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POFADDER AND BACK (article first published : 2004-10-6)

Durban artist Aidan Walsh will be exhibiting with Lize Hugo in their joint Pofadder and Back at Cape Town’s João Ferreira Gallery from October 6 to 30. The exhibition was seen at the NSA Gallery in Durban last year and was very well received.

“Remember the old joke about reaching Pofadder?” ask the artists. “A recklessly jovial name in a very distant, desolate, survivalist landscape, the little town represents the furthest one would travel; symbolically, the farthest one could get. While in many ways a typical dorpie of its kind, getting there implies (or used to imply) the most arduous of journeys, the ultimate achievement of exploration of South African geography.

“The joke is that once you get there, there may only be a snake if you kick over one of the grim-grey, sun-baked desert rocks. Nothing else. In a jolly metaphorical sense, you have to be kind of odd to go there, but the absurd trip would provide its own real, personal awards: If you reach Pofadder, you’ve been there - as simple as that.”

Aidan Walsh and Lize Hugo undertook this fairly unstructured journey to observe, record, reflect and come back to paint, the resonances and significances of their trip and its results record exactly that irony of the ‘nothingness’, the ‘nowhereness’, of Pofadder. Their journeys have taken them to the real Pofadder. It has also taken them to places such as Putsonderwater, Prieska, Port Nolloth, Pella, Verneukpan and Hope Town.

What results is a remarkable body of work – a contemporary visual contemplation of South Africa’s ‘other’ landscapes, its human presences and social orders. Individual in execution, the resultant exhibition of two artists in tandem in theme is an order of captivating paintings: gently nostalgic, coolly empathetic and inevitably lyrical.

Lize Hugo lives and works in Cape Town, and has exhibited widely in South Africa and abroad. Her work is represented in numerous public and corporate collections. Aidan Walsh was born in Durban, where he lives and works. His works are in many public and private collections, locally as well as in France, the United Kingdom, India, Australia and New Zealand.

The João Ferreira Gallery is at 80 Hout Street, Cape Town. Contact 021 423 5403 or 083 278 2086, fax 021 423 2136, e-mail: info@joaoferreiragallery.com or visit www.joaoferreiragallery.com




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