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MEETING CARL ROBERTS (article first published : 2006-11-15)

The launch of a book is always an exciting event, especially when the book is a local production, produced by one of Durban's Galleries, Bonisa Private Gallery and it is an illustration of the life and art works of Carl Roberts, also local, whose stunning sculptors are knocking the socks of the art world. Carl lives and has his studio in Hillcrest.

Author Neil Wright with his two contributors, Jeanne Wright and Liesel Wright has captured the essence of Carl Roberts and his creative art. Jeanne Wright provided the Academic analysis of the work and is the heart of the book while Neil skilfully penned the background to this bold and imaginative character - upbringing, family and career so far. A thoroughly easy -read, far from a documentary, for those interested in art and particularly those who have a love for it.

Liesel Wright interviewed Carl and this gives some insights into Carl as a down to earth human being.

This is Bonisa Private Galley’s first publication and Carl Roberts is the ideal subject says Neil Wright. Carl Roberts has been exhibiting his sculptures and works at Bonisa Private Gallery in Kloof since it opened in 2001 and in this time, author and artist have had much opportunity for exchange, enhanced by the fact that both men share a commonality having studied in Grahamstown and Rhodes University. Neil and Liesel's intimate knowledge of Carl, not only behind his sculptures but also as the family man, husband and friend has allowed for interest and honesty on every page.

Jeanne introduced Carl to Neil originally; the two had been at Rhodes University art school together. She is a highly regarded practicing sculptor and holds a BA and MA degree in Sculpture at Rhodes University. Having lectured at Rhodes and written for local and national newspapers on fine art critic, she has also served as a trustee for the Nelson Mandela Municipal Art Museum in Port Elizabeth and has exhibited with the GAP Group and in the Eastern Cape. Reading this chapter for many of us, gives one a wonderful lesson in art.

Liesel, a passionate photographer has been very supportive of local artists over the years and is the inspiration behind the Bonisa Private Gallery.

And what of the artist himself? Like all artists who are successful, his work is striking and unique. One of the main contributors is the subject himself, Carl Roberts. He provided a great deal of the material, spending time with the authors, making the task a pleasure.

Carl's work is well known internationally. According to Brendan Bell, Carl's work is playfully magical, its strength derives from sound craftsmanship and an ability to coax a great subtlety and humour from what to others is mere detritus "That is no mean feat"

Neil Wright launches his book on November 26 at the Bonisa Private Gallery, 47 Ronald's Road in Kloof. This 128-page book will be available directly from the author on 031 764 0288 or by e-mail bonisa47@mweb.co.za




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