The conventions addressed in this exhibition traverse various sectors, such as the social or human understanding of clothes/material as an indicator of status. Also our understanding of the physical limitations and capabilities of certain fabrics is explored; as well as the human relationship with raw materials. And human adaptation of these fabrics in order for our bodies to navigate the environment.
Tamzyn Varney has chosen off-cuts to explore the tentative relationship between human beings and the environment and how this relationship plays out in social dynamics. Her work represents the evolution of Earth sourced, raw materials to signify a state of human, social iconography. Her work ‘Septic Veil’ reveals the transformation of the accepted clothing item, the veil, into something grotesque and somehow socially unacceptable. This highlights the human attempt to regulate each other, as well as the environment. Another work, Untitled (passage) is once again representative of the interaction between humans on a social level. The physical process of moving through this interactive sculpture is indicative of social regulation with regard to acceptable clothing garments. The nature of the material lends itself as a physical manifestation of the restrictions that humans place on themselves within a social circumstance. In this sense, it is the unprocessed raw material that comments on Human social iconography. Unlike ‘Septic Veil’ which exposes human social iconography as representative of humans’ interactions with the Earth.
Elnette Viljoen combines discarded umbrellas and industrial felt to highlight the existence and possible destruction of the land under the weight of heavy human hands. The heavy, grey, industrial felt simultaneously represents the occupation of Humans on the Earth and the landscape itself. She literally exploits the nature of the chosen material in order to represent the landscape; and the mode in which the Earth may be disturbed by Human activity.
Larita Engelbregt explores the physiological needs and abilities of human bodies through handmade felt sculptures. She explores the influence of surrounding elements on the human body and the successive use of raw materials to counter act or enhance the affect of said elements.
Janet Ranson simultaneously explores the evolution of human society and as a result it’s evolving relationship with its surroundings. She forces ‘Human’ and ‘Earth’ together through her works entitled Hanging Trees and Toxic Growth. She forces the viewer to contemplate her choice of material and their physical relationship to each other.
Janet Botes focuses on a specific relationship between humans and plastic. She explores the material as a product of human ingenuity, as an integral part of our existence and as a pollutant.
Nina Faasen, Janet Ranson and Janet Botes have collaborated in a group land art initiative. The interaction is staged at an abandoned house between manipulated materials (cement, PVA, bricks, etc) and its existing counterparts (sand, grass, weeds, etc) to produce work relevant to the basic interplay between human (material) and Earth material.
Ultimately, this exhibition intends to explore existing physical and conceptual links between humans, materials and fabrics and establish others.