This exhibition ‘I have made a place’ explores what it means to have a home and what the idea of inhabitance and the making of an intimate space means to various artists. The opening paragraph
describing the exhibition states “The narrative of the exhibition begins within this inner world and expands outwards, from the corner of a room to a landscape. In doing so, we see the many ways
that a particular location can act as a place for alienation or affirmation. We see what it means to be in a place which is treated as the centre or as the periphery, what it means to be displaced,
resettled, or exiled, and the significance of seeing a particular place as ‘home’”. The curator has created a space filled with a variety of ideas and depictions of the theme of place.
The particular element that fascinated me in this exhibition, was the idea of an internal or personal space and how it is represented in art. How is an artist or group of artists portraying something as intimate as a personal home. I will be looking into specifically how the idea of an intimate form of home is depicted in art by two artists from the exhibition. The two works that explored this concept the best are Lux Nova 1 by Ian Grose and Interior With Red Tub by Deborah Poynton. Both of these artists are Cape Town based, however their artistic style could not be more different and it was this that captivated me. How could the depiction of the same thing be created using such polar opposites.
In interviews Grose explains that his paintings are largely created by chance. He does not know what he is going to paint until it is done and this gives them a varied and airy nature. It is this
vague nature that allows him to relate to a wide audience stating “one painting can be looked at by millions of people, and not be the same painting for a single one of them.” He likes to portray a
theme or motif in a way that is relatable to the masses and can be interpreted and millions of different ways.
Deborah Poynton’s large hyperrealistic paintings are created with such immense detail that the audience has no choice but to step into the exact scene she intended. Poynton creates her paintings
through a process of curation and careful planning. They are not real scenes but are however composed of various different elements to create an image intended by the artist using intimate details of her life. Poynton explains that these paintings are like “stepping into her imagination”. According to Poynton, “everything is being shown to you, and the more I reveal, the less narrative,
the less story there is behind it.” What is intriguing about viewing these paintings together is that despite the different way they were created and intended to be seen by the audience, they are depicting the exact same thing – a place, somewhere intimate, created by the artist to make them feel at home and safe.
This idea of opposites led me to think about curation of the exhibition, why were these two paintings placed next to one another if they are so apposed in their creation? After a while of looking at them I came to the conclusion that it is actually their vast differences that make them work as a pair. It is the tension between their opposing forces that creates a sort of harmony and peace in the audience when you are standing in front of them. Placing them together forces the audience to think about and ponder what this theme of home really means. How it can be interpreted so differently by different people. There is an odd sense of peace in the realisation that although we create, interpret and think differently it is within opposition that can create harmony as a collective.