- Alice Toich
Read a VISI Magazine interview with Toich about her delicious exhibition here.
You’d be more likely to associate the colour pink with the girls’ aisle of a toy store than with a prison, but a cell is exactly where you’d find Baker-Miller Pink, also known as Drunk-Tank Pink. This particular shade is claimed to reduce hostile, violent and aggressive behaviour, according to studies conducted in the 1960s.
‘The Icing Pink Ether’ is a solo exhibition by passionate painter and baker Alice Toich, who uses shades of pink in her work (including Drunk-Tank Pink) as a way to engage with current South African issues. Toich, as a baker as well as a fine artist, is used to bringing people together with her work – baking for pleasure, and her art by creating empathy with pain. As a “cumulative experience, made static”, painting for her serves as a means to share her memories, stories and emotional state.
With this new series of works, Michaelis graduate Toich enters intermediate spaces, where quiet but powerful oppositional forces are at play. Pink is her shade of choice here because it is an in-between colour. “Like grey,” she explains, “it exists between the polarities of two resolute places.” Ether is likewise an in-between idea, existing between particles, caught between science and magic.
It is in this either/or place that Toich suggests South Africans live. Between extremes, often oscillating from one to the other in a short time space: “poverty and privilege, the past and the present, the political powers and the power of the people, the willingness to hope and the apathy of continual tragedy”. Through her paintings & installation pieces, Toich makes visible the unseen tensions around us.