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Printmaking and Drawing 2003 | Goodman Gallery Johannesburg

Artist Statement:

'The body of work to be exhibited for this exhibition, is divided into two primary components, namely Printmaking and Drawing.

The prints include large-scale etchings similar to, and including the pieces recently exhibited at the Sasol Wax Works Exhibition, and which were awarded first prise in their category. These etchings included mezzotinted shaped plates in combination with deep blind embossing, depicting aspects of the human condition as related to religious and fetish archetypes/ stereotypes. I am interested in the contrasting extremes of the black and white surfaces as a device that heightens the tension in the subject matter.

This tension is further emphasised in the negative and positive shapes of plates and embossings: the densely saturated blackened and modelled forms contrasted the linear and shaped embossing's which are defined only through the shadows they throw into the recesses of the paper. This sets up a play between the delicate whiteness and the intense density and saturation of the black printed image.

This interest in extreme contrast is taken further into some of the drawings which have been initially embossed in a printing press and then developed with dense, solitary and isolated charcoal images, the results are far quieter than much of my previous work. Some of the images function through a rather "dark" sense of humour, while others are more openly critical.

Although formal aesthetics are of greater importance in these images they still are secondary to my main intention which is an ongoing observation and exploration of human interaction on both physical and psychological levels. The tensions and abrasions that these interactions cause in our daily lives are what drives my image making processes.

Also included on this show is the completed series of Disasters of Peace , a collection of etchings that has been in progress for the last 3 years. This will be the first time that the series will be exhibited in its entirety. This series of 16 small plates are responses to incidents and actions, reported in our local media, of the increasing and continuous acts of social and criminal violence, the ongoing unnecessary deaths in our society. The initial inspiration for the series was taken from Goya's series of etchings, "The Disasters of War" made in the early 1800's as a direct response to the atrocities of the Franco / Spanish peninsular war of that time.

I hope to finalise this series of etchings in a very limited edition collectors book for the show. The exhibition at Goodman Gallery is an opportunity to pull together the two main aspects of my image - making interests as they have developed since my last exhibition there in 1998. My concerns in many cases are similar but the treatments and approaches to the subject matter has altered.'

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