Erika Hibbert makes artworks concerned with intimate expressions of personal experience. The political and social accents in her work are always referred to, and derived from, her own life, so that in her work, the personal is the political. The artist demonstrates no interest in themes or subjects beyond her own orbit – but the surprise of the work is how the private and intimate examination of a life resonates with the largest and commonest of universal themes. In a process of understanding herself better, coming to terms with people she is connected to, and as a cathartic method of expelling her fears, she pulls and picks at her life’s experiences, measuring, weighing up and sifting, searching. Hibbert works her subjects in charcoal, oxides, inks, pigments, soil and oil paint and beeswax on canvas and paper or panel, as well as working in the print media of lithography, etching and photography.
A 2003 recipient of the Ampersand Fellowship, Hibbert returned to South Africa from her extended stay in Tribeca, New York, to work in Johannesburg, both on her own work and in various community art development projects. She moved to Botswana in 2004. In 2009 Erika Hibbert relocated to Atlanta Georgia, USA, where she lives and works. Her new works probe ideas around dislocation, alienation, migration and belonging. The work continues to combine the visceral and the abstract, the somatic and the conceptual, in an endless tug between physicality and spirituality.