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PLACES (article first published : 2001-10-5)

Opening on October 16 at 18h00 at the NSA Gallery is Places, an exhibition of recent works by well-known Durban artist Aidan Walsh.

Aidan Walsh was born in Durban and trained at the Natal Technical College, and later in London. A professional painter all his adult life, Walsh has also been influential in the South Africa art scene since 1961, as a gallerist and curator. His works are collected in numerous collections (public and private) locally as well as in France, the United Kingdom, India, Australia and New Zealand.

He is known for his fascination with places of history. Not only historic spaces, buildings or sites, but also those spaces that hold personal memories. Nostalgia comes to mind, but these are also haunted sites. In his new body of work to be presented at the NSA, Walsh focuses on these sites that are experiencing psychic phenomena and apparitions, plus various sites and places with spiritual connections.

The art critic Lloyd Pollak stated “Walsh concentrates on the commonplace and the nondescript, yet the results are far from mundane, for Walsh provides an astonishing revelation of the inalienable strangeness that underlies the everyday surface of things”. It is this strangeness that is also a unique characteristic of his work.

“I only paint things which affect me: if something does not touch me, it is not worth the effort,” says Aidan. Hidden in this statement is a hint of an acute artist’s eye for the unusual and sublime in the everyday, realised in paintings that do not depict the strange and bizarre, but reveals itself unexpectedly, like a ghost would.

The exhibition runs until November 4.




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