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

AGGREGATE (article first published : 2008-03-7)

Currently running at the Bank Gallery is Aggregate, an exhibition of selected works by Cape Town-based artist Paul Edmunds who lived and studied in Pietermaritzburg for six years. This will be his first exhibition in Durban since his solo show in 1994 at the NSA (now the KZNSA).

Paul Edmunds’ works are typically fashioned from unconventional materials and constructed for the most part in a labour-intensive fashion. While two new works and three older pieces have not been put together along thematic lines here, their new configurations and juxtapositions allow for some of his dominant concerns to emerge.

The two new pieces, Sift and Aggregate, respond to the saturated hues and balmy climate of KwaZulu-Natal. The former, a large woven screen-like work, serves as a permeable barrier between exterior and interior in the manner of a brise-soleil, while Aggregate is made from aromatic camphor wood, the material Edmunds first used when learning to carve in Pietermaritzburg.

Reef, made from hundreds of carefully incised and assembled polystyrene cups, was first shown in 2000, while Knurl, made from finely carved polystyrene punnets, comes from 2002. Weft, his sole venture into videography, was initially produced in Durban with the assistance of Greg Streak in 2003 and was recently re-made with Brendon Bussy.

”Evident in all of this is my concern with pattern and process – simple geometry, repetition and rhythm,” explains Paul Edmunds. “I am always interested in how the accretion of simple gestures results in complex, evocative objects which are open to wide interpretation, but which remain concerned with their physical attributes.”

The exhibition also serves to launch Paul Edmunds’ new catalogue, which features a selection of work completed since he left KwaZulu-Natal in 1996. The book contains two short essays by Brendon Bussy and Nic Dawes respectively, as well as a detailed commentary written by himself. The book is richly illustrated and contains photographs of his work by a number of photographers, most notably Dave Southwood and Mike Hall.

Paul Edmunds’ work is to be found in many private and public collections, including the Durban Art Gallery and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 1993 he won the Volkskas Atelier Award and was last year given the Tollman Award.

After the exciting and well attended Light Show education programme, Bank Gallery will be continuing along the same vein, with workshops and tours relating to Edmunds’ work. The gallery aims to tailor each session to the needs of visiting groups and so booking is essential. For more information visit www.bankgallery.co.za or contact Robert at the gallery on 031 312 6911.

Aggregate runs until March 27, thereafter the gallery will be closed until May 14 for renovations. The next exhibition will be Stephen Hobbs’ High Voltage on May 15.

More information from the Bank Gallery at 217 Florida Road, Morningside, Durban, 4001, on 031 312 6911 or email: info@bankgallery.co.za or visit www.bankgallery.co.za




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