Where light and dark intersect
IT’S PRIME whale watching season, so if you’re heading up to Hermanus to check out the southern right whales, perhaps you’d like to get some culture at the same time.
Kali van der Merwe’s fascinating solo exhibition Fabula Nex is at the Rossouw Modern art gallery from next Friday until October 24. Next Saturday there will be walkabouts with the artist at 11.30am and 1pm for which you must book.
Van Der Merwe holds a fine art degree in sculpture, from the University of Cape Town. For Fabula Nex, Van Der Merwe combines creative photography, experimental film-making, soundscape design and taxidermy installation as her mediums of exploration.
Her work “transfigures external form in a search for the immaterial, traversing nuanced interconnections between death and life”.
Her artistic explorations take place in the dark, using the night as exploratory darkroom, she explains.
“Light is my medium and the world of form and beyond form my in-depth exploration.
“In a process that blurs the boundaries between photography and painting, light photons collect in photosite cavities of a digital sensor during long exposures. Image creation becomes an encounter in the dark with the unknown, which is slowly revealed over time with light.
“Unable to see what is happening in the moment, I work ‘blind’ until through the accumulation of light when the shutter is open, the final composite image is revealed on the camera screen, when the shutter closes.
“My methodology is deliberately rudimentary and haphazard, providing leeway for chance to intervene.
“Fabula Nex, is an exploration of death. Ever since witnessing my own mother’s passing 13 years ago, I have had a deep interest in the transitional moment where flesh and spirit separate and how that ephemeral yet real event leaves its trace on physical form. There is also a fascination for the effects death has in the breakdown of form over time in the process of decay.
“The animal subjects are pre- dominantly road kill, except for a fatal electricity pylon accident. In the high impact deaths at the agency of humans, the violence has left its devastation on a sentient creature. Here is a record of wild animals whose existence is fading as humans make ceaseless, avaricious incursions into their habitats.
“Situated in mythical, celestial tableaux, each image is intended as a praise poem to the life of that animal.
There is reverence for every form, yet the reminder that all form is ultimately empty is never far from my mind during creative explorations.
“With each image is an accom- panying ‘fabula’ – a story or tale of how the deceased body was encountered or gifted to me.”
Rossouw Modern is at 3 Harbour Road, Hermanus. The exhibition opens next Friday at 5.30pm. For more information and to book for the walkabouts, call 028 313 2222, email email@example.com, or go to www.rossouwmodern.com.