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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

LIFE IS AS COMPLEX AS IT SEEMS (article first published : 2007-08-19)

Durban artist Cheryl Penn will present an exhibition of mixed media work in the Main Gallery artSPACE in Durban on August 20 at 18h30.

Life Is as Complex as It Seems explores the use of symbols perceived and utilised by cultures around the world. Long before the advent of the written word, man used symbols to convey what he did and did not understand of the world. Realistic and abstract symbols are used in Cheryl Penn’s work to represent the unseen – the constellations, emotions, belief systems and the like are part of what we don’t visually see.

When contemplating a landscape for instance, one is not generally aware that soil is composed of iron, aluminium, silica, water oxygen and bacteria. The list is endless … it is complex and of far greater substance than it seems at face value.

By sometimes layering her work with successive strata of symbols in a dense arrangement, Cheryl Penn is commenting on the complexities that surround our experiences and that by acknowledging the intricacy of what we don’t see, the visual reward can be enormous. In contrast, by isolating a symbol, removing one signifier from the ‘pack’, one can contemplate a singular complexity.

Life Is as Complex as It Seems opens on August 20 at 18h30 – all are welcome – and runs at artSPACE durban until September 8. More information on 031 312 0793.




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