NECROMANCER SERIES (2011).
MEDIUM: OIL, VARNISH ON CANVAS.

Necromancer is a series that deal with issues and processes of mental healing.
Importantly the symbolical water is oil paint and/or varnish. The artists mediums of healing, and so once again the artist as necromancer in these works and uses magic to transform the world.

In this series I was looking at the guilt felt by men; the guilt about the violence of men against women. I tried to identify different types of women as found in the shape of the female form. The schematic body shapes that I found were symbolically related to common objects through and objectification process. The female body shapes that I identified with were an assortment of natural and man-made forms ranging from the apple, pear, hour glass, etc.

The hypothesis that interested me was the idea of how does women forgive men who abuse them; this issue can also be understood as a metaphor for the broader social context of abuse inherent in the apartheid mentality. He problem is exasperated when the guilty is a type or unidentifiable. In South Africa a system of pardoning was set up where over a period of time perpetuators of violence or inhumanities could confess their guilt and a ‘pardon’ or amnesty could be awarded by those set up by the society to be judges.
Amnesty seemed to deal with a healing process on a social level; but I still had a problem of the victims on an individual level. Turning to my readings in Greek anthropology I found it interesting that upon death the Greeks believed that the spirit needed to be ferried across various rivers before entering the land of the dead. One such river was ‘Leith’. The myth ascertaining that those who fell into this river would lose all their memories – they would join the lost peoples.

In the Necromancer series, the works symbolically represent those women, as presented by schematic types, who had fallen into the river Leith; and so, had found the only way I believe to truly forgive. The river Leith is a metaphor for the process of forgiving. I other words, the works offer a solution to the problems of forgiving. These problems as presented by Derrida in his lecturers on ‘the gift’ and ‘the unwanted gift’.
The idea of washing away in a symbolical process can be found in many instances and rituals in multifarious cultures and sectors, such as in Christian baptism where a change in state is symbolically portrayed rough the submersion in water.

On another level, the artist has used his tools of physicality and illusion (water, oil and paint) in an act of creation to wash away the images and illusionism (the crimes of man). The artist plays out shamanistic role in social healing.

The solution to man’s inhumanity to man in these works in found in a ritual where the past is forgotten and this is offered as a solution to the act of forgiving.


Necromancer I (2010). Oil on Canvas – 1860 x 890 mm.


Necromancer II (2010). Oil on Canvas – 1860 x 890 mm.


Necromancer III (2010). Oil on Canvas – 1860 x 890 mm.



Necromancer IV (2010). Oil on Canvas – 1860 x 890 mm.



Necromancer V (2010). Oil on Canvas – 1860 x 890 mm.



Necromancer VI (2010). Oil on Canvas – 1860 x 890 mm.


Necromancer VII (2010). Oil on Canvas – 1860 x 890 mm.

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REVIEWS

Necromancer

According to the artist “Necromancer is a series that deals with issues and processes of mental healing”, more specifically the issues and processes of the guilt felt by men as a result of male violence towards women and also the question of if it is possible for women to truly forgive the men who have abused them.

Guilt: dictionaries define it as: a feeling of responsibility or remorse for some offense. Forgiveness: dictionaries define it as: to stop feeling anger towards, to stop blaming and also to stop ‘requiring payment’. Interesting that the artist makes reference to Derrida’s gift/unwanted gift. One would have to ask what the gift is – the abuse, the guilt or both? In South Africa (where the artist is based) a system of pardoning was set up where over a period of time perpetrators of such violence could confess and request a pardon for their inhumanities. This form of amnesty offered a solution for releasing guilt, but was it effective enough to bring about forgiveness?

In his quest for an answer, Matthews came upon an interesting concept. “Turning to my readings in Greek anthropology I found it interesting that upon death the Greeks believed that the spirit needed to be ferried across various rivers before entering the land of the dead. One such river was ‘Leith’. The myth ascertaining that those who fell into this river would lose all their memories – the past being erased.

The women in Necromancer I, II and III appear to be specific, with each identity indicated through body type and use of color. No evidence of violence is indicated, leaving one to wonder about the nature of the crime. Images IV and V indicate violence to the individuals. Images VI and VII indicate violence to the individuals, but this time there is a dramatic use of black to paint out the images as if eradicating from memory.

So does this methodology work? Can the washing away of memories remove all trace of violence and guilt and would this be considered forgiveness? Has the Necromancer successfully performed his magic? Is his Shamanic role in social healing complete? One would have to go back to images IV and V, where even though there has been a washing away process and images VI and VII where even though there has been a blotting out action, remnants of the crime, the victim and the guilt remain, monumentalized in the works.

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THE ART OF SIN SERIES

ART OF SIN: 03 (60X92cm.jpg) OIL ON CANVAS

ART OF SIN: 03 (60X92cm.jpg) OIL ON CANVAS

ART OF SIN: 04 (60X92cm) Oil on canvas.

ART OF SIN: 04 (60X92cm) Oil on canvas.

ART OF SIN: 05 (60X92cm) Oil on canvas.

ART OF SIN: 05 (60X92cm) Oil on canvas.

ART OF SIN: 06 (60X92cm) Oil on canvas.

ART OF SIN: 06 (60X92cm) Oil on canvas.

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BRIBING THE ANCESTORS (2010-11).
MEDIUM: ACRYLIC BASE, OIL ON CANVAS.


TITLE: BRIBING THE ANCESTORS I.
MEDIUM: ACRYLIC BASE, OIL ON CANVAS.
DATE: 2011.
SIZE: 1220 x 910 mm.


TITLE: BRIBING THE ANCESTORS II.
MEDIUM: ACRYLIC BASE, OIL ON CANVAS.
DATE: 2011.
SIZE: 1010 x 755 mm.


TITLE: BRIBING THE ANCESTORS III.
MEDIUM: ACRYLIC BASE, OIL ON CANVAS.
DATE: 2011.
SIZE: 1220 x 910 mm.


TITLE: BRIBING THE ANCESTORS IV.
MEDIUM: ACRYLIC BASE, OIL ON CANVAS.
DATE: 2011.
SIZE: 1010 x 755 mm.


TITLE: BRIBING THE ANCESTORS V.
MEDIUM: ACRYLIC BASE, OIL ON CANVAS.
DATE: 2011.
SIZE: 1010 x 755 mm.


TITLE: BRIBING THE ANCESTORS VI.
MEDIUM: ACRYLIC BASE, OIL ON CANVAS.
DATE: 2011.
SIZE: 1010 x 755 mm.


TITLE: BRIBING THE ANCESTORS VII.
MEDIUM: ACRYLIC BASE, OIL ON CANVAS.