Paul Edmunds: Season

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Season Paul Edmunds

— Season Paul Edmunds — STEVENSON JOHANNESBURG 4 July – 9 August 2013

Texts by the artist

There was nothing unworldly about my father’s death. It was a deeply corporeal experience, a solid reminder that animals grow old, get ill and die, if they don’t first meet a violent end; our tenure in human configuration is limited. As that process unfolded, I found myself lured into a more intimate, sensory encounter with the elements, plants and animals around me, and – in a broader sense – my experience as a human animal, attracted to a large orb suspended in a near-vacuum, sustained by a thin patina of suitable conditions, warmed there by a star. Although the earliest work here – Moon – dates back to 1997 when I gave it to my father, the objects, images and written observations here all emerge from this heightened exchange with natural phenomena.


Season 2013 Skateboard wheels, brass, cable 95 x 24.5 x 16cm — Two skateboard wheels, each covered in a knurl whose depth varies across its surface, fix each other’s position and orientation. —



Pole, Model, Season, Axis, Sole 2013 Skateboard wheels, brass 6.7 x 4.8cm; 4.5 x 6.6cm; 6.6 x 4.6cm; 4.6 x 7.5cm; 6.7 x 4.9cm — A regular pattern – variously altered and arranged – is incised into polyurethane skateboard wheels, exploring surface, gravity and orientation. —







Moon, Flip, Season, Sole Installation view



Sole With pale underbellies, palms and soles captured by gravity, animals remain upright. Pigment gathers on exposed backs and heads, shielding them from the sun, perhaps as camouflage too. As a fisherman hauls a barbel up the bank of the Liesbeek, the struggling fish exposes a murky white belly, and a little later, a freshly run-over squirrel reveals the same thing. — Stones Polished by waves and brought to shore on tides caused by the moon’s gravitational pull on the earth’s waters, these stones are a loyal facsimile of that heavenly body. — Birds White-necked ravens and red-winged starlings at the upper cable station at sunrise, flourishing around human settlement. Unconstrained by walls and unfettered by gravity, they chart the curve of the planet’s surface. — Held for an instant at the apex of her arc, the buzzard is turned, carried by the wind in a lazy sweep – the start of another stitch – as she works her way downriver. — Acorn The rolling acorn spits out a complex rhythm, forged of its shifting, eccentric load and the irregular topography of the tarmac.


Moon 1997 Stone, PVC-insulated copper wire 9 x 13 x 12.5cm — The smooth form of an eroded stone is closely tracked by a weave the structure of which recalls the accumulated, tumbling gestures that result in this spherical object. —


Season 2012 Stone, PVC-insulated copper wire 14 x 15.5 x 13cm — As they follow its equator, wires woven onto a stone are arranged so that one side of the object darkens. —


Sole 2012 Stone, PVC-insulated copper wire 12.5 x 14 x 16.8cm — An array of wires proceeds from the equator towards the poles of a stone. As the wires approach the upper pole, darker tones become prominent; towards the lower, lighter tones dominate. —


Flip 2012 Stone, PVC-insulated copper wire 13 x 11.5 x 24cm — A mostly black covering of wire follows a stone’s contours, interrupted only by a splash of bright colour, its contrast revealing some of the weave’s characteristics. —


Shadow In the wind, the tree’s largest branches yaw about centres on the trunk; smaller branches have their centres on these, and this diminishing procession of arcs traced by swaying boughs advances outwards to the leaves which swing and roll about their anchor points. Projected by the sun, the branches and leaves betray their position in space when the wind sets them in motion. Shadow planes pass over one other, and they shift in and out of focus, reconstructing an approximation of the stirring three-dimensional structure above. — At first, the Tipuana shadow was cast on the wall opposite. Now it’s made its way across the road in a series of passes, like high water marks tallying the sun’s seasonal ascent in the sky behind. — Model The sun’s first rays catch the topmost flanks, beginning a daily traverse which models the mountain in light and shadow. Towards dusk, the last light withdraws along a dry shrub’s outermost branches.



Orbit 2012 Polypropylene mesh, cable ties; approx 80 x 230 x 130cm Stone, PVC-insulated copper wire; approx 20 x 40 x 16cm Detail on inside back cover — Two objects – one large and porous, the other dense and impermeable – pit their heft and volume against each other. —


Model 2013 Polystyrene 153 x 435cm — Fixed to the wall, an array of regular polystyrene tiles, with facets changing in size and incline, wraps around a series of corners, host to light’s play across the surface. —



Surface 2013 Tyvek 177.5 x 101cm Detail on inside front cover — Several layers of closely registered triangular incisions articulate a surface using tone and depth. —



Shade 1, Shade 2 2013 Linoprints 191 x 110cm each Editions of 10 + 2AP each — Misregistered, shifting latticework initiates a complex play of light and dark, surface and depth. —



Shift 2013 Pencil wall drawing 178 x 199.5cm Edition of 3 + 1AP — Thousands of lines rest shadow-like on the wall, tracing a series of circles whose centres shift on a curving trajectory. —




Shade 2, Shade 1, Surface, Shift Installation view


Paul Edmunds was born in 1970 in Johannesburg, and lives in Cape Town. He graduated with an MAFA from the University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, in 1995. Recent solo shows have taken place at Stevenson in 2011 and 2009; and at RH Gallery, New York, in 2011; previously he exhibited at Bank Gallery, Durban; Art on Paper, Johannesburg; João Ferreira Gallery, Cape Town; and the Mark Coetzee Fine Art Cabinet, Cape Town. Group shows include The Rainbow Nation, an exhibition of three generations of sculpture from South Africa, at Museum Beelden aan Zee, The Hague, in 2012; Coming of Age: 21 Years of the Artist Proof Studio at Johannesburg Art Gallery (2012); Impressions from South Africa at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2011); and Production Marks: Geometry, Psychology and the Electronic Age at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, KZNSA Gallery in Durban and Goethe-Institut in Johannesburg (2007/8). He won the Tollman Award in 2007, and in 2010 was awarded an Ampersand Foundation residency in New York.

JOHANNESBURG 62 Juta Street Braamfontein 2001 Postnet Suite 281 Private Bag x9 Melville 2109 T +27 (0)11 403 1055/1908 F +27 (0)86 275 1918 CAPE TOWN Buchanan Building 160 Sir Lowry Road Woodstock 7925 PO Box 616 Green Point 8051 T +27 (0)21 462 1500 F +27 (0)21 462 1501 Catalogue 72 July 2013 © 2013 for works & texts by Paul Edmunds: the artist Front cover Model, 2013 (detail) Inside front cover Surface, 2013 (detail) Inside back cover Orbit, 2012 (detail) Editor Sophie Perryer Design Gabrielle Guy Photography Anthea Pokroy, Mario Todeschini Printing Hansa Print, Cape Town


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