OCEANIC | Solo Exhibition by Adele van Heerden

Opens 04/02/2023 until 03/03/2023 at 131A Gallery

www131agallery.co.za  131 Sir Lowry Rd, Foreshore, Cape Town


French writer and intellectual Romain Rolland originated the term ‘oceanic feeling’ to describe a feeling of being one with the external world as a whole – a sensation of eternity and mystical experience, the affective state that disappears the boundaries of the ego and underlies all religious experience. Many thinkers champion it as joyful, connective and integrative, with poet and author Jackie Wang describing the oceanic as “a revelation, the illumination of an already existing communalism and the direct experience of our embeddedness in the world.”

My own literal and metaphoric oceanic feeling was initiated by a hip condition that curtailed the long walks and trail runs that had until then been a source of great pleasure and inspiration to me. As a substitute, I started swimming in the seas of Cape Town almost daily. When open water conditions were dangerous I acquainted myself with some of Cape Town’s municipal pools, including the Long Street Baths and the Newlands and Sea Point Promenade pools. 2022 felt like my summer of swimming.

Through my work I want to inspire a sense of calm and peace in times that offer many reasons to feel uncertain and anxious. Drawing on the observations and investigations that led me to produce these water-landscapes, my hope is to illicit a sense of appreciation for the important ecological, social, political and recreational role that water plays in our lives and to inspire further thought, dialogue and appreciation on the topic.



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