Paul Edmunds


1 October - 21 November 2009

Michael Stevenson is pleased to announce a solo exhibition by Paul Edmunds, his first at the gallery. Edmunds continues the investigation of pattern, form, symmetry and unconventional materials for which he is known, but here offers the viewer a new window onto aspects of his work. He writes:

Subtropicalia began with a short story I wrote recounting my childhood in Johannesburg in the 1970s and 80s and my enduring interest in skateboarding and surfing.

My work, which is characterised by a concern with process, pattern and material, tends to be received with an emphasis on its abstract properties. With Subtropicalia, using my story as a template through which to view the work, I track how memory, sensory phenomena and abiding interests inform my exploration of materials, forms, repetitive processes and design.

Among the works on show will be Sleeve, a large structure made from wetsuit material, cut into triangles and assembled into a 'hyperbolic parabola' - a form beloved of architects for its simplicity and stability. Its curves also recall the perfect concrete transitions and banks for which skateboarders are continually on the lookout while traversing the city.

The sculpture Foam is constructed from used skateboard wheels, while Roll uses a modular form derived from one of these wheels, altered and cast in polyurethane. In Period, Edmunds employs a material similar to that used in the manufacture of bodyboards to create structures that embody a series of growing and contracting waves. The sculptural installation Ply is a translucent helix made from forms that derive their proportions from a skateboard deck. Other works include paper cut-out wall pieces, the video projection Weft, and a small publication featuring the short story by Edmunds that gave rise to this body of work.

Born in 1970, Edmunds has exhibited consistently in South Africa since graduating with an MAFA from the University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg in 1995. His most recent solo exhibition was at the Bank Gallery, Durban, in 2008. Group shows include Summer 2008/9: Projects at Michael Stevenson; Production Marks: Geometry, Psychology and the Electronic Age at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, KZNSA Gallery in Durban and Goethe-Institut in Johannesburg (2007/8); In the Making: Materials and Process, Michael Stevenson, Cape Town (2005); and HIV(E), a site-specific project in Durban (2003).

Edmunds will exhibit concurrently with Meschac Gaba and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye.

The exhibition opens on Thursday 1 October, 6-8pm, coinciding with the Spring Art Tour. The gallery is open from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, and Saturday 10am to 1pm.

Edmunds will give a walkabout for the Friends of the National Gallery on Friday 9 October at 11am; cost is R20 (members and non-members).

Not available