Written by Briony Haynes


Artist Brendon Edwards outdoor studio


Author Rodney Trudgeon stated “Beethoven’s 5th is like Michaelangelo’s David, a monument to art and humanity”, however, like all great works, popularity and intemperance cause the impact of these great works to become “dangerously blunted”. South African artist Brendon Edwards believes that these greats must be visualised and reinterpreted in new creative ways to recapture their stupendousness.

Returning to his home country after his early years in Zimbabwe Edwards studied the Philosophy of Aesthetics and Logic before becoming an artist. His high-impact, large-scale works can be seen across South Africa and internationally.

Edwards’ most recent work, ‘A Symphony of Spheres – Beethoven’s 5th’, will be installed in Art@Africa’s Franschhoek sculpture garden located opposite the Huguenot monument from September 24th. The work is a visual representation of Beethoven’s 5th symphony. A masterpiece that encapsulates triumph over adversity, considered by many critics and composers to be the greatest musical composition of all time. ‘A Symphony of Spheres’ is a patinaed steel sculpture that represents opposites: earth and water, man-made architecture and organic flowing forms of nature. Its colour is selected to draw perfectly from the South African landscape and its material to represent every building’s internal skeleton. The work is a timeless, visual vibration of Beethoven’s 5th transformed into an immersive three-dimensional experience. In explaining his work, Edwards communicates there is more than a man-made and natural connection, something that lies much deeper in human existence.

This begins with a shape that has played a monumental role in Edwards’ work, circles. He states, “The spherical form is the language of our universe, the most inclusive language from the beginning to the end of time. From the tiniest atom to the infinite space of galaxies, all creation is spherical”. The circle is important not just in science but in art and history, it is the language of our DNA. The circle has transcended across continents and time. It was considered by Ancient Greeks to have been the most beautiful shape, with its ideally geometric ratio and proportions. This idea was reborn in the Renaissance and carried into ecclesiastical architecture as well as religious iconography. Even present-day mathematicians and philosophers see the circle as ideal, with no weak spots and perfect symmetry. A shape that much like music, surpasses the barriers of humanity, unites and allows people to feel whole. The circle is primitive yet modern, symbolising infinity, completeness, inclusivity, growth, time, life, seasons, planets, man, woman, and the universe, right down to our language.

Edwards presents his work as a way to visually allude to an idea Plato labelled as the “Music of Spheres”. This is an ancient philosophical concept that demonstrates that the spatial relationship of the Sun, Moon, and planets form a musical scale. The Pythagorean theory states that the distances of the planets from the Sun and the distances between these bodies are represented by musical intervals of tones and half-tones, etc.

Brendon Edwards – Symphony of Spheres


Artist Brendon Edwards

Edwards has labelled his genre Muse-spheric as a nod to this philosophical concept but adding emphasis to the idea of art and music. The reference to Muse refers to the Muses; nine deities in Greek Mythology who presided over the arts and sciences, becoming specifically associated with music. What is ever present in Edwards’ spherical work is this underlying idea that music is at the very core of our existence, born from the universe and considered by many intellectuals as the universal language of mankind. It has the ability to cross borders, ethnicities, time, race, and religion; uniting humans together through pure emotion. Edwards’ studies and understanding of the world, philosophy, and artistic language allow him to harness an incredible talent of creating art by taking complicated subjects and representing them in a simple aesthetic form.

The unveiling of Brendon Edwards’ ‘A Symphony of Spheres – Beethoven’s 5th’ will take place on Saturday 24th September 2022 at 11:00am in Art@Africa’s Franschhoek sculpture garden.



Brendon Edwards


Brendon Edwards

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