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UCA GALLERY, 46 Lower Main Rd, Observatory, Cape Town


1 July - 24 July 2009

Lycanthropy in Pink, 79 x79 cm, Mixed media on canvas, 2009, J.M. Grey

A group exhibition of artists who choose to use traditional media for expression in inventive and innovative ways, ‘exploring the unknown’ so to speak. The artists featured will be Christiaan Diedericks, Julia Mary Grey, Wonder Marthinus, Albert Coertse, Shani Ame Nel, Conor Ralphs, Hannalie Taute and Theo Kleynhans.

Because of the fact that we never get to see the 'dark side of the moon’ as the moon’s rate of rotation has become (almost) synchronized with its orbit, it has become synonymous with the unknown and unexplored places of ones own imagination. The unknown factor that exists and permeates everything but which cannot be explained and which is veiled from conventional conscious knowledge. Certain artists in the past and present have always found it necessary to explore this 'other’, unknown/sub-conscious side of themselves and their imagination, and in so doing have created works that can be playful, fantastic or dark and ominous.

Being freed from the necessity of depicting the world in a traditional naturalistic way by new forms of media like photography and film, artists have been able to explore and offer new forms/shapes and imaginary landscapes and in so doing find new ways of expressing the subconscious world (which is another symbolic link/association that we have given to the moon - the dream world) and fantasy worlds.

In dark side of the moon the selected artists all have this quality of exploring and experimenting, be it visually or conceptually, by using the traditional mediums in a new and exciting way, pushing the boundaries of the imagination and giving us new insight as to what art can potentially be or should be, perhaps, to test the limits of the imagination.

Neil Nieuwoudt

The exhibition will open Wednesday evening at 6pm on the 1st of July and close on the 24th of July 2009. Refreshments will be served.

These paintings are scene-setting for a greater body of work detailing an overriding psychotic narrative. I am interested in story-telling with the unconscious visuals that surface when a dream landscape becomes waking reality; in much the same way that the images within an illustrated children’s book when read together, might articulate the story should no text be provided.

In preference to the `white cube’ aesthetic, I aim to create (where able) an entire world of exhibition space within which the art may stand. In this regard, visual elements from the paintings make their way into the room around oneself and provide a better sense of psychotic clutteredness.

This creation of an entire world is an example of my resonance and pull towards a type of visual that most inspires me, often found within outsider art. `Art brut’ or `outsider art’ is an attempt to define art produced by people on the fringe of society - often untrained, and often bordering on the edge of sanity. The idea of a visionary visual mission and always sourced back to the spiritual is where I feel most at home.

This notion of mission and need to tell some form of story, becomes alive during psychosis and in the aftermath, may be understood as one’s own psyche needing to resolve some issue by telling a story to itself. It is also a confrontation with a part of one’s being that believes it might be the centre of some game; some story; some universe - at once both an exhilarating and terrifying concept, and one that needs to be confronted in order to achieve real rationality and real humility in relation to ultimate creation. Despite having formal art training, my goal is not to fit within contemporary theoretical parameters, but rather to produce work that both God (by my own definition) and I might be proud of.

work by myself, pierre, liza, christopher and norman (in order).

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