Affordable Art Fair 2021
Winning works: Will Roux
James de Villiers
The exhibition closes on 28 August 2021
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edg2020 Gallery extended an open call to any and all artists to submit artworks for our online Affordable Art Fair (AAF) and many excellent submissions were received. The work was subjected to adjudication by a panel of art academics. Although First, Second and Third Places were awarded, several of the selected works merited placement, making the task of the adjudicators exceptionally difficult. edg2020 will certainly pursue further collaboration with the selected artists.
The First Place in this exhibition goes to Will Roux, for his work, Reimagining the Artist in the Machine 3, although all three his submissions were of equal. Born in Johannesburg 1981, Roux is mostly a self-taught mixed-media artist with paper as main medium. He participated in over 40 group, three solo and one two-person exhibitions. The artist says about his work: “Reimagining the Artist in the Machine 1, 2 and 3 were conceived during a revisitation of his 2016 Sasol New Signatures works, Artist Ex Machina, that addressed modern-day technologies as tools of the artist. The three works create an interesting symbiosis between machine and artist in the form of computer programmes intersecting with hand-embroidery.” The work has been selected since it plays with the different versions of 'in the machine’: ‘ghost’ in the machine, ‘mind’ in the machine’, ‘artist’ in the machine’, referencing our relationship with digital technology. Computer circuit board is embroidered as a meditative act and crystals are added talking about that magic happening in the synergy. The digital patterning somewhat simulates Rorschach testing, pointing to the psychoanalysis of the relationship of computer to human. In a way a religious or spiritual association emanates in the patterning referring to cathedrals and other religious architecture. Well done Will!
The Second Place goes to James de Villiers for Vortex. Born 1954, Pietermaritzburg, De Villiers is Johannesburg based. He says: “I have been constantly progressing with artmaking in many forms since 1972. Major themes are derived from Eastern philosophies and culture, particle physics, cosmology, history and ecology. My art is a meditation on the nature of energies, the meanings of chaos and order, the processes of decay and regeneration. I attempt to map the invisible by energetic and spontaneous manipulation of art techniques and materials, subverting printmaking into intuitive expression and allowing free-flowing brushwork.
Vortex is a combination of screenprinted digital generative art and spontaneous brushwork guided by the subconcious.” Vortex is an emblematic work that reminds of Hokusai’s wave and immediately evokes the wave of covid pandemic. The work has been done quite graphically, which enhances the imagery of statistics or pins indicating occurrence. It is a striking work that lingers in the mind.
The judges could not decide on a single Third Place and therefore awarded three artists this category, although others could also have won it. The Third Place is equally shared by Alta Botha (for re/place II, although both works are similar in standard); Katja Abbott for Keeping the Wolf II (although both works are good); and Nicole Rowe for Pink Stain (although the two works are almost equal). This factor was quite a crucial factor in the adjudication process, since it demonstrates the artists’ sustainable art production processes. Alta’s sensitive work talks about boundaries and veiled realities/spaces, which is relevant to our time of crisis, uncertainty and engagement with the unknown. Katja’s expressive work talks about fear and vulnerability and could similarly be related to our time of crisis at present. The environment in Nicole’s technically competent work work is twisted and warped and could also be speaking to our experiences of dealing with the impact of covid on our world as we have known it before.