A big thank you to everyone who came to the opening of Come Hell or High Water at Lizamore & Associates gallery on the 5th of October!
Images courtesy of the gallery – Lizamore & Associates
Rubber collar: a collaboration with the Tailor: William Mills
Boots: Heels to Heaven
Vintage lace dress: a gift from my friend Camille Haupt
Ruan Janse van VuurenINVESTORS LOUNGE:
From the shrunken heads of the Amazon to the spun-sugar calavera candies of a Mexican November or the bleached bones of a Georgia O’Keeffe painting, skulls have long exerted a mystical pull on the human imagination. They have also been eternally attractive to students of pure science through the ages; every feature from the shape of sagittal ridges to the functions of cerebral cortexes have been and continue to be studied in laboratories, in the most minutely intimate detail.
This spirit of memento mori (Latin for ‘remember [that you have] to die’) as well as momento vivere (Latin for ‘remember [that you must live]’),, is fundamental to the iconography of the skull, making it a shorthand – and focal point – for our own obsession with (im)mortality. Like Hamlet, we hold up Yorick’s skull, and try to make sense of our pointless, transient lives.
It is the ultimate equalizer; permanently en courant, whether sashaying the catwalk on Alexander McQueen’s scarfs, bags and rings, or in the most bejeweled and bewitching of all its forms such as Damien Hirst’s diamond-encrusted skull For the Love of God, 2007. Perhaps these popular cultural references are the most resonant of all – as Dia de Muertos’ dissolving sugar skull reminds us that nothing can perpetuate our existence forever.
In essence then, the skull is the ultimate tabula rasa, reminding us with its relentless anonymity, ambiguity and androgyny that in death we are all equal. Our differences – in colour, creed, social status or wealth – will dissolve like the flesh from our bones, and kings, lawyers and servants will all be reduced to the same essential structure at the last.
Evoking admiration, awe and morbid fascination, the skull endures as a macabre, unifying symbol of the human condition, inviting interpretation at every turn whilst denying that any reading can ever be definitive. It is provocative. Inevitable. A relic of our past and an omen of our unavoidable future.
The skull is one of man’s oldest and most powerful symbols. It has a long and varied history of use with multiple overlapping interpretations. Most commonly it is seen as a representation of death and mortality, but it has many other uses including:
– To invoke fear or caution.
– To celebrate the memory of the dead.
– To celebrate life.
– As a symbol of vanity.
– As a symbol of life after death.
– As a symbol of change.
– As a means of obtaining good luck or avoiding bad luck.
– As a symbol of toughness, machismo, courage, bravery or indifference to death and danger.
– As a symbol of nonconformity, free-thinking, and rebelliousness.
– For popular appeal and fashion.
– As pure decoration especially as tattoos.For more information contact DF Contemporary Gallery.
The group exhibition: “Here be dragons” opened tonight at Underculture Contemporary gallery. I am happy to inform you that I am part of this exciting show.
This is what the gallery had to say about their last exhibition of 2014:
Medieval cartographers used the words “here be dragons” to warn seafarers away from uncharted and potentially dangerous corners of the globe, where sea monsters were believed to exist.
Meant to act as a deterrent, the warning instead ignited the imaginations of a few intrepid explorers, who set off in search of these terra incognita or unknown lands.
Much like these adventurers of old, contemporary artists are driven by an inner need to push back the boundaries, explore ideas, examine accepted myths and discover new territory.
For those who would share this modern quest, Underculture Contemporary invites you to join us as we launch our final group exhibition of 2014.
Exhibition: Here Be Dragons
While some may perceive the Eastern Cape as the uncharted corner of the South African visual arts industry, for those in the know it holds a wealth of talent and promise.
For this exhibition, some of the region’s best-known artists and rising stars come together to bring you the products of their artistic journeys.
This curated group showcase will feature a menagerie of fantastic creatures from the far corners of the province.
Come and support, enjoy and marvel at the arts and artists of the Eastern Cape. This is a show to celebrate the end of your voyage through 2014!
Please join us for the exhibition opening at 18:30 for 19:00 on Wednesday, December 10. The show closes on January 9, after which it will travel to Bloemfontein’s foremost contemporary space, Gallery on Leviseur.
Dragons are a favourite subject in our household. My 6 year old son is convinced that they still exist. He desperately wants to visit a place called the “Drakensberg” because that’s where they reside in South Africa according to him. Our 4 year old son constantly wanted me to remove his toy (featured on the work above) whenever he saw it in my studio, but I convinced him that I need/want it for this work, since he doesn’t play with it any more. Strange that as soon as my kids see their toys which they stopped playing with in another context then suddenly they want to play with it again. Luckily we could reach an agreement without too much conflict.
The title of this work was inspired by the lyrics from one of my favourite Sinead O’ Connor songs: Troy: