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

ALAN ALBOROUGH (article first published : 2000-11-10)

One of the most talked-about exhibitions at this year’s Standard Bank National Arts Festival in Grahamstown was that of Alan Alborough, the current Young Artist Award winner for Visual Art. This eagerly-awaited Standard Bank touring exhibition can be seen by Durban art lovers at the Durban Art Gallery.

Durban born, Alan achieved his BA fine Arts degree at Wits and his masters at Goldsmiths College in London. He presently lives and works as a full time artist in Cape Town and has received many awards and scholarships and held numerous exhibitions.

Introducing his work for the Festival, Professor Alan Crump stated that over the past decade Alan Alborough’s work has “shown a unique sensibility of highly refined and immaculate pieces, whether they be installations or "sculptures". There is no other artist working in this particular genre in South Africa.

“At first, viewing his work appears to be strongly conceptual, alluding to intangible ideas and unrecognisable forms, but on closer scrutiny these objects' components are all too familiar. How the artist manages, through a subtle and highly intelligent sensibility and sensitivity, to transform the mundane and often ordinary everyday functional objects into a sacred iconic composition is what makes Alborough's work so original and magical. The combining and transforming of matter into something which we might call mysterious and "beautiful" is akin to the workings of a visual magician.”

Alan Alborough constantly challenges the boundaries between the usual categories of sculpture, painting and frame and remains indifferent to traditional divisions.

Renowned Durban artist Andrew Verster says of Alan Alborough: “He wants to load his works with as little baggage as possible and to let them speak for themselves. He has "respect for the viewer's intelligence". How then are we to approach these works, works which at first sight would seem to offer few clues to their meaning? I would suggest with an open mind, one cleared of preconceptions.”

Visit the artist’s impressive website at www.alanalborough.co.za




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