Patterns in Silence (2006)

A site-specific exhibition of sculptural work shown at the Women’s Jail, Constitution Hill, as part of the national campaign “16 Days of Activism”


“Silence is tantamount to an admission that there is something very wrong.” 

(A Basic Talmudic principle)

Patterns in Silence provides a backdrop for an exploration into the inconsistencies that inevitably exist between everyday social realities for South African women and a constitutional ideal. The body of work seeks to visually interrogate social and psychological factors associated with gender-based violence.

McInnes works with kitchen knives, scissors, salt, copper sheeting, lead and steel. The work avoids the use of sensational material, preferring instead to rely on metaphor to provide a backdrop against which topics that are notoriously difficult can be exposed. The work is less about the abusive situations than it is about the silences that inevitably shroud such topics.

Title: Caged

Date: 2005

Medium: Wire, pewter, lace

Dimensions: 40 x 40 (each cage)

Title: Cocoon

Date: 2006

Medium: Embossed copper strip

Dimensions: Variable

Title: Contuse (detail)

Date: 2006

Medium: Embossed lead strip

Dimension: 30 x 30cm

Title: Cut I (detail)

Date: 2006

Medium: Steak knives, wood, glass

Dimensions: 120 x 40 x 20cm

Title: For Her

Date: 2004

Medium: Lead sheet, lace, wooden chair

Dimensions: 60 x 35 x 35cm

Title: Worship

Date: 2006

Medium: X-rays, glass, wood

Dimensions: 120 x 90 x 20cm