On show until 17 April 2024
This exhibition takes a closer look at the synchrony in the complete Synchromies series by Swiss psychiatrist, psychotherapist and later-turned photographer Oscar Forel (1891-1982), published in 1961. The study of trees, their growth, their bark and identifying signs of events that the trees had witnessed were the crucial aspects in this series – that are truly fragments of a larger whole. The series consists of 53 macro photographs and two carpets differing in size and scale, projecting their harmonious and natural colours.
Nature, from the soil to the sky, has been the inspiration for many artists over time and still is today. This is evident with the selection of South African artists such as Bettie Cilliers-Barnard, Paul du Toit, Andrew Verster, and George Boys, to name a few, who explored the wonders of textured-conscious abstract innovations from the late 1950s. The selection of abstract works included in the exhibition has been paired with Synchromies to find harmony or reciprocal synergy, and enhance the ‘synchromy’ termed by Forel, derived from “symphony” with ‘phonos’ (sound) being replaced by ‘chromos’ (colour).
Today, a better understanding of plant life, its behaviour, growth, and decay has become vital to the rehabilitation of our ecosystem. This study posits a close look at a very topical issue while inviting you to explore the enchanted forms and colours that reveal the ‘art’ hidden in nature.
The second artist intervention with ‘the hidden synchrony’ recently opened, showcasing Durban-based artist, Karla Nixon’s (b1990), conceptual three-part installation. This ranges from Plexiglass to the most delicate paper strips to encapsulate and echo the celebration of movement and intentional fragmentation of form as synchrony between the artworks and photographs in its surrounds. These installations draw inspiration from and reflect on the significance of textiles as materials and objects that create a sense of security and personal expression in our lives. With the featured installations and the spaces that they create, Nixon invites the viewer to explore the delicate balance between chaos and harmony, fragility and strength, and to consider the moments where these dichotomies meet.
The overarching conceptual underpinning of Nixon’s art practice has evolved with lived experiences, exploring diverse themes such as middle-class white suburbia, philosophical concepts around transience, and the impact of capitalism on the concept of home. However, a common thread of space and place runs through these explorations – relating to the human urge to define and find sanctuary.