"Drifter is about a character that doesn’t settle, he wanders, and that wandering is within painted spaces of pure imagination. The idea of pristine, untouched natural spaces remains a pertinent part of Sutherland’s imagination in this fifth solo exhibition with Salon91. In his paintings, that idea of pure landscape is able to exist, allowing an experience of self, removed from social or cultural trappings and attachments. The artist’s own feelings of awe within natural environments are pertinently expressed through his signature single figure dwarfed in the landscape.
Sutherland’s character moves without anchor through various spaces. These are geographically diverse and include forest, beach, lake and mountain. Sometimes he comes across the residue of habitation: a shelter or a dwelling, but for the most part the series imagines the uninhabited in a state of dreamy and perfect calm. Within popular imagination the drifter is a person without permanent place. Like the troubadour or travelling poet of medieval times, the contemporary drifter is a traveller without a determined destination. The quest for experiences, new sights and adventure fuels an existence without attachment or permanent temporal impact. It is an idealized state appropriated by many social philosophers and storytellers like Herman Hesse to comment on the accepted conventions of contemporary society. The viewer, like the drifter, is invited to move smoothly through temporal experiences of place that enable them to approach the spiritual.
Drifter will feature Sutherland’s new oil paintings and monotype prints. This shift in medium is an exciting new territory for Sutherland, enabling him to forge a new relationship with the painted surface in his particular fascination with the encounter with landscape."
Working exclusively with watercolour monotypes, Moir’s unconventional approach to printmaking explores and reconstitutes the limitations of traditional monotype techniques. Moir’s large works are the result of the intensely physical and unpredictable process of printing with a manual pitch roller. She says of her method: “The challenges within my process create space for the works to acquire greater meaning and be more successful than if it were predictable and easily controlled”. Original paintings are impressed onto calico, creating a confluence of painting and print. Gashes, strips of folded fabric and uneven printed surfaces serve as visual cues of the presence of Moir’s body in her process. These marks, made in collaboration with the medium, echo a sentiment from the show’s eponymous text in which the author Jun’ichirō Tanizaki asserts that “the quality we call beauty must always derive from the realities of life”.
While the title In Praise of Shadows links the show to Tanizaki’s ruminations on materiality, space and architecture, it is also an acknowledgement of anonymous figures that carve out their lives on the periphery. The “woman of old” - depicted in Tanizaki’s text as existing so deep within the shadows of the home that she is “inseparable from darkness”- becomes a particular point of focus, as Moir moves this ambiguous figure to the centre of her work. The show’s titles are drawn from descriptions of this character as well as fictionalised impressions of her. In this way, Moir subverts Tanizaki’s text by reassigning the authorial voice; presenting a body of work made from this fleetingly mentioned figure’s point of view.
Sarah Pratt’s latest solo exhibition continues to explore themes that were introduced in Migration last year. In Night and Day, nocturnal animals hang out with diurnal animals in unlikely friendships. Her titles hint at the possible gossiping that might ensue between the animal characters in Autumnor At Midnight. The series makes a stronger reference to wallpapers of the eighteenth century than her last exhibition, with a striking use of flat colour backgrounds and Art Nouveau-style decorative foliage design.
Pratt’s artistic world relishes the unlikely meeting of birds, mammals and plants separated by habit, biology and habitat. She encourages an imaginative viewing and light-hearted musings on the comical potential of her characters meeting in a two-dimensional space. In a Noah’s ark-like confrontation of personalities, one might be reminded of the meeting of early morning office commuters on the same train as nightclubbers returning home. Habitually worlds apart, such confrontations in a contained space mark a humorous crossover of incongruent realities facilitated by human-made environments.
Sarah Pratt is a Zimbabwean born artist who currently lives between Wales in the United Kingdom and Kamieskroon in South Africa’s Northern Cape. Her works communicate her own personal struggles with space and place, the loss of a beloved pet or humanity’s tenuous link with the natural world.
SALON NINETY ONE End-of-year salon-style group show in aid of True North
Accessible, affordable artwork across a broad range of mediums by some of Salon Ninety One’s favourite emerging and established creatives. This year our Gallery and Exhibiting Artists will be donating ten percent of all artwork sales to the True North Organisation. Spoil yourself or a loved one with that special one-of-a-kind artwork and make a difference to the life of someone much younger and less fortunate. True North is a non-profit organisation that is pioneering Early Childhood Development (ECD) initiatives within marginalised communities.The historical lack of adequate provisioning of basic services to poor communities manifests itself within all spheres of society, ultimately resulting in a vast loss of human potential. The long-term ripple effects of inequality includes increased rates of unemployment, disease, substance abuse and the fragmentation of family units, and unfortunately young children are the most at risk. An incredible developmental window of opportunity exists within these early years, and it rapidly diminishes with age. This potential for growth into a “whole” person is not limited to academic development, but encompasses every part of the child’s world. As we celebrate ten wonderful years of Salon Ninety One, we recognise the light, love and hard work that has gone into building the True North organisation since 2007. Join Salon91 and our generous young artists this festive season in our quest to give the Vrygrond community and the youth of our country a brighter future.
For more information about the True North Organisation, please visit their website.
For any enquiries pertaining to the exhibition, please contact the gallery on 021-424-6930 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Lilac Chaser is Heidi Fourie’s second solo exhibition at Salon91. The show marks a move away from more typical landscape formats to embrace concerns with contemporary perception. Her imagery is inspired by hikes in Grootkloof in the Magaliesberg region, which is characterised as being a shady and dramatic abyss with unique rock formations and reflective pools. Fourie describes the experience of being in the kloof as confronting a mysterious and unfathomable landscape characterised by notions of the hidden or mystical.
