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1.618 (article first published : 2006-03-4)

An installation by Bronwyn Lace to take place at the KZNSA Gallery in March is the third instalment in the 2005/6 Young Artist’s Project, an ongoing initiative to support new work. The project is funded through a grant from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund and the Royal Netherlands Embassy.

Living and working in Johannesburg, artist Bronwyn Lace obtained her BA (FA) degree at the University of Witwatersrand in 2004. She has participated in numerous group exhibitions over the past two years and these include a series of exhibitions titled Negotiate at the Johannesburg Art Gallery in 2004 as well as participation in Intersections at Redeye Art, Durban Art Gallery in October 2005.

The title of the exhibition is 1.618, the decimal number for the “golden ratio” – the irrational number deemed to have the most aesthetically pleasing qualities (known as Phi) and developed by the artists of the Renaissance. For example, a golden rectangle - one built to those proportions - is thought to be the most attractive to the eye.

Working with the two dimensional schematic of Phi, Lace will translate this into a complex three-dimensional environment, working with a physicist and engineer. The space will be “built” using gut, allowing the viewer to physically negotiate the conceptual underpinning of Western Beauty. However, the result will not be ordered but will appear chaotic. The installation underpins Lace’s interest in notions of beauty and the relationship between science and art.

“My tools are scale and space,” says Bronwyn Lace. “I look to create environments into which a viewer will be absorbed. The process of my work is important to me. I begin with a core concept and a material that I feel works as a symbol for that concept, tending to use the same material or object en masse. I aim to make the space both charged and playful. It tends to give the feeling that one’s physical self is at risk of being caught up, tangled and captured by what surrounds one.

“It is through the intense process-driven nature of my work that I attempt to evoke and entice, twist and turn through aesthetics and materiality,” she adds. “I aim to unwind the ordered. I’m interested in beauty, its ability to seduce, for the experience to reflect the desire for sensual pleasure. I tend to be interested in the links between art and physics. Both disciplines use symbol to describe and explain the workings of our universe; the relationship between the artists’ use of image and metaphor to the physicists’ use of number and equation forms a basis for my concepts. “

1.618 runs at the KwaZulu-Natal Society of Arts Gallery’s Multimedia Room from March 7 (opening at 18h00) to March 26.




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