Lyrene Kühn-Botma

Quick Response

Digital drawing with scannable QR code on photo rag
132 x 60 cm

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Lyrene Kuhn Quick Response QR code



Four pigment ink drawings with silkscreen on rosapina

60 x 45 cm (each)
Artist Response

"The flat surface of the screen can house within it the world of mourning, the funerary chant, and the image of the deceased."

Interfacing with the deceased and interfacing with moments of grieving is becoming increasingly digital. The flat surface of the screen can house within it the world of mourning, the funerary chant, and the image of the deceased. Previously, one may have experienced the moving images of the deceased through dreams and visions. A magical moment which can now be recreated inside a lit screen.  Digitally, one can actively revisit sites where the deceased has been reconstructed as a virtual avatar, or one can actively visit various virtual sites of play by sitting in front of the screen. Still, imagery of the deceased cannot be separated from the digital mode of display. It is only via the medium of the computer and handheld device that the deceased can be presented as a moving, speaking image. A contradicting site, as the bereaved is so close to the moving body of the deceased, however, nothing is tangible except for the cold smooth screen that houses their image. It is through the tangible experience of touching the smooth screen displaying a moving image of the deceased that the bereaved may experience an ephemeral moment of melancholy.

The works in this exhibition aim to make the viewer pertinently aware of their own bodies in relation to the screen they are interfacing with. The hands gesturing in the Semblance series of drawing make us aware of automatic gestures while scrolling and interacting with your digital devices. While the vast foreboding landscape in the work Quick Response make us aware of the layers of undiscernible data in our everyday vision. Inviting us to ‘scan’, move closer, and decipher.


Lyrene Kühn-Botma is an artist and researcher working at the University of the Free State where her main subject in teaching is Printmaking.

In 2021 the artist obtained her M.A. Fine Arts degree with distinction, receiving the Dean’s Medal awarded to the graduate with the best results towards a Master’s degree within the entirety of the Humanities faculty. In 2019 the artist participated in the Nexus transitional exchange which was exhibited at the Vrystaat Festival’s Frynge festival as well as the Brighton Pride festival in Brighton, United Kingdom.

Her research on paper and digital media involves the investigation of personal contemporary grief and bereavement, specifically the individual and collective iterations created and followed in mourning. This interest in death studies is further shared with an interest in video games, and how these two disparate experiences (grief and play) connect in distinctive ways as newly created contemporary practices in mourning. These personal experiences are investigated to explore the visual ways in which experiences of loss and trauma have been communicated through the conduits available in technologically driven societies, and how these new experiences provide novel empathetic experiences of loss.