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EXHIBIT TWO (article first published : 2007-06-16)

Karabuni Hills Fine Art Gallery of Nottingham Road in the KZN Midlands will present a dual exhibition by two KwaZulu-Natal artists: bronze sculptor Sarah Richards and art photographer Kevern Sandalls. Well-known sculptor Llewellyn Davies will open the exhibition officially on June 29 at 18h00.

Sarah Richards has been creating bronze sculpture since 1997 and is currently living in the KZN Midlands. The ‘process’ of creating the sculpture is important for her and the early stages of modelling the sculptures are a time of discovery. She uses a mixture of mediums from wax and plastersine, allowing for fluidity, to rough concrete for texture, producing an adventurous exploration into the understanding of the chosen subject. In the creative process an intimate relationship develops between the subject and the sculptor.

“When I start a sculpture I don’t always know exactly what the sculpture will look like when it is finished,” says Sarah Richards. “It is a journey of discovery, as if the sculpture is already alive in my subconscious and I need to find it by playing and exploring with different mediums. I then have it cast into bronze and it becomes a permanent reminder of this process.”

Exhibit Two will show a diversity of sculptures; wildlife and domestic animals, birds and studies of the figurative form in various animated positions. The animal sculptures explore Sarah Richards’ love of nature, and wonderment at the different characters of each creature, through close encounters and study. The figure sculptures represent an emotional journey in discovering more about human form and action. They are based on her own personal experiences and observations. All her sculptures are cast at the Goodwin Foundry in the Midlands. Kim Goodwin is the foundry man responsible for the fiery transformation of the original sculpture into timeless bronze.

Sarah Richards teaches painting and sculpture in Nottingham Road. As part of the Midlands Meander festival in July, she will be running a creative workshop in the Umgeni Valley. For bookings and more information contact Karen Jonsson on 033 330 8195 or email: gm@midlandsmeander.co.za

Kevern Sandalls began his photographic career in 1988 and has been touring Southern Africa as a Wilderness/Safari Guide and Fine Art Photographer since 1993. His combining of these two fields of skill has allowed him to travel and photograph extensively throughout much of the remote and beautiful areas in this subcontinent. His travels have led him deep into the dry Central Kalahari; far northwest into the Namibian Kaokoland; East offshore to Mozambique islands; south into the forests and mountains of the Outeniekwas and many reigns in-between. The images in Exhibit Two show much of his love for the KZN midlands and Drakensberg foothills.

Kevern Sandalls’ passion for wilderness and wild places has drawn him to specialise in what he calls ‘nature study photography’. He describes this as a photographic quest to connect with and render the essence of an environment in an image. In order to do this, he believes that he has to master photographic technique and equipment, making them extensions of himself, and freeing him to focus on the beauty and spirit of the place he is in. He thus spends much of his non-touring time studying and experimenting with new techniques, and refining established ones.

A traditionalist at heart, Kevern Sandalls has stuck to the use of fine grain film, believing that it captures a much more detailed and deep image than modern digital cameras. He has only recently moved away from using photographic paper and begun to print on super-grade fine art cotton based papers, using carbon based archival inks. This modern process he believes has only recently reached a level which allows it to surpass photo papers in its quality and archival properties.

His work combines sensitive and deep imagery on possibly the finest quality photographic materials available. The results are moving and powerful works of art.

Sarah Richards and Kevern Sandalls have been partners and collaborative artists for the past five years. They draw on each other’s diverse and complementary skills, sometimes even running nature based creative workshops together. Much of Sarah Richards’ recent work has been augmented by Kevern Sandalls’ detailed photographic studies of the subject matter. Her experimentation with diverse mediums and drive towards artistic exposure has nudged him into new areas of photographic expression and presentation. It is clear that the teamwork of these two artists has elevated them both to new levels of creative expression.

Exhibit Two opens on June 30 and closes on July 19. Gallery hours are from 09h30 to 16h00 daily. More information from Sarah Richards on 083 707 0126.




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