If you have ever seen Mary Sibande’s work, then you’ve invariably met Sophie. She is the South African artist’s muse, her alter-ago, her subject—her past and her present.
Sibande’s mother, her grandmother and her great-grandmother all wore the same blue uniform as members of the servant class during Africa’s apartheid and earlier. It’s an association that Sibande says speaks to every South African.
“All the women in my family were domestic workers. And, of course, we were domestic workers because of apartheid and this institution that was introduced to limit the black body.”–Mary Sibande