Sisters is a wallpaper that tells the fictional story of the three Marais sisters who lived in a small seaside village on the West Coast of South Africa.
The three Marais sisters, better known as the Witches Marais were from a well-respected Afrikaans family in Hermanus, a small seaside village on the West Coast of the then Colonial South Africa. Their childhood was comfortable and sheltered. It wasn’t until the 1930s as young women that they truly blossomed and came into their own despite their deeply conservative, Christian upbringing. Though refined in education they were outlandish and problematic in their activities. The antithesis of the Afrikaans Woman of the time.
They were akin to a wildfire that swept across the town, leaving broken hearts and broken marriages in their wake. But what the sisters lacked in morals and discretion, they made up for in intelligence and an irresistible charm which possibly resulted in them being briefly tolerated by a narrow-minded society. During the height of their shenanigans, a suspicious number of complicit lovers and acquaintances died mysteriously which may purely have been a case of bad luck and unfortunate timing. Nevertheless, this did not help the sisters’ already questionable reputation and earned them the name Witches Marais.
Eventually ostracized, the sisters slowly retreated back into the world they came from. Their former boisterous presence was replaced by whispers on the street. The once stately but now somewhat derelict childhood home overlooking the old harbour became their sanctuary. As the years passed, having been primarily reclusive, the sisters became something of a town legend. Locals and visitors became intrigued and passers-by would habitually pause with the hope of catching a glimpse of a mysterious and lonely life that was once grand.
Ronelle Pienaar Jenkin
Ronelle Pienaar Jenkin is a visual artist and a freelance graphic designer who has been active in the industry since her 2007 graduation from Vega Brand Communications School. Jenkin worked at Lemon for many years before going freelance, and still regularly collaborates with the brand in an artistic and design capacity.
South African born, she currently resides in New Zealand where she continues to apply her exceptionally discerning eye to her various projects.
The narratives in Jenkin’s work centre on psychology – our thoughts, behaviour, ways of being in the world and the congruence between these things. Themes such as ridicule, humour, pride, sanctimony, obscenity and irreverence all feature strongly in her work and this interest is explored mainly through portrait and still life. Her preferred media and modes of expression include inks, watercolours and oils.