Alexia Cocolas is a South African artist of Greek and Italian ancestry. She was born in and currently lives in Johannesburg where she runs both her art and architectural practices. Concurrently she works as a part time studio tutor in the third year architectural design course at the University of the Witwatersrand. She also teaches Kundalini yoga on a volunteer basis at a safe house in the inner city, to young women who have endured a history of violence / sexual abuse / abandonment. Her first art exhibition took place in July 2016.
“As a child I became aware of uncomfortable feelings that enforced that I did not fit into the female forms prescribed by society. This distorted my sense of self and trained an internal and external quality of deep shame connected to being female. Not knowing how to be with these difficult feelings at such an early age I used erotic drawings as a medium for dealing with my desire for connection and power, later on I used my sexuality.
My obsessive interest in this dis-ease, in my own self enquiry and in drawing have evolved into the work which I exhibit today. The drawings are derived mainly from photographic self portraits. I use my body to express postures that speak of how sad and uncomfortable it can feel to be a woman in the world. Our female bodies know this state of being way too well, it is deeply ingrained in our DNA through history, experience, stories, school, societal norms etc. The work is a vehicle for uncovering, unpicking and reprogramming these inherited beliefs and feelings which profess that females are inferior, and that their sexuality is inappropriate and shameful.
I explore these feelings and ideas with self consciousness, learning to see and accept self through the allowance and expression of all of the aspects of the feminine. In staying with the discomfort of what the expression of these ideas can bring and, working through the discomfort by feeling it and granting it permission, it has in itself become a channel for my own self realization and personal growth as a woman. Some of the pieces express this process as well as the transformation through to power.”
2002 | MASTER OF ARCHITECTURE | The University of The Witwatersrand, Johannesburg |
1998 | BACHELOR OF ARCHITECTURE | The University of The Witwatersrand, Johannesburg |
2019 | April | en.trance | Ellis House | Curated by: The Dead Bunny Society | The Labyrinth Project |
2019 | February | Pop up exhibition: Rise From The Dead | Victoria Yards | Curated by: The Dead Bunny Society |
2018 | February | Group Show: Virtual Physical Identity|Ellis House, Johannesburg | Curated by: Carmen Blum |
2017 | October | Dead Bunny Soup Aardklop 2017 | University of Potchefstroom | Curated by: The Dead Bunny Society |
2017 | May | ‘Thanatophobia ii’ Group Exhibition | Dead Bunny Society, Ellis House, Johannesburg | Curated by: The Dead Bunny Society |
2017 | April | ‘Thanatophobia’ Group Exhibition | Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees 2017, Oudtshoorn | Curated by: The Dead Bunny Society |
2017 | January – February | ‘Undefined’ Group Exhibition | Priest Espressobar, Johannesburg | Curated by: The Dead Bunny Society |
2016 | December – January | ‘Undefined’ Group Exhibition | Fried Contemporary, Pretoria | Curated by: The Dead Bunny Society |
2016 | September – November | ‘Undefined’ Group Exhibition | DF Contemporary, Cape Town | Curated by: The Dead Bunny Society |
2016 | July | ‘Death of the Old’ Group Exhibition | Kalashnikovv Gallery, Johannesburg | Curated by: The Kalashnikovv Gallery |