Early in 2016 I had solo show titled Air at Longstreet Art Lovers, here in Pretoria. For this show I specifically combined photographic images with optical sculptures. The idea was to reference that life-sustaining stuff around us – Air.
Each image is related to the idea of air where its an exhaust sticking through a wall, clouds wisping through the sky or a stripped carburetor. The photos were hung off clips, allowing them to gently flutter as a fan pushed air around, inside the gallery.
Three large lens sculptures titled Portals M, O & X stood inside the space. Each hand carved and polished lens mounted atop a bent spring-loaded steel ribbon gently oscillating in the fan’s wind.
The lenses are intentionally square, referencing this popular social media format. Social media is central to the Portal series’ concept.
As with much of my work I play with the idea of these digitized images/experiences against analogue realtime distortions of our contiguous spaces.
During our digitally connected days we engage with tremendous amounts of images. Pictures broadcast from all over the world, sometimes of cute cats or a plate of food, a landscape, somewhere exotic… seen through a battery operated pocket lens or computer screen.
My lenses attempt to engage with the viewer in the present; to make the spectator come closer and interact, to look through and see the world differently and also being seen by others. The portals are a fun way of bringing us back into the present, to explore and be excited about this moment of immediacy.
As the Portals sway on their spring loaded stem they animate and imitate the energy which every living moment has. Nothing is static, everything moves, we are all connected in the here and now.
Portal M, O & X are part of the Stable 2017 group show at the Melrose Gallery, Johannesburg till the end of January 2018.