South African embroiderer, Hannalie Taute




Meet Hannalie
Hi, my name is Hannalie Taute, and I am a wife, mother and an artist living and working in a small town in the Western Cape, South Africa. I embroider on discarded innertubes (rubber).

I love my family, books, music, and nature – just to name a few.


Hannalie’s creative journey

I believe that I’ve always been creative, since childhood but I did not have art as a subject in school. I did however draw in my diaries but mostly skulls etc from LP covers on Hard Rock albums. After school I decided to study art and obtained a National Higher Diploma in Fine Art in 2002. Since then I have always made something with my hands, working in various materials even when I had day jobs. In 2007 I became a fulltime artist and roundabout 2011/2012 I started working with rubber.


Working with different materials. From found toys to rubber, what inspires you to use the materials?

I like working with found objects for example toys/dolls, fabric, rubber and thread. Thinking about it, I guess I like the fetish aspect of dolls and rubber, even though it is not always apparent in my work. Also because it is uncanny.


Ancient stories and fantasies 

The universality of these stories inspires me.


The coming exhibition, is there a favourite?

I’ve invested so much time and effort in each one that it’s a bit unfair to choose a favourite.  Untitled (Ophelia) is the one that took me the longest to create. I’ve been working and re-working this piece on and off since 2015.


The stories behind the works:

Fountain of youth: People are obsessed with youthfulness and longevity. The ocean resembles the fountain of youth to me, since I believe that the world after every extinction started in the ocean again. I embroidered plants from the ocean sprouting on my head.  I used colours (various shades of pink), which reminded me of blushing, since I feel ashamed of the mess humans made of the ocean.

April fool: April fool is the name of the flower I embroidered here. A self-portrait is surrounded by this flower, almost like a halo. But fools can’t wear halos because that would just be foolish. I like fooling around.

She doesn’t give a hoot: I’m very superstitious about owls. Hooting made me think of what some men do when they see a beautiful woman.   Also I was listening to the song: The power of orange knickers by Tori Amos while I was working on this piece so that’s why I gave her orange knickers.


Hannalie’s studio

My studio is situated in a 1 bedroom flat at the back of our house. The bathroom functions as a storeroom where I keep the inner-tubes that I use in my work. There is a huge table in the middle of the lounge area. The table is made out of a huge crate on wheels with a big piece of wood on top) on which I lay out the pieces I’m working on.  On one wall I have my broken doll collection. In the bedroom area I have 2 rocking chairs and a small table with all the finished pieces of artworks on the walls. In the kitchen cupboards I store my sketchbooks and tools.


5 things Hannalie can’t live without

Imagination, humour, food, water and love…not necessarily in that order.


5 things on the bucket list

My bucket list mainly contains a list of places I would like to visit in real life for e.g.:

  1. I hope to visit Mexico during the ‘Day of the dead” celebrations.
  2. I would love to do an artist residency, I just need to figure out where.
  3. I think it would be grand to visit the Tarot garden by Niki de Saint Phalle in Italy.
  4. I would love to see “Le Palais Ideal by Ferdinand Cheval
  5. To visit Disneyland with my kids, BUT during Halloween.


Something people don’t know about you?

I cannot tell you, because then everybody will know, and sometimes it is good not to reveal too much. Mystery is a good thing too.


Goal to achieve in the next five years

See number 2 in the bucket list section.


Hannalie Taute’s solo exhibition is from 6 March to 21 March.

For more details on Hannalie’s exhibition click here.


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