About Marion Boehm
Born 1964 in Germany. Lives and works in Germany and South Africa
After studying Interior Design, Marion Boehm worked as Interior Architect in Europe before moving to South Africa in 2010. Being engaged in a private community project in Kliptown, she began her artistic career in Johannesburg creating her unique magnificent collages. The artist addresses and examines the interfaces and relationships between African and Western cultures in history until nowadays. Her themes relate to personal experiences and are reflected in her different series focusing on socio-economic and cultural matters. Her work is an impressive combination of artistic integrity, conceptual vision and aesthetic beauty.
Her newest series “Legacy” interprets a new African identity based on traditional roots facing the confusion of a globalized world and overcoming the identity crisis after colonialism. “In my series „Legacy” I want to point out that the emerging African continent has a rich cultural background to build on” says Marion. Her mixed media collages with traditional African masks, beads, cawrie shells and fabrics highlight the beauty, loyalty and positive energy of the African women.
The traditional African masks, that Marion Boehm integrates in her artworks were used in religious and social events to represent the spirits of ancestors or to control the good and evil forces in the community. They come to life, possessed by their spirit in the performance of the dance and are enhanced by the music and atmosphere of the occasion. Some masks combine human and animal features to unite man with his natural environment. This bond with nature is of great importance to the African and through the ages masks have always been used to express this relationship.
“I use African masks in my work to relate to the beauty and spiritual power of them in the context of a culturally impoverished and spiritually distressed modern world. But do they still have their original meaning? What do they represent to the generation of today? Can they be a point of reference and still offer a kind of orientation? What do the traditions mean for today‘s life and what do they teach us for the future?” In order to underline her message, Marion’s statement is always printed in the faces of her characters.
Marion Boehm ́s work has been collected internationally. Her artwork was presented during shows and art fairs in South Africa, Germany, France, UK, Lithuania, Morocco, Portugal, Luxemburg, Switzerland, USA.