Smokey Signals from the Groot Karoo 2017

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Richmond was a dream that willed itself into some elusive physical form. 

I spent 18 days in the Karoo with magnificent people whom I invited from across the globe: Lilana Cuellar, Andrew Ananda Voogel, Chibuike Uzoma, Liz Lessner, João Renato Orecchia and Zúñiga,Caoimhghin O’Fraithilé. We collaborated, we debated, we ate, we laughed…

The Karoo put on a dramatic show with double rainbows and prancing Springbok. We observed and tried to honour that.

The follow-up exhibition was briefly housed in a contemporary exhibition space in Cape Town, but the conversations amongst participants are ongoing. The images included here is a selection of my own journey and conversations, but the project evolved way beyond that.

Maybe Time Can Fold 2017

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“[Ours is] a colourful and amazing world where universes explode, space collapses into bottomless holes, time sags and slows near a planet, and the unbounded extensions of interstellar space ripple and sway like the surface of the sea" - Carlo Rovelli, Seven Brief Lessons on Physics

 ‘Maybe Time Can Fold’ connects different bodies of work which cross reference one another; traces of interactions that linger in the projection we commonly refer to as “reality”. 

You are part of my process and I of yours… both our perceptions will shift; both of us participants in the fabrication of space. By being here you are. You are here. You are interacting. You have stepped inside. We ARE process. Correction: We are a MOMENT in the process.

Take your time. Every interaction is a long line that connects.

Ripples of Perception 2017

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“I am a searcher…I always was…and I still am…searching for the missing piece” – Louise Bourgeois

These gestural paintings in oil and mixed media on canvas, were completed over the past 24 months. Foremost concerned with painting as process, it is an exploration of colour, texture and mark making. 

There are references to landscapes, but rather than any physical spaces, these are expressions of an inner landscape. It is a visual map of my thought processes that feeds into the site-specific installations. The series will continue to grow over time.  There is no beginning or end. It can best be described as loose phrases in an ongoing internal dialogue. 

Follow the line and see where it leads you.

Seven Looms of Silence 2017

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“What is your guiding intuition?” I replied on the spur of the moment, “Making is thinking” – Richard Sennett

Seven looms of Silence is a visual abstraction of a weaving loom that consist of seven units. The work was commissioned by the clothing brand Trenery for the launch of the Autumn/Winter 2017 collection. It was their first-time collaboration with a contemporary South African artist. 

The installation consists predominantly of natural yarns used in the clothing items of the brand: merino, mohair and cotton. It honours the process of making and all the invisible hands involved in producing a single garment. The loom is a tool that manipulates thread into fabric through an ongoing repetitive process. Likewise, this spatial drawing creates surfaces through repetitive monochrome lines. Surfaces that subtly shift as the viewer moves through the piece.

BARBED WIRE PARADISE IS EXACTLY WHERE YOU ARE 2017

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“Therefore, the places in which we have experienced daydreaming reconstitute themselves in a new daydream, and it is because our memories of former dwelling-places are relived as day-dreams that these dwelling-places of the past remain in us for all time.”    ― Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space 

Barbed Wire Paradise Is Exactly Where You Are is the travel sized adaptation of an immersive drawing. This sculpture/installation/daydream can be physically wheeled into a new position every day, thus changing the formal external view. The work was commissioned by Everard Read/CIRCA for the solo projects of the Cape Town International Art Fair 2017.

The object consists of several biomorphic forms, constructed from pipe cleaners in hues of blue. The small, repetitive action of constructing these objects by hand, generates a monumental yet intimate experience. The viewer can step inside to become an active component of the work. It encourages a physical experience of a fabricated space. 

Greener Pastures / There are worlds out there 2016

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“When the world is itself draped in the mantle of night, the mirror of the mind is like the sky in which thoughts twinkle like stars.” ― Khushwant Singh, Delhi 

This two-part site-specific installation was concepsualised for “Coriolis Effect: Migration and Memory” in New Delhi. 

Much like viruses, ideas spread over national borders, infiltrate conversations and fluidly flits between fact to fiction. Every interaction helps this migration along, every association leaves a trace. Physical space and memory co-exist. 

