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Binnebos I and  II, 2009. Charcoal and digital media on Hahnemühle German etching

paper, 297 x 420mm


Trees symmetrically placed in ordered gardens, in chaotic overgrowth in wild forests and the bush form the main inspiration for this body of work, once again as in previous work dealing with the rise and demise of worlds. I use the life cycle of the tree as symbol: the living tree and its death in the form of paper and charcoal. The neatly planted and ordered trees in parks and gardens speak about ordered civilisation, ideologies, worlds and utopias.  The wild bush and overgrowth refer to chaos, wilderness and the stages both before and after such order.I gaze at trees, which seem very similar to high-rise city buildings; in that sense there’s not much difference between the concrete jungle and the real thing. Both are supposed to provide shelter and protection in different ways. Just as the forest can be synonymous with confusion and the possibility of becoming lost, the contemporary character of many urban environments questions the city’s distinctive of providing shelter. The works intermingle images of CBD Pretoria with Mpumalanga and Limpopo bush, the ordered parks of Gardini in Venice and computer parts. Enclosed, heterotopic environments comment on the ironies of creating idealised havens such as security estates within other ideological spaces. In contemporary times in the cities we need “walls” of defense erected through technology by way of communication channels, alarm systems and laser beams in order to survive. I attempted to capture the sense of neurosis that has infiltrated life in the seemingly peaceful and ordered city, a structured location originally designed for happy and safe inhabitation by human beings. Emotions of confusion, waiting and listening are expressed; texturised, sensuous surfaces blend references to embroidery, pixilation and grids. Fried Contemporary Art Gallery, Pretoria, 3 October - 14 November 2009

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