'Compressing Materiality' - Group Exhibition

Collection: 'Compressing Materiality' - Group Exhibition

Compressing Materiality

Group Exhibition

18.05.24 - 30.06.24

EBONY/CURATED, Bordeaux House, Franschhoek

From ancient times, the materiality of clay has presented itself as a metaphor for human self-transformation. In recent decades, visual artists have leveraged this metaphor to explore the boundaries of visual art through creative experimentation. This has led to the development of innovative techniques and styles that push the limits of materiality and artistic expression. ‘Compressing Materiality’ brings to the fore notable artists exploring the mutable materiality of clay, within the contemporary South African context.

Existing in multiple temporalities and forms, both malleable and fragile, clay draws on various transformational agents to reflect culture and history- serving as a repository of collective memory and heritage. Its enduring materiality transcends temporal and spatial boundaries, fostering dialogue and understanding across diverse cultural landscapes. In the hands of an artist, clay transcends its inert state, undergoing metamorphosis through the alchemy of skill, imagination and fire. By demanding physical engagement- a communion between hand and material- the artwork is imbued with an innate vitality. Clay moulds, sculpts, and shapes, yielding to the artist's will, yet simultaneously asserting its own agency. It captures the essence of transformation, mirroring the perpetual flux of existence.

A practice which emerges from working with the earth and mirroring nature in its process, best described in the reflections of artist Katherine Glenday, who shares:

"Creativity is an open-ended and receptive process and to blister and crack, to pour, splash and run are all occurrences implicit in the processes of nature. These expressions have been employed by different makers from all cultures throughout time, and yet it is the personal idiosyncratic signature of each maker which gives the defining aspect that separates one creation from another - even in the midst of a shared humanity."

Works on exhibition

1 of 32