After working for over five months artists David Griessel, Henning Ludeke (creator of an augmented version of Hieronymus Bosch’s ‘Garden of Earthly Delights’) and Van Zul Gunter (a jewellery designer/3D artist) under the direction of ‘imagneer’ Durnezpresents an original South African masterpiece. ‘Lord Candle Head’s Throne of Delirium’comprises of 25 framed limited edition prints, a hand held 3 dimensional sculpture with incorporated tablet and it’s tailor-made interactive art experience.
Fig. 1, View of Henning Ludeke’s augmented artwork of Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights being engaged with, Art@Africa.
Art@Africa’s director Dirk Durnez has created memorable art experiences for over thirty years and been at the forefront of applying new technology in international museums and edutainment centres. Durnez states that “it’s about telling meaningful stories and creating the relevant environment to immerse people into”. He “bases ‘his’ designs on the synergetic concept of three spaces; the ‘cognitive space’ (the content), the ‘social space’ (where the person and his/her experience is central) and the ‘dream space’ (the area of the symbolic, where fantasies and memories from the past and the culture trigger associations”. Dirk’s concepts are based on the principles; ‘hands-on’ (interactivity), ‘hearts-on’ (touching the soul) and ‘minds on’ (shifting perceptions and mind-sets).
Durnez’s meeting and interaction with both artists has been an autonomous journey itself. Durnez loved ‘how Griessel’s work took him on a journey in his universe of melancholia, displacement and the traveling nomad going somewhere’. His drawings may appear to be a whimsical fantasy scene but in actuality the themes attempting to be visualized are often serious and extremely personal. There is a certain truth, discomfort and humour when experiencing Griessel’s art.
“My art walks the tightrope between playfulness and solemnity, whimsy and pensiveness. Occasionally I use picture book illustration as an idiom to express my ideas. Illustration in itself is not seen by many as forming part of the ‘Fine Arts’ family, but more as a bastard child spawned in a scandalous union between word and image. My pictures are my own restless bastard children: They are not completely at home in fine art galleries but also not comfortable to be safely encased between the covers of a book, like their creator they feel safest in the periphery, the threshold and the boundary.”
Themes like; the travelling nomad, displacement, alienation, destruction and melancholia are examples of that which is current in Griessel’s mind. Interspersed among these works are whimsical and often quite arbitrary references to literature “that include, Franz Kafka, Nietzsche, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and T.S Elliot”. Griessel finds inspiration from literature as he does from art history. Griessel’s art method making is an act of building a parallel universe, one drawing at a time.
Dirk met Henning Ludeke two years ago at ‘Woordfees’ where Dirk immediately realized that one day they would work together. In response to whether digital and augmented reality is real art, Ludeke answers that “artists are known as rule breakers whodeeply explore the senses and how we perceive the world through them. Technology influences our everyday life and the way we make and experience art”. Dirk adds that “the immersive interactive augmented experience adds a social context contrary to Oculus and VR experiences”. This new art form’s interactivity allows the canvas to come to life as one steps into the artwork and become part of the story.
The augmented visual reality of Lord Candle Head’s Throne of Delirium has a touch of magic and leaves a memorable impression. There are no boundaries as the screen becomes fully three dimensional as you walk hand in hand with the creatures that meander in an almost weightless and endless world. This work helps you to break out, to dream and escape in a new world where we somehow relate to and a world that we somehow want to belong to. It touches your soul, it resonates with you, it moves you.
Fig. 2, Lord Candle Head’s Throne of Delirium, 2019, Ink on Paper, Art@Africa.
Additional artists exclusive to Art@Africa who are participating in the Turbine Art Fair 2019 Gregg Price, Maureen Quin, Talita Steyn, Barney Bernardo, Eben, Ndabuko Ntuli, Kara Schoeman, Kobus Walker, Lauren Redman and Marke Meyer. The pallet of artists and their art which we bring to the 2019 Turbine Art Fair is rich. Price spontaneously draws mystically constructed expressions in a moment. Quin emotively sculpts skeletal human forms with her typical stylized clay application where she elongates and creates tension with her wisdom of anatomical displacement. Steyn, although a painter, sculpts forms inspired by the esoteric which with painted taboo tattoo iconography on them. Bernardo paints abstract expressions inspired by pseudo-autonomism using only a toothpick which are composed from three meters back. Eben is self-taught and draws hyper-realist charcoal drawings whereby themes of identity, time and how humans leave marks on the world and each other are explored. Ntuli, not only a practicing sangoma, is also an artist who creates sculptures using found objects and is inspired by African culture and iconography. Schoeman specializes in interactive video installations, glass and metal sculptures where she casts recycled aluminum artworks. Walker paints in a neo-impressionistic style of where he remolds South African ‘Pierneef and Tretchikoff’ landscapes to his own indigenous and contemporary context. Redman primarily is a photographer now exploring hyper-realist painting of banal portraiture. Meyer creates elegantly composed female bronze casts locked in a moment, from a world known to a world unknown, which are inspired by poetry written by himself.