Sunday, May 29, 2022

Paulo Louw and Jacki McInnes exhibition at Sophie Lalonde Art

The relatively new Sophie Lalonde Art gallery, situated at the CBD, continues to host international artists.

Since opening its doors a few months back, the gallery has offered a brand new dimension to the local visual arts enthusiasts.

It has since exhibited a kaleidoscope of works from various local, regional and international artists.

For the month of August Sophie Lalonde Art is hosting a South African based duo of Paulo Louw and Jacki McInnes.

“Common themes such as the destruction of nature, consumerism, materiality, and communication are what tie these two artists together,” says the gallery owner, Sophie Lalonde.

The collection, 13 pieces, consists of a variety of unusual mediums from ink on paper, steel cable on paper, tire soot, oil and aluminum mesh.

“It is a supreme irony that we live in a contemporary scenario in which global culture, predicated on the notion of progress is, in fact, entirely based on the relentless destruction of nature,” McInnes says.

She says her current work interrogates the contradictions inherent in present day human thought and behavior.

This, she adds, is especially with respect to the disconnection between the society’s material aspirations, rampant consumerism and wasteful practices and their inevitable effect on the planet and ultimate future.

“Key areas of interest relate to the forces of attraction and repulsion and, secondarily, to the speed at which we hurtle resolutely on our chosen trajectory into an uncertain future. I explore the concept of ‘anomie’ ÔÇô a term referring to the loss of personal or societal norms of behavior,” McInnes says.

The term ‘anomie’, she explains, was popularized by French sociologist Emile Durkheim in his influential book Suicide (1897).
“Durkheim was of the opinion that anomie arises as a result of a mismatch between personal or group standards and wider social standards, or from a lack of a social ethic, which acts to produce moral deregulation and an absence of legitimate aspirations,” she says, adding, “A leitmotif of the effect exerted by the magnetic field runs through my work speaking to the concepts of the loss of our societal moral compass and to the binary opposing forces to which we are subjected, like nature on nature; man on nature; man on man, and inevitably, nature on man.”

Lalonde describes the underlying concept of Paulo Louw’s recent work as speaking of separation and the resultant attempt to connect with others through the use of contemporary communication media like sms or email.

“The materials used address the concepts she is grappling with. Some works are hand crafted and labour intensive and thus very tangible and tactile, whilst yet others are digitally created, and are thus far less tangible,” Lalonde says.

She says the speed and intensity of pace that characterizes the use of this technology seems to be in direct opposition to the attitude of reverence and respect and the investment of time with which letter writing was handled in the past.

“Moving between past and present, Louw has made works created from the components of dated black typewriters, which have been totally dissembled and the individual components then reassembled by being attached to Perspex sheets.” Lalonde says Louw has also made works using words gleaned from individual SMS messages and translated into a physical presence by the twisting of colored telephone wire. These, she says, were joined together to form irregular passages of script.
She says yet another series used digital photographs taken by means of cellphone camera and composed to form grids, each containing 660 pictures.

“These serve as a reflection of the many fleeting moments which, when joined together, form the interactive relationship opportunities we share.”

Lalonde says ??Louw is presently engaged in the creation of a series of etchings, as well as in the making of a number of typewriter works. The exhibition, which opened on July 31, will run until August 27.

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper