Published 24 March 2023 in Exhibition Blogs
Last week, I got to interview Joyce Carreria and talk about the build up to the Save the Artist exhibit, and the main idea behind its conception. This week however, I have decided to get the perspective of an artist and a young enthusiast, Eve de Jong and Nicholas Bagalwa.
Eve contributed a series of three works for the exhibition, as seen below. She mentioned how she found it a bit difficult at first to work to the brief, thinking of ways to use the rhino-shape. Asking herself, “Do I want to be related to the rhino?” Nevertheless, Eve, currently working with e-waste, thought to merge her current medium, using old technology, with the idea of making objects into something new, for new emotions to provide new interpretations and thoughts. While rhino’s may be on the path to extinction, Eve spoke of how artists will never become extinct, for while technology might replace methods and means of creation, it can never replace our imagination. And so although Eve found it a challenging process, she acknowledges that it is important for artists to be seen, and to participate in all that is offered to you, to take the opportunities. Along with this is the opportunity to be involved with good causes, to be vulnerable to create something of yours for someone and something else.
Eve De Jong, White Home
Eve De Jong, Red End
Eve De Jong, Black Ctrl-Alt-Delete
The works that Eve contributed, White Home, Red End, and Black Ctrl-Alt-Delete, are all about change and constant imagination. White Home, focuses on creating your own space to fit into a diverse environment. Using the keyboard pieces and wiring, Eve refers to the connection and communication home. With Red End, there are no keyboard keys, but rather, only wires; cables connecting to the motherboard, finding a way to the end. She speaks of trying to separate the rhino and the artificial intelligence and where we create. To keep the rhino, nature, and technology separate. Nevertheless, the rhino is at the bottom, as the stable foundation. Black Ctrl-Alt-Delete is about the restart, unlocking change and (re)imagination. “Artists have to make the world light, so that we can show others how we perceive the world.”
Through these works, she is sharing light and commentary on how and what artists see. As did Joyce, Eve has taken a positive stance: as with the rhino and wires, nature and technology are separate, but we are working together independently in that journey. She is constantly creating and recreating stories through her found objects.
Her experience at the opening event in Feb was also a positive and enthusiastic one. Eve felt that the Viewing Room manages to give artists reason to experiment and play, creating a professional and comfortable space for artists. Sammy Muller opened the exhibition, giving a speech communicating exactly how artists feel and experience their creative processes. Eve loved the various stories communicated through the works, and the conversations that delved deeper into those stories. Eve has also found that making a serious issue lighthearted, as we do well, also makes that issue and the discussions surrounding it more accessible and approachable - and Lucy and the gallery managed to create that space for easy conversation where the art was given a space to be appreciated.
I also spoke to Nicholas, a young man who has been frequenting the gallery over the last year and really enthusiastic about discovering art. He found that Sammy’s opening speech aptly communicated the gravity of the concept, acknowledging artists’ frustrations and experiences. However, this gravity lifted as everyone walked around, spoke to each other, and experienced the art. He found an appreciation for the group of artists’ ability to create a diverse collection of works all centred around the same concept, and the same shape of the rhino - creating a singular space to discuss their diversely independent journeys.
- Cassandra Comins