Hoppe said the combined body of artwork was born out of the two artists’ like-mindedness.
"One has to book gallery space more than a year in advance. At the time, we were both so busy that we did not think either one of us would have time to make enough artworks to fill the whole gallery. So, we decided to book the gallery together.
"As we are friends who are very like-minded on many issues, we knew we would be able to work well together.
"The actual concept for the work evolved as we went along, but we have worked independently and followed our own processes and thought patterns to interpret the idea of protecting what we value.
"Dorelle took a very personal approach, while I addressed more general social issues,” Hoppe said.
Both artists are renowned for their work in the local art community with Hoppe leading ArtEC and Sapere with her work in the beautification of Central and other areas as part of the Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA).
Hoppe said she had a "light-bulb moment” while she was looking at a thorn tree, which in turn inspired the exhibition’s unique name.
"For a long time I have been dealing with thorny issues in my work, making social statements mainly about the plight of women and children in Africa, particularly in rural communities, and also about the pointlessness of war and conflict. More recently I commented on urban decay.
"This particular body of work is a natural progression from that . . . it all started with an innocent remark made by my husband while we were looking at a lovely acacia thorn tree in Addo. He commented on how the thorns look so much like a cow’s horns.
"That was my ‘light-bulb moment’ and I immediately took a lot of photos and had the idea to combine the thorns and horns in some artworks.”
Hoppe added that she pushed her own boundaries for the exhibition by foraging into and combining mediums such as photography and painting.
"Naturally, the way thorns are used in kraals to protect cattle came into it, and from this simple beginning it quickly morphed into a series of ideas around the thought of protecting what one holds valuable, and the fact that those items are relative depending on who you are,” Hoppe said.
Sapere said her involvement in the collection of art comes from her own experience as an artist who has faced challenges or "thorny issues”.
"I was inspired by Sue’s suggestion of the theme and responded with a body of work that talks to some aspects of life that I consider important for me to protect,” Sapere explained.
"It is also of importance to me to contribute in my personal capacity to the work that I am involved in and am very passionate about.
That is, supporting the development of the creative industry in the metro. By being part of the creative collective, I can understand and experience the issues and challenges first-hand,” Sapere said.
"Thorny Issues” will run until Friday March 8 at the ArtEC gallery in Bird Street.
The gallery is open from 9am to 4pm on weekdays and from 9am to 1pm on Saturdays.