Date:18 February, 2019
Art in the Yard Gallery, Franschhoek, is proud to present Adriaan Diedericks’ seventh solo exhibition: “Continuum”. A sculptural exhibition centred on contrasting ideas of playful creation and haunting decay.
The idea of playfulness is present within Diedericks’ unique methodology; an unplanned process where he lets the materials almost assemble themselves until an emancipated form emerges. One piece informs the next, and so the body of work mimics the natural evolutionary process of creation.
“In this world only play, play as artists and children engage in it, exhibits coming-to-be and passing away, structuring and destroying … And as children and artists play, so plays the everliving fire. It constructs and destroys, all in innocence … Transforming itself into water and earth, it builds towers of sand like a child at the seashore, piles them up and tramples them down … The ever self-renewing impulse to play calls new worlds into being. The child throws its toys away from time to time-and starts again, in innocent caprice. But when it does build, it combines and joins and forms its structures regularly, conforming to inner laws.” -NIETZSCHE
As one of the leading contemporary South African sculptors of his generation, Diedericks’ mastery of the medium is beautifully showcased in his exhibition, “Continuum”.
Through the concept of rotting wood, Diedericks creates an analogy that stands as a metaphor for loss and destruction caused by man. This exhibition highlights his ability to create pieces that articulate a shared visual lexicon, however, when viewed individually, display a strong individuality and this speaks to the loss of identity within the post-colonial era.
The title “Continuum”, as a dictionary definition, refers to “A continuous sequence in which adjacent elements are not perceptibly different from each other, but the extremes are quite different.”
A continuing theme of Diedericks’ work is the capturing of naturally decaying substances, such as wood, into the permanent form of bronze. Visually, the work takes cues from wooden materials; some that are left in their natural form, some that have been shaped.
Further exemplifying the relationship between destruction and creation, he has made use of visceral and unconventional tools for sculpting; from the noble chopping axe to the modernised chainsaw, medieval craftsmanship sits in juxtaposition with industrialisation.