FIRE THIS TIME
30 June – 30 July 2005
A touring exhibition featuring a series of monumental fire paintings: PLANETARY CYCLE by Sandile Zulu.
Zulu's paints are the harnessed natural effects of fire, water, earth and air. His brushes are both natural, organic materials (pumpkin runners, leaves, roots) and synthetic urban debris (wire, scrap metal, paper). As canvas he uses materials sourced from his local environment, from cotton and leather, to plaster, perspex and drum hide. When Zulu began working with fire, in 1990, he saw its action as an allegory for the violence that surrounded him. As the apartheid state employed fire and firearms as tools of repression, he began to experiment with the media as a form of resistance, a revolutionary act – literally a way of "fighting fire with fire". Responding to what he called the "winds of change" in the following years, he began to incorporate wind, air and water into his processes. He explains:
"Fire and water, wind and soil allude to life, to creation and destruction, to colonisation and decolonisation, to revolution and liberation, to purgation and cleansing, to purification and renewal"
Most recently, he has been working with huge canvases,
on which he has burnt forms by laying down various materials on the fabric,
including pumpkin runners and leaves, (resulting in organic, interlocking
forms), small wire triangles (giving a cross-hatching effect), and circles of
paper (leaving polka dots). For
the first time, he is introducing elements of colour by sewing onto the canvas
minute squares of red fabric, heightening the decorative patterns, and leaving
one wondering if the canvases are bleeding...
Sandile Zulu was born in 1960, in Kwazulu-Natal,
South Africa, and now lives and works in Johannesburg. After graduating from
the University of the Witwatersrand in the early 90's he exhibited extensively,
locally as well as in the United States, Germany, France, Sweden, Scotland and
the Seychelles. He has received many international awards and is represented in
public, corporate and private collections around the world, including the South
African National Gallery. Sandile Zulu is presented in association with the
Michael Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town. His canvases will be complemented by a small
selection of works by artists using erosive media.
FIRE IN ART:
AN AFTERNOON OF SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION
with SANDILE ZULU and special guest EL ANATSUI
Monday, 4th July, 2005, 2.00-6.00 pm
Doors open 1.30pm
An afternoon of talks, demonstrations and discussion
to explore the creative potential of fire as both a tool and metaphor in
art-making practice. A panel of
speakers will cover the history of pyrographic arts and explore ideas
surrounding the contemporary use of fire in performance, conceptual and
process-based art. Artists Sandile Zulu and El Anatsui have made extensive use
of the fluid and fertile potential of fire as a conceptual element within their
work. Following a chaired discussion with open debate and question time, El Anatsui will give a practical
demonstration of his technique. As a diverse range of ideas are raised by this
subject, there will be an opportunity to continue any heated debates over a
buffet of flame-grilled delicacies in the Gallery's courtyard from 5pm.
Tickets £5 (£10 with BBQ). Student Rate: £4 (£8
Limited Places. Booking advised. Pay Bar.