“There are Worlds Out There” is a gold room for reflection fabricated from 3000 Indian wedding envelopes. “Greener Pastures” guards the entrance to this room and is a giant green drop to hide in. 

The viewer is encouraged to step inside.

Coriolis Effect is an ongoing project at Khoj International Artists’ Association which seeks to activate the social, economic and cultural relationship and historical exchange which exists between India and the continent of Africa. Coriolis Effect not only uses the present context of 21st century migrations, but equally refer to various moments of exchange through history; from the recent past of the Non-Aligned movements in the 20thcentury, to the cultural relationship shared exchanged by Indians and Africans from the 1st century AD onwards” – Khoj International Artists’ Association

No More Worlds To Conquer 2016

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“The gods will offer you chances. Know them. Take them.” – Charles Bukowski

The title, No More Worlds To Conquer, does not refer to the fact that we’ve conquered all, but that the quest for ownership is not in fact the ultimate goal. Yellow is a colour of contradictory associations. It whispers of: sunshine, warmth and hope, but also of deceit, abuse of power and money…

No More Worlds to Conquer is a temporary site-specific contour drawing of things that cannot be seen. Will the next generation try to colonise other planets? What is life? How do we interact in meaningful ways within the space/time that we have?

I strive to shift perspectives by creating spaces that might be reminiscent of dreams. Ambivalent spaces that should not exist in the “real world”, but do for a short time, and then live on in memory. These spaces are created through repetitive, seemingly insignificant, actions. 

The work is constructed from a combination of crocheting/knotting/plaiting of ropes. The nets were made by hand by a group of women and are the same ones used by the mining industry. The work is activated by both performers and the viewers’ physical movement through the colour and space.

This work was commissioned for the atrium at the Iziko South African National Gallery with the generous support of Nando’s South Africa.

Twenty First Century Family Portrait 2014

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“Of late, when noticing electrical installations or looking up at pylons, such thoughts of influence had grown, and just recently he had past by a substation and known, known, that everything he had ever said or done was still vibrating in the air around him. He wasn’t absolutely sure of this any more, but the idea that objects and places emitted force fields was harder to dismiss.” – Gilbert du Toit in The Long Wave by Tom Dreyer

BARBED WIRE PARADISE 2016

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"Paradise, is exactly where you are right now, only much, much...better" - Language is a Virus (Laurie Anderson)

Barbed wire paradise was an immersive drawing constructed in studio over a period of three months from over 40 000 pipe cleaners, a few pot plants, a handful of coins, a single musician and two swings. It was open to the public for two days to explore and interact with. As in a dream, it lives on in the traces that was left behind in the memories of visitors and in the digital proof that it existed at a certain point in time.


Ladders of Aquatic Vertebrae

Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisioned by the enemy, don’t we consider it his duty to escape?. . .If we value the freedom of mind and soul, if we’re partisans of liberty, then it’s our plain duty to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can!
– J.R.R. Tolkien

Ladders of Aquatic Vertabrae was conceptualised for a group show at Blank Projects. The exhibition – titled The Menippean uprising – was curated by Pierre Fouché and Hentie van der Merwe and offered an alternative to the sosio-political work which still dominate South African galleries.

“This exhibition explores the idea of the imaginary, the unreal, the fantastical, in work by a number of contemporary South African artists. The focus is thus on artworks that are of an escapist nature; works that suggest a leaving behind of a definite socio-political context and, instead, intuitively venturing towards the irrational, the grotesque, the pleasurable.

Both curators are also practicing artists, and are currently interested in such ideas in their own work. Part of the aim of this exhibition is thus also, by means of a curated exhibition, to situate their own current interests as artists within a broader tendency in contemporary SA art: tentative, yet visible moves away from overt political statements to flights of the imagination  and the increasing use of escapist forms and traditions to allegorise contemporary society.”

Participants included: Michael Taylor, Mendi Pantsi, Niklas Wittenberg, Pierre Fouché and Hentie van der Merwe.

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