Art Insure

Paul Edmunds


Moon 1997, Stone, PVC-insulated copper wire, 9 x 13 x 12.5 cm
© Copyright 2013, STEVENSON. All rights reserved.


Moon 1997, Stone, PVC-insulated copper wire, 9 x 13 x 12.5 cm
© Copyright 2013, STEVENSON. All rights reserved.

Moon (installation shot)

Moon (installation shot) 2012, polypropylene mesh and covered copper wire,
Unauthorized cellphone photograph

Tone 5

Tone 5 2011, pencil on paper, 90 x 70cm
Image courtesy Stevenson


Weft 2008, Digital video, no sound, 4 min 5 sec


Sleeve 2009, Wetsuit material (neoprene) polyester thread, grommets, Approx 210 x 310 x 310 cm
Image courtesy of Michael Stevenson Gallery


Ply 2009, Polypropylene, steel, 190 x 115 x 168 cm


Foam 2009, skateboard wheels and cable ties, 24 x 50 x 4 cm

Current Review(s)

'Subtropicalia' and 'The Street'

Paul Edmunds and Meschac Gaba at STEVENSON in Cape Town

An exuberant flurry of colours, of textures, of decorative objects, of tables with rolls of hand printed paper, greets the viewer entering Benin-born artist Meschac Gaba’s The Street. In Africa, the centre of economic and social activity in the community is on the street, and it is this buzzing arena which provides the source material for Gaba’s work.

Gaba does not present objects found in up-market boutiques, but turns to the materials employed in informal trading. This trade is something integral to the economic structure of Benin (and something with which we are quite familiar in Cape Town as well), so as a viewer one remains perpetually aware of the link these works have with the economy. Closer inspection of the surfaces of the various framed works in the Colours of Cotonou (2007-9) reveal hundreds of small circles cut from Beninese bank notes that almost completely conceal each of the wooden frames. This motif is given extra weight by the recent global financial crisis and the way the perception of a country is coloured by the state of its economy.

01 October 2009 - 21 November 2009


'Subtropicalia' and 'The Street'

Paul Edmunds and Meschac Gaba at STEVENSON in Cape Town

In the first solo exhibition by Paul Edmunds at Michael Stevenson, Edmunds continues the investigation of pattern, form, symmetry and unconventional materials for which he is known.

'Subtropicalia' began with a story Edmunds wrote in his childhood, which he now uses as a template through which to view the work, tracking how memory and sensory phenomena inform his exploration of materials, forms and repetitive processes. The exhibition will include Edmunds’ sculptural forms, 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.




01 October 2009 - 21 November 2009

'Tone', 'Who's Afraid of the Crowd?' and '50g and Tlogo'

Paul Edmunds, Penny Siopis and Lerato Shadi at STEVENSON in Cape Town

Who's Afraid of the Crowd

In Who's Afraid of the Crowd Siopis continues her longstanding interest in the tension between form and formlessness, figure and ground. Her new body of work draws on the idea of 'the multitude'. One potent source is Elias Canetti's Crowds and Power (1981), where Canetti's swarms, masses, fires, rivers, seas, forests stimulate Siopis to reimagine the relation between the individual and the multitude, between the particular and the mass. As before, her medium and process of working are as much conceptual as they are the means to create an image; be it ink and glue paintings, or the 8mm home movie footage she uses to compose her video.

Her new video imagines the mob murder of a Dominican nun in the 1950s during the defiance campaign in the Eastern Cape through multiple processes of textual narrative, sound and imagery culled from widely disparate filmic sources.


As Edmunds observes, many of us have a long and close relationship with music. From elements which are often non-narrative, mostly repetitive and largely abstract, we extract or assemble meaningful experience, repeatedly. In a series of 26 pencil drawings (variously titled Tone, Pitch and Field), a linocut and two sculptures, Edmunds uses only line and its sculptural equivalent, edge, to explore visual correspondents for music and sound, and their constituent parts.

Like music, the works reward and thwart expectations, as overlaid lines and stacked edges produce tone, timbre, volume and contrast. Each line, and each cluster of lines, embodies attack and decay, constructs echo and reverberation, harmony and dissonance. Areas of silence contrast with places of tension. The resulting images are evocative and allusive, and invite the viewer to construct their experience of the work.

50 g and Tlhogo

Lerato Shadi shows two related works: a video projection entitled 50 g and a live performance, Tlhogo.

In 50 g, a locked-off, close-up shot of a woman's bust is shown; in the foreground her hands crochet a piece of fabric using red wool. Glimpses of the body can be seen as the hands move in a rhythmic pattern. The action of crocheting creates a veil, a layer in-between the audience and the body. The needle pokes, penetrates, flickers and protrudes through this layer.

Shadi writes: The crocheting can be compared to language, to the act of speaking, with the tongue weaving the words, while the pattern of the fabric is like written text. However, the viewer has no access to the information contained within it and does not understand what is being said.

For the performance Tlhogo, Shadi crochets a cocoon from hand-spun wool of various origins. The live performance of Tlhogo will take place on opening night only.

14 April 2011 - 21 May 2011

'The Third Meaning'

Paul Edmunds at RH Gallery

According to gallery director Rebecca Heidenberg, 'The work in the exhibition contains a third order of meaning, beyond the obvious and the symbolic'. Coined by Roland Barthes in a discussion about Russian film director Sergei Eisenstein, the term 'the third meaning' is a 'signifier without a signified': a representation without a direct, material source. It exists 'where another language begins. The third meaning – theoretically locatable but not describable can (now) be seen as the passage from language to significance'. The 'third meaning' emerges from and with the viewer to bridge the object of art with its sublime qualities. Pushing the boundaries of media, several artists on the show defy categorization. These include Paul Edmunds who, with a meditative concentration and a unique vision, works in media as varied as sculpture, video, drawing and printmaking. In 'Sleeve', multicoloured neoprene from discarded wetsuits is quilted to create a sculptural installation.

25 September 2010 - 10 November 2010