This work is part of a series of shrines dedicated to the African Red Toad (Shismaderma carens), which are found in the southern parts of Africa. I was priviledged to witness a pairing ritual twice in 2016 and in 2018 on a smallholding close to Johannesburg. These toads are not listed as endangered and have evolved to live in close proximity of humans. Their tadpoles developed a special breathing flap on their heads to scoop up oxygen from above a soiled body of water, depleted of oxygen. All other tadpoles breath through their skins under water.
'For those who have to Wait' - Build your own Shrine. (2018)
70x25x25cm, Wood, glue, bamboo, water-based paint.
As the shrines started to line up in my studio I realised that they have become markers on a journey, objects demanding some of our time. In my quest to try and find the 'soul of the thing', where a mere object becomes 'a Thing that matters", these objects all reached a moment in my process where they 'looked' back at me and I knew that they somehow freed themselves from me as their maker.
Shrines are always elevated, inviting you to step off your path and spend a moment in contemplation, in prayer, to renew your hopes and dreams. Shrines can be adorned with little gifts and selfmade objects. I make these from scraps I found discarded by other artists in the building.
'For those who are on their way up' (2018)
140x90x150cm Wood, screws, epoxy.
Plastic mixing plates are revived into small paintings about the "Amphibian Lifestyle'.
A video plays inside on of the shrines. I made it in November 2017 while lying flat on my stomach for hours next to a pond after a highveld rainstorm. I am still creating more shrines to display at the Belofte 13 at Kunstliefde Gallery in Utrecht, The Netherlands, opening on 9 June 2018. After that the shrines will be moved to a managent and personal development training program in Driebergen to be displayed from end of July 2018.