/ Forthcoming Exhibitions
10 September to 26 September
The crow is widespread and found on most continents, in some cultures they are viewed as sinister characters, a bad omen. For many the mythology of the crow are that they are messengers of the gods. In modern times and through observational research the crow has been found to be highly intelligent, capable of solving complex problems and puzzles. The most fascinating discovery has been that crows are able to recognise individual humans. So while we have been observing nature and deciding which creatures are good omens and which are bad omens we must remember they are observing us too. The crow is able to communicate to other crows if a person he has observed is “good” or “bad”. The question is what these creatures' perceptions of us are? Are we good or bad omens?
In this collection of works, Louis uses Liquid Ivory Black Watercolour, which changes colour when it comes into contact with water. Starting with black, to denote the sinister qualities we have unfairly given to the crow, with minimal contact with water, the ink turns blue which represents the magical qualities of the crow while the yellow represents the god-like state of enlightenment. These colours may represent what our mythology and beliefs tell us about the crow but it could just as easily represent the perceptions that the crow may have of us. A portion of the works depicts the crow in line with the traditional idea of observation. Details are visible with the focus on aesthetics. In other works, the focus moves away from detailed observation and changes to observing movement and the fluidity of the crows’ movement as well as the fluidity of the medium.
3 September to 19 September
This exhibition, featuring drawings, prints and paintings, reflects Miller’s way of mourning the loss of her husband. She and her family and friends later planted trees in memory of him, and a poignant sense of melancholy and absence is revealed in each image of an uprooted tree, each hole dug in the soil. But the artworks embrace ambiguity as although the presence of stains, shadows and rags may be read as despair following this overwhelming experience of mortality, she conceived them instead as lasting reminders of wonder. For Miller, the process of observing the quietly growing trees and becoming lost in her chosen artmaking medium is constantly transformative. The quiet of isolation during the creative process has offered Miller a safe space to contemplate the enfolding of life’s complexities and the value of care. The resulting works are extraordinary in their metaphorical but understated imagery, and the artist’s sensitive use of techniques.
Adelle van Zyl
FABLES OF THE MIND
3 September to 19 September
In this series of ink drawings and collages, Adelle van Zyl combines the literary genre of the fable with aspects of the human psyche, in order to comment on the human condition.
The artist draws on her experience as a children’s book illustrator, as she employs animal imagery with particular themes of fears and fantasies for her current body of work. Fables are short stories that convey moral lessons by means of animals with anthropomorphic features, such as the ability to speak and act like humans. For the artist, animals reflect the fragility of the human psyche. Van Zyl’s work often touches on the psychological aspects of being human, and reflect on the key events and characteristics which form the core of human existence.
The process of creating both the ink drawings and collages was one of spontaneity, an attempt to discover and access subconscious thoughts and connections. In the ink drawings, the artist started simply with the format of a circle within a rectangle. Without any planning, the artist used the circle as an origin to draw from. Similarly, in the collages, the artist began with a square format which was saturated with ink, water and salt. The resultant imagery became backdrops, which in turn, informed the selection of bird heads and fragments of clothing that seemed to correspond to underlying tones.
These backgrounds of chance and chaos become theatres, in which human drama of interaction and the creation of meaning unfold. For the artist, these theatres reflect the dark corners of our minds where our fears are posed against our fantasies.