Louis Chanu Bronze and Nickel Sculptures 2015

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© 2016 Louis Chanu

Louis working with Francesca Van Oudtshoorn

The inspiration for my work comes from nature, its varying qualities of light, its organic shapes and the complex relationship between people and nature...with the element of Time causing endless change. My great passion and yet my greatest challenge is to interpret what I see around me through the medium of sculpting. To achieve this I am constantly experimenting with new methods and materials. This exhibition is particularly exciting for me as I have developed a new and unique technique, used here for the first time. With this procedure I have been able to coat the bronze with various metals to create a nickel coated patina, which I believe has never been done before, in this way. This has opened a whole new dimension to my work and is therefore a major focus of this collection. This has given me the ability to use the contrasting characteristics of the two metals to highlight certain facets of a sculpture, underlining the theme which is being explored. Nickel creates a highly reflective surface, while bronze has a less reflective finish, which tarnishes over time. The title of the exhibition is Reflections, and the collection portrays various aspects of this concept. As nickel’s sheen reflects its environment and the changing light conditions, it creates a fascinating effect as the sculpture and its surroundings interact dynamically. On a deeper level the images can draw the viewer into a contemplation on the effect of time on nature, incorporating such issues as ageing, the meaning of balance and the relationship between ourselves and the environment. I love the female form, as the shapes are organic and gentle, so I have used this as my basic model and moulded the nickel and bronze around it. It gives me a great sense of meaning and pleasure to present these works that will be a permanent reflection of our unique era. I hope you enjoy this journey with me‌.

THE DANCER | bronze & nickel | edition 15 | 1020 mm x 510 mm x 300 mm

EMERGENCE The emergence of the human figure in all its beauty refers to humanity’s roots arising from nature. The flowers and plants still clinging to her body give relevance to the theme, as does the tree trunk shape of the base.

EMERGENCE | bronze & nickel | edition 15 | 980 mm x 680 mm x 270 mm

TWINS OF TIME The use of contrasting materials could be seen as a metaphor of ageing, moving from bright youthfulness to the dulling of age. The sculptures seen individually are a reflection of different stages of this progression.

TWINS OF TIME | bronze & nickel | edition 8 | 1300 mm x 1420 mm x 400 mm (including base) | available individually

TWINS OF TIME | available individually in bronze or nickel | edition 8 each | 800 mm x 750 mm x 400 mm (without base)

MOTHER NATURE Nature is in our hands...it is a mutual nurturing. Open hands releasing a cloud of butterflies portray the vibrant cycle of life that gives hope for the future.

MOTHER NATURE | bronze & nickel | edition 8 | 2900 mm x 900 mm x 550 mm (without rotating base)

SPLASH The teardrop shape of the body enhances the effect of an object falling into liquid, creating the dynamic splash pattern which results from the impact.

SPL ASH | bronze & nickel | edition 15 | 940 mm x 550 mm x 550 mm

CHARGE “To move quickly and purposefully forward” …the idea of no hesitation, that once you charge, the sheer momentum negates any possibility of going back…. There is a feeling of power and beauty in ths pose.

CHARGE | bronze & nickel | edition 15 | 1120 mm x 550 mm x 530 mm

CIRCLE OF LIFE The peace of her meditation and pose allows the butterflies to form a circle of light, almost a halo effect, around her. This circle of light also translates into a circle of life.

CIRCLE OF LIFE | bronze & nickel | edition 15 | 850 mm x 880 mm x 430 mm

BALANCE Everything in nature is about balance, and the idea of balance is very important to me, both physically and figuratively. This sculpture of a figure in a yoga pose epitomises balance. “Happiness depends on how you balance all your life’s equations between positive and negative experiences and attitudes.” Kall

BAL ANCE | bronze & nickel | edition 15 | 740 mm x 420 mm x 400 mm

LOUIS CHANU IN SUMMARY Louis was born in Johannesburg in 1968, and grew up mainly in Rustenburg and Swaziland. These places inspired a love of nature, organic shapes and simple activities that have shaped his sculpting career. Louis has always had a passion for transforming materials into three-dimensional shapes and one of his trademark features is that he loves experimenting with new materials. Louis started off with a garden sculpture collection which initially financed his passion for making original sculptures in wax or clay and transforming them into bronze. He has been sculpting seriously since 1989, and has worked primarily on two themes: People of Africa, and Women of our Time. His current theme, as can be seen in this unique collection, is primarily concerned with transforming bronze and nickel into shapes that best showcase the reflective and contrasting quality of these two materials. Louis’ sculptures have an emotional quality that gives his bronzes life and energy. Louis lives alongside a river on a country property in Grabouw, Western Cape with his wife and three children. His other passion is flying. He has been flying paragliders and paramotors for the past 20 years, and has more recently built his second 2-seater aircraft, which he has flown extensively around Southern Africa and Namibia. 2007/8 | Louis raised an unprecedented amount for the Arabella Captains Golf Day Charity Auction. 2009 | Richard Branson acquires one of Louis’ bronzes, “Virtual Reality” 2010 | Dept of Arts and Culture purchase and display “Forgotten Games” at the CTICC for the World Cup. 2015 | Louis develops the unique nickel coating technique which transforms the bronzes and adds a completely new dimension, allowing him to work towards his solo exhibition “Reflections”.

www.chanuart.co.za +27 (0)21 859 3419 +27 (0)82 304 9696 P O Box 1186 Grabouw 7160 South Africa beth@chanuart.co.za


Photography: Steven Greaves, Hanlie Green

Design: Carina Lochner

Printed by Castle Graphics

LOUIS CHANU | REFLECTIONS www.chanuart.co.za 082 304 9696 beth@chanuart.co.za