Goodman artist Gerhard Marx was invited to be festival artist at the 2014 Clover Aardklop and I had the pleasure of working with him and photographing his work. The Garden at Night is a show about nature, about humanity, and about how those two things connect with one another. The intense dedication to detail and perfection is this artist’s greatest attribute while also working with very unique media.
View of an “Animal” carcass through which can be seen two of Marx’s big “Carpets”.
“Mother and Child”.
An inside-view of one of the “Animals”.
An example of the kind of material used to make up images on the polished black surfaces.
The stand for the “Animal” carcass is also designed and engineered by Marx. It is flexible in terms of position and can swirl around to create many different interpretations.
One of Marx’s “Animals”. The carcasses are made through a long and careful process of cutting and fitting pieces of bracken together, always finding the exact right bend to achieve perfect balance.
“Vertical Figure”. This beautiful work made up of a polished and worked black surface with ground down plant root material takes the human form back to its origins as part of the planet’s miracle of life.
The counter weight on the stand of “Vertical Figure”. Designed and engineered by the artist, this add-on links the work to the maps as a sort of map-making instrument.
This work is made up entirely of cut-up pieces of maps with no extra lines added. The artist shows his dedication to the subject matter superbly.
The title view of the exhibition. “The Garden at Night” is a beautiful title and brings to the works an element of mystery, referring to the ongoing growing processes we never truly get to witness due to the slower nature of growing things.
“Scion: child” is a bronze sculpture but was first sculpted with small pieces of bracken.
These editioned works have to with the bifocal nature of human sight. It connects to the works all focusing our attention to that which we may not always be able to truly see: the busy organic world living all around us.
An almost full view of the installation.
The material used to fit together the “Animal” carcasses.
Theatre lights used to light up the two carpets on display making them pop out in the gallery space and almost seem like they are back-lit.
The two large carpets. Plant root material used to give a bird’s eye view of maps as they are from above. These works especially makes you see the earthy elements of what underlies all of our roads and buildings, which may not always come across on the maps we use.
A portrait that I took of the artist, Gerhard Marx. He is signed at one of the most reputable galleries in South Africa, the Goodman Gallery. Gerhard is a perfectionist in his artwork and even when installing his work. It was a great pleasure working with him.
“Horizontal Figure”. This work was my favorite in the exhibition. The detail the plant-root material lends to this almost magical work is phenomenal. To me, it also connects to the oh-so-holy human body heading back into the earth and forming part of the on-going natural recycling process.
Two new maps, or “Carpets”, made using Google Maps.
A detail of one of the “Carpets” made from plant root material.