Pippa Skotnes was born in Johannesburg. She attended high school at Parktown Convent: the order of the Holy Family. This experience provided a well-spring of ideas, some of which materialised in her continuing artwork, Lamb of God and the Book of iterations (2001-2011), which has been exhibited in South Africa, Europe and the USA. She was educated at the University of Cape Town where she received Master of Fine Art and Doctor of Literature degrees. After she was sued by the South African Library for a copy of her artist’s book about Lucy Lloyd and the |xam, Sound from the thinking strings, she became deeply interested in the nature of the book, producing several volumes inscribed on the bones of horses, leopards and blue cranes. She has also published a number of other books, more recently Claim to the country (Jacana 2007), Unconquerable spirit (Jacana 2008) and Book of iterations (Axeage Press 2009) and exhibited artwork widely. She is currently professor of Fine Art and the director of the Centre for Curating the Archive at the University of Cape Town, where she is working on a project about land and language, and holes in the ground.
Selected Books, Recent Publications and Exhibitions
Skotnes, P. 2017. Blue is the Colour of Fire. Catalogue essay for Virginia MacKenny exhibition, Barnard Gallery.
Skotnes, P. 2017 Axeage Private Press and the Book in the Cave. In Sassen, R. (ed) Booknesses: Artists’ Books from the Jack Ginsberg Collection.
2015Returned to Harfield (Curated with Siona O’Connell). District 6 Museum, November 2015. (accompanied by Symposium entitled Towards and Archive of Freedom organised by Siona O’Connell).
Skotnes, P. 2014. From landscape to literature: Specimens in images. In Deacon, J and Skotnes, P. (eds). The Courage of ||kabbo: celebrating the 100th anniversary of Specimens of Bushman Folklore. University of Cape Town Press.
Deacon, J and Skotnes, P. (eds). 2014. The Courage of ||kabbo: celebrating the 100th anniversary of Specimens of Bushman Folklore. University of Cape Town Press. ISBN 978-1-91989-546-8 (456 pages, peer reviewed)
Skotnes, P. 2014. The letters pertaining to the Special Mission of Louis Anthing, 1861–1866. Bone book (two giraffe skeletons 200 bones). Produced at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin: Axeage Private Press.
Skotnes, P. 2011. Landscape to Literature (catalogue). Centre for Curating the Archive, University of Cape Town, and exhibition: Michaelis Galleries, August/September. Origins Centre Wits, Feb–April, Kimberley McGregor Museum.