Monday, 24 August 2015

Festival visual artist Niël Jonker

Since my first visit to McGregor more than a decade ago I have been blessed with many surprising and rich experiences on subsequent visits. 

So it was when taking a break during a week-long painting trip this past autumn. I met a new resident Daniele in the home of my close friends Hester van dr Walt and Lies Hoogendoorn. Daniele was enquiring about the process of making sculpture and I realized the reason for having packed a box of modeling wax at the last moment when preparing for this trip. After plundering my friends' garden shed and finding some bit of wood to act as a base and some wire to act as an armature, I proceeded to apply the wax to form a standing human figure of about thirty centimeters high. At this stage I was still wondering what to render when the model spontaneously appeared in the form of Lies. Another weekend trip a fortnight later to making finishing touches resulted in the start of yet another sculpture, this time of Hester in her favourite chair. Since another famous McGregor character, the family dog Pixel had snuck into the sculpture of Lies, I decided to add Karel Kat to the Hester figure, rubbing up beside the armchair.

Back home I proceeded to make silicone rubber moulds of the sculptures and send the wax copies off to the foundry to be cast in bronze. These small sculptures led to further gestural portraits of artist friends and serve as the fulcrum of my exhibition at this year's McGregor Poetry Festival. I am looking forward to the opening on Friday night at The Lion House as I am also anticipating many pleasurable conversations during the mornings when I will be in attendance at the exhibition. But most of all I am excited to be attending Lies' eightieth birthday celebrations the weekend before where a much more thorough tributes will be offered to this exceptional woman.

An exhibition of sculptural portraits in bronze and mixed media, alongside a selection of retrospective figurative work. Open for active studio participation with the artist every day.

Opening: Friday 28 August 5 to 6pm

Artist walkabout: Daily 9 to 9:30am

Open: Fri/ Sat. 9am to 4pm, Sun 9am to 1pm

Viewing by appointment: 0826517414


number (10) on the Poetry Festival Map

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