The Premises Gallery
Braamfontein Theatre Precinct, Johannesburg Civic Theatre complex
Martli Jansen van Rensburg
dal 29/9/2006 al 20/10/2006
Tuesday - Saturday 10 - 17

Segnalato da

Stephen Hobbs


Martli Jansen van Rensburg

calendario eventi  :: 


Martli Jansen van Rensburg

The Premises Gallery, Johannesburg

'Fourme' consists of glass art objects, installations, animation and a video documentary of the glass blowing process that will be broadcast at the Premises and Market theatre simultaneously.

comunicato stampa

‘Fourme’ consists of glass art objects, installations, animation and a video documentary of the glass blowing process that will be broadcast at the Premises and Market theatre simultaneously, this total presentation comprises the artists first solo exhibition of glass works. Since graduating from Tshwane University of Technology (the only glass studio on the continent where students can learn techniques in glass blowing) in 2000, Martli as dedicated 3 focused years training and practicing as an apprentice and designer in England, Germany, Scotland and Sweden, working with world class master blowers and cutters.

Apart from presenting her aesthetic and abstract concerns, the show also has an educational aim. Using her own work as a platform, she wants to expose the public and art students to the different processes involved and the many possibilities for progress in this developing market. Glass art, specifically glass blowing, is uncharted territory in the South African art scene. These glass sculptures are an example of how the medium of glass can be used to create non-functional, contemporary objects.

Martli sees herself first as a conceptual artist exploring the realm of abstract forms, and second as a glass blower, who practices a craft or skill. She puts forward a persuasive case for glass, for the physical process of making it, and its ability to express abstract truth, which has traditionally been the territory of fine art. She testifies to the symbiotic relationship that develops between process and form, which, for her, has resulted in a deep respect and understanding for the power of the primary forms. Using breath to give life and form to the formless, which is the process of glass blowing, has archetypal resonance. Here, more patently than in many other traditional fine art media, the artist’s body, her very life force becomes the tool through which ideas take shape.

What makes Jansen van Rensburg’s work stand out is that she does not buy into the hype of current trends. Interest in pure form as a revelatory device has lost currency in contemporary art practice, and been replaced by the lure of pure surface. Wherever we look, we are surrounded by a swamp of relative pluralisms, where primacy and purity have no place. Martli’s ideas and work are decidedly against the flow out of the swamp so to speak. She taps into a noble tradition, begun by Plato and continued by modernists like Mondrian, of finding maximum meaning through minimalist simplicity. It is about negotiating clarity, being surprised by what is most familiar. Circles, discs, cones, pipes, cylinders - the simple forms that make up the fabric of our existence. Through time and use, glass has acquired a host of associations, of which art is not one. Tumblers, tot glasses, vases - we use these objects every day, so it’s difficult to perceive them as meaningful art.

Jansen Van Rensburg’s mission is to help us see something much more than a functional container. She would like to reveal the magic of primary forms, to amplify the purr and pull of these simple, beautiful objects. She believes the objects are imbued with magnetic tensions and attractions. Like alien artifacts or futuristic fetishes, the shapes send signals that are decoded by the subconscious. Meaning in this space is not meant to be intellectual, but, very subtly, experiential. Sometimes she leaves a cylinder closed so it looks like a glass, but she suggests through the installation, that it is more than just a glass, it is a universal dynamic, a paradigm. Other objects will be cut open, seemingly unfinished vases, but they are peepholes, vortexes, flowers, gramophones. The simplicity of these shapes makes them highly suggestive, conducive to infinite metamorphosis. This is illustrated through an animation that will be exhibited in the space. In this way, she nudges the viewer away from habitual response, to look with wonder at the perfection of form, to discover holographic relationships, to think out of the square, to throw, as she puts it, the circle off center.

Opening: Saturday 30 September, 5 - 8 pm

The Premises at the Johannesburg Civic Theatre
Loveday Street - Johannesburg
Gallery Hours - Tuesday - Saturday 10 - 17

Robyn Magowan
dal 14/6/2007 al 22/6/2007

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