BIRDS IS Sculpture at Tokara Wine Estate
By Hendrik Theron

Bob Dylan is infamously quoted as having said that, “no one is free, even the birds are chained to the sky”. Melancholic as the sentiment might be, this is a reality that manifests far too quickly in many of us, without its presence even being realized. If left unchecked, the four corners of our lives will creep steadily inward and ensnare us in a daze of the mundane – even absolute freedom, as it were, when taken for granted, can become one’s cage.

It is left to those individuals on the fringe, the artist – that oracle of emotion and maverick of expression – to keep pursuing acts of creative defiance, and to keep pushing the sky away. It is through the medium of art that we are able, but for a moment, to take flight – to escape and transcend the boundaries of our every-day perception. Art, therefore, has the ability to elicit within us a sensation akin to tangible flight – a supernatural feeling of weightlessness, and an out-of-body insight into what otherwise passes us by in a commonplace stupor.

Otto du Plessis – Hornbill Woman

It is in this vein that IS Sculpture, in another celebrated collaboration with the Tokara Wine Estate, has postulated a summer exhibition, titled Birds, comprised of artists that defy the boundaries of what seeks to encage our perception. With vigour and ardour, whether in the study of the raw emotion that underlies artistic expression or the medium of expression itself, these artists weave epic narratives of our innermost struggle – absolute freedom cast against a self-created immure.

Sarel Petrus – Crossing 4 | Bronze and copper nails

Birds include artists such as Sarel Petrus, who needs no introduction for his intimate engagement with the avian form. Sarel creates work that resonates with a deafening tone the often sinister dance of our most cavernous emotions, which, when left to their own liberties, may come to define us. His sculptures are seared with the indistinct impression of love letters and tales of a romance otherwise forlorn, forgotten, and shunned from the light. His works are burnished with the remnants of a love that has taken flight – perhaps for good, or perhaps for bad.


Wilma Cruise – Higgity pickety my black hen | Ceramic and found object

Other staples from the IS Art Sculpture repertoire include Kobus le Grange’s prolific wood-sculpture, which has in and of itself become known for its defiance of form and neo-traditional allure. Wilma Cruise, Isabel Mertz and Marieke Prinsloo-Rowe are also featured as sculptors who elicit a whimsical and often nostalgic portrayal of playful emotions that transcend singularity and cut to the heart of our inner-child – where the fastidious observance of reality have not yet manifested. The exhibition further features the works of Alastair Barnes, Roberto Vaccaro
and Johan Theron to name a few.

Birds is a collection of sculpture that praise the liberation of emotion that art brings to the onlooker, and the artists’ role milling our perception and articulating the unidentifiable fragments of our being.

The exhibition will run from 6 December 2020 to 31 March 2021 at the Tokara Wine Estate.

Exhibition catalogue here 

For more information contact: / tel: (021) 883 9717
IS Art Gallery 29 Church Street, Stellenbosch, WC
IS Sculpture Tokara Wine Estate, Helshoogte
Road, Stellenbosch, WC

Alastair Barnes – Thrush | Bronze