diaspora of this historic city. I use handmade fine art papers, mulberry paper,  and also have some handmade Lokta sheet paper which I assemble to construct this work.




My masters work at Stellenbosch University examined the collaboration between art and botany. Through botanical art I created a book. The book was made in response to Colonial  taxonomy which often ignored indigenous knowledge. I delved into the history of botanical science in South Africa focusing on the work of early botanical explorers like Linneas, Spaarman and Le Valliant.

Some journals recorded local uses of plants; I juxtaposed these with images of herbarium sheets - the botanical recording of the plant. By combining these two worlds I hoped to tell a new story about our rich cultural and botanical heritage.


Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa

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