Pippa Skotnes was born in Johannesburg. She attended high school at Parktown Convent: the order of the Holy Family. This experience provided a well-spring of ideas, some of which materialised in her continuing artwork, Lamb of God and the Book of iterations (2001–2011) which has been exhibited in Europe and the USA. She was educated at the University of Cape Town where she received Master of Fine Art and Doctor of Literature degrees. After she was sued by the South African Library for a copy of her artist’s book about the Lucy Lloyd and the |xam, Sound From the Thinking Strings, she became deeply interested in the nature of the book, producing several volumes inscribed on the bones of horses, leopards and blue cranes. She has also published a number of other books, more recently Claim to the country (Jacana 2007) and Unconquerable spirit (Jacana 2008) and exhibited artwork widely. She is currently professor of Fine Art and the director of the Centre for Curating the Archive (CCA) at the University of Cape Town where she is working on a project about land and language, and holes in the ground.