In applying her painter’s eye to the experience of natural space, Fourie translates the immersive state of being in the landscape into a journey within paint. She interrogates the tools of her trade: colour theory, the material quality of paint and the demands of illusionary visual perception, into a confrontation with the inner struggle demanded of the artist in the act of creating.
The term, Lilac Chaser, refers to a visual illusion also known as the Pac-Man illusion. The illusion involves the eye perceiving a green disk when all that is represented are lilac disks on a grey field. The term succinctly holds together Fourie’s various concerns in this new body of work. From the very personal experience of manifesting the missing the colour green amidst the brown winter landscape of Pretoria to the more philosophical, painter’s journey: how to express the hidden and mystical experiences of landscape within illusionary qualities of paint.
GREEN IS THE COLOUR | Written by Natasha Norman
The late Capetonian writer and poet, Stephen Watson, writes fondly of walking in Table Mountain range as a “stepping inside, not outside” of experience. “Consciousness has its doodles,” he muses, “and walking has a way of setting them off.” For him, as for Heidi Fourie, walking or hiking the world beyond our urban infrastructure has a way of revealing a certain inner realm, what Watson also describes as a ‘confrontation with otherness.’ Fourie’s experience of hiking the Groot Kloof Nature Reserve in the Magaliesburg Region in the middle of a dry, brown Pretoria winter, finds expression in this body of paintings as a confrontation with the edge of intellectual activity and the mysterious nature of the colour ‘green’.
In the dreamy, unknowable spaces of natural gullies and steep waterfalls where “light, washed clean, salts the shadows with a blackness” (Watson again), Fourie is confronted with a sense of mystical appreciation she can only describe as awe. This immersive experience has encouraged her to move away from the typical landscape format in her works in favour of long vertical canvases that stand together in formation or in reference to scenic windows. In this way, she foregrounds the act of looking out on landscape as one fraught with visual constraints, highlighting the limitations of convention in expressing experience.
Taking the experience of Groot Kloof back to the studio, Fourie has initiated an interrogation of perception, beginning with the techniques of painting. The reductive or removed mark, which has consistently been a feature of her work, is here combined with a more methodological approach to colour. In her pursuit of the non-visible or that part of experience that one feels rather than sees she has aptly cited the Pac-Man illusion, lilac chaser, in evoking the invisible.
The lilac chaser illusion gained popularity on the Internet in 2005. It results from the combination of the phi phenomenon (the illusion of perceiving continuous motion from a series of still images viewed in rapid succession) and the afterimage effect. When the eye is exposed to a circle of lilac colour on a grey or neutral surface, and that colour vanishes, one perceives a circle of the complementary colour, green, in its place. In a gif of lilac circles appearing and disappearing in succession, one perceives a green circle appearing to ‘chase’ the disappearing lilac circle. Physiologically, the human sense of perception consistently causes one to perceive colours that are not actually present in a space. One is reminded of the artist James Turrell’s light installations in museums and galleries where rooms flooded with a bright hue cause a viewer to see the complimentary hue, as vividly, upon exiting the room. As the afterimage in the mind’s eye fades, so the illusion vanishes.
In addition to colour, Fourie has interrogated mark and texture in this series by including a series of collages created from the paper palettes she uses while mixing paint. In a conscious consideration of the tension between spontaneity and intention in the creative process, she exposes the shift between the generative decision making in painting to the curated decision making of collage. Whether found or created, the mark is as important a vehicle of perception in painting as colour. So much can be deduced from a mark’s temperament, functioning like the adjectives or adverbs of a text. Laden or erased, heavy or light, Fourie’s descriptive mark is isolated as a found object from her palette and recontextualised in a collage, exploiting a double game of illusion and materiality.
Even if one is intellectually aware of the illusionary nature of perception, or the techniques employed by artists to create illusionistic spaces of pictorial depth, it does not prevent one from experiencing it. As such, this physiological experience sits at the edge of intellectual activity as a means of seeing the invisible. While Fourie’s exhibition is titled Lilac Chaser, an understanding of its meaning reveals it to be nothing to do with the colour lilac, but rather that which is invisible and mysterious. As David Gilmore crooned in 1969, “Green is the colour of her kind, quickness of the eye deceives the mind.”
Ref: Stephen Watson, 2010. The Music in the Ice: On Writers, Writing and Other Things. Penguin Group: South Africa.
Marco Beramini, 2016. “Lilac Chaser Illusion” in Vision, Illusion and Perception. [online] (www.reserachgate.net.)
Pink Floyd, 1969. “Green is the Colour” from the Album, More. Lupus Music Co.:U.K. Composed by Roger Waters, originally sung by David Gilmour.
Paul Senyol celebrates 10 years with Salon Ninety One
Salon Ninety One & Paul Senyol are truly proud and grateful to be celebrating a decade of working, growing and exhibiting together, as well as the beautiful friendship that has formed between Gallery and Artist over the years. Paul Senyol & Wesley van Eeden were the first artists to exhibit at Salon91 back in October 2008 in a two-man show, beautifully named Under These Skies. The Gallery and Artist will be marking the event and this special relationship with an exhibition titled Recollectionary: 10 Years of Paul Senyol & Salon Ninety One. This solo show takes on the form of a mini-retrospective featuring works on paper, board, canvas, as well as found objects and more, and will be accompanied by the launch of a publication, centered around the Artist’s development and innovation between 2008 and 2018. Recollectionary is on view at Salon Ninety One from the 19th of September until the 20th of October 2018.