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23rd Aug 2022

Architect Africa Online

Africa's Leading Architecture Aggregator

Art cultured

Whether as part of home decor or as in gallery exhibitions, eye-catching art sculptures are popping up everywhere, providing as much visual inspiration as debate 

WORDS: NICKY OBEL AND STAFF REPORTER

Gone are the days when imposing art sculptures could only be admired in museums or in the exclusive spaces of art collectors. Today, art sculptures and large installation artworks can easily be incorporated in our homes and gardens – both as valuable investment pieces and as part of our spaces’ interior decor. Although many of us may be familiar with showcasing art on our walls, sculpture is fast becoming a popular medium to display. No matter its shape or size, the imposing three-dimensionality of a sculpture will make a bold statement in any interior or exterior home space.

Angus Taylor’s Conduit series: Sit (Red Jasper)

ART IN THE HOME

Gina Mollé, chief curator at the Everard Read gallery in Johannesburg, agrees art in general has the ability to greatly add to the look and feel of a home, and sculptural works are no exception. She says using art sculptures as an interior design element adds texture and variety to a house’s spaces and also serves as an interesting talking point when entertaining guests. Also, don’t worry if you covet a specific sculpture for your home but it happens to be in another country. Just follow the example of committed art collectors who don’t allow distance to stop them in their quest to acquire specific works. “Collectors either ship or air freight their favourite pieces all over the world,” says Mollé. “Larger installations are cast together piece by piece as directed by the landscape gardener, interior designer or architect, but always according to the artist’s vision.”

ART IN THE GARDEN

Speaking of landscapers, while sculptural works can enhance your home’s interior and garden, there is another type of art sculptures that is naturally striking – sought-after trees, like the cycad. Often called “trophy trees”, they are valuable enough to even need special insurance cover, not unlike man-made sculptures.

Guy du Toit’s Hare Holding Glass (Wine)

ART IN THE GALLERY

However, if you are ready to get out of the house and into a gallery space to enjoy thought-provoking art, the Everard Read gallery in Johannesburg is the place to go. Renowned artist and sculptor Nandipha Mntambo‘s new solo exhibition Agoodjie opened this month. Known for her figurative cowhide works, Mntambo’s art practice addresses ongoing debates around traditional gender roles, body politics and identity. “All the works I have made to date centered on the themes of metamorphoses, memory, life and death,” she says.

Agoodjie is no exception. Meaning both “backbone” and “the one who comes from behind”, she says of Agoodjie: “On the border of myth and reality – the story of the Agoodjie is the same. This army of women was both feared and celebrated, and how their story has been simultaneously deleted and mythologised form the building blocks of this exhibition.” Agoodjie is on show until November 6.

Deborah Bell’s The Sentinels I -XIII

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