How I make art | Angus Taylor | TEDxJohannesburg

Angus Taylor makes art. Art, he says, is sometimes tangible, but is never fully graspable. In his view, the artist is not the source of the art, but is perhaps the conduit through which the art flows. And art started flowing through Angus’ very capable hands when he started learning to make somewhat crazy, non-practical, non-utilitarian objects with his father and brother as an eleven year old. At the same time, his mother was tutoring him and his sibling in the musings of sociology, philosophy and still life drawing, from that early age. Today, his work displays a uniquely powerful sense of place and is as faithful to its provenance as art can get. He draws inspiration from the harsh South African sunlight, with its strong contrasts, and from the rich and varied soils and geology of the land. The result is sculpture so real it’s almost alive. In this talk, delivered at TEDxJohannesburg 2015, Angus gives us rare and privileged access into his process.

Angus Taylor is fascinated by aspects of quantum theory, including the notion that the part is as significant as the whole. His ideas on the anti-monument—leading him to place marginalised figures on the same level as traditionally centred (or central) ones—are derived from this understanding. Furthermore, the perspective of the viewer, although unseen, is active and present in every work. Taylor sees his attempts to rid his work of a sense of elitism as a comment on the contemporary art world. His work furthermore refers to the notions of stability, that everything is constantly changing and in a state of flux.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at