Andries Botha Solo exhibition – BEING HERE(and there)
ANDRIES BOTHA SOLO EXHIBITION – BEING HERE (and there)
When I was young and wondering what it would be like not to be what everyone wanted me to be, unpredictable thoughts became ideas, and then my life. The idea that took shape instantly, in immediate and unpredictable circumstances, was that I imagined myself as a sculptor, when I did not even know what sculpture was. I saw a picture of Michelangelo’s slaves lying on my friends coffee table and asked “…what is this?”. “Sculpture, my mother loves this stuff“, he said. “I am going to do that “, I said. So that’s the story of my art career; an illogical necessity that keeps upsetting everyone, but me.
In-between the what, the how and the why not, hovers a much longer story, eventually leading me to 2016 and this exhibition with Trent Read.
I was in the familiar space of changing my mind, retreating from the public eye into my own private space, when Trent showed up at my Durban studio. He saw some of my older work, which I was in the process of cleaning and restoring, along with some new drawings and offered me a show. The journey from the private into the public has always been scary. Exposing the intimate as a form of public intent, subject to market force and critical commentary can become a perilous dance. I confess I have always been wary of this, shying away from normal commercial gallery leylines.
Most of my major works were made as part of my own meditation on self within the frightening or
challenging South African space. I exhibited (mostly abroad) as part of larger group shows, then crated and stored the (hidden again) work. Still not sure what all this means but I sort of understand my life of creativity as a embodiment of this ambivalence or uncertainty. Making sculpture and then not sure how or where to show it, or if I should at all…,creating the work and making more…
Now I have all this work which speaks of 40 years of sculpture making. And some other stuff, all neatly stored away. Strange when you look at your life in this way and realise it’s peculiarity…
The works do speak for themselves and have their narratives secretly woven into them. Speaking or analysing your intent flattens the work and destroys the subtlety and mystery of everything. This is the viewers work. Upon reflection, I return to similar concerns and merely express them differently. I soon learnt that material and mode of construction was as important as the ideas that were being explored.
I try to locate the human(ity) within the visceral, social and cultural spectacle. The complex South African context unashamedly frames the universal human experience. Mine as well. It is difficult to imagine
expressing myself in any other way.
I am going to show 4 major works that frame a history of art making, a sort of love affair in a time line, if you wish. In addition there will be about 10 large digital prints and 3 multi media Marquette’s, or three dimensional drawings.
I am pleased to be back in the private contemplative space. Yes, I am hesitant to be journeying into the public again, but happy I am doing it with Trent. So I come into another circle/cycle.
Interesting how life is…