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Leora Farber


Leora Farber is a Johannesburg-based practising artist who graduated with a BA (Fine Art) from the University of the Witwatersrand in 1986 (majoring in painting) and with an MA (Fine Art) (cum laude) from the same university in 1992. In 2007, from her position as Senior Lecturer in the University of Johannesburg’s Fine Art Department, Farber was appointed as the director of the University of Johannesburg’s Faculty of Art Design and Architecture Research Centre titled Visual Identities in Art and Design. She has published articles in academic journals such as Cultural Politics, n. paradoxa and de arte, and has been the recipient of numerous funding awards, including those from the National Research Foundation and the National Arts Council. She is currently registered for a practice-based PhD in Visual Art at the University of Pretoria.




The futility of writing 24-page letters

Medium Paper, linen, vinyl, wood
Dimensions Variable
Edition Print is available in edition of 10
Price -


The futility of writing 24-page letters is an extension of a work titled Between Cup and Lip (2006-2007) which I exhibited as part of the Dis-Location / Re-Location exhibition (2007-2008). Between Cup and Lip appears in the work as the framed set of printed ‘letters’; but one quote has been extracted from these letters. This quote prompted, for me, a way in which Between Cup and Lip could be extended.


The texts of the letters, and the extracted quote, were written by the colonial Englishwoman Bertha Marks in reaction to her husband Sammy Marks’s typically Victorian, condescending, paternalistic and chauvinistic response to her lengthy letters to him whilst he was away. Bertha’s words, intimate and personal as they are, struck me as particularly poignant. They speak of a sense of futility – time, energy and effort wasted; frustration and hurt at not being appreciated, acknowledged or heard by her husband, and being dismissed as child-like, because of her gender. And ultimately, for me, her words evoke a deep sense of unfulfilled desire, longing and loss, epitomising the futility of investment.