COEX'AE BOB (ENNIE)

Coex'ae was born in the early 1940's, as one of seven children.  Today she is a mother of eight.  She grew up with a caring family, strongly rooted in the traditions and beliefs of the Kalahari San.  She never attended school but people often look to her for wisdom, and her knowledge about edible and medicinal plants is well known in the community.

She is a skilled craft producer and her love of the decorations in the San's traditional outfits have found an outlet in her art where she often depicts women in colourful traditional attire.

Coex'ae joined the Kuru Art Project in 1994.  Different from all the other women at the project, she prefers to depict birds and animals to the plants and pictures of traditional lifestyle.  Coex'ae passionately loves the Kalahari veld with all its creatues and is very perceptive towards the different plants, birds and smaller insects.  Creatures like the wild dogs, with spotted bodies, owls and insects like the praying mantis also appear in her work.

Coex'ae enjoys her art almost like a small child where the creative process becomes more important than the end product.  In this way a bird can easily be transformed into a plant and vice versa.  It could be this childlike absorption in her work that results in a looser paint technique, different from the precision of the other Kuru artists.

 She sees her art as an extension of her culture.  Through her art, people will always remember her people's way of life and the world they loved so much. 1

1. The Kuru Art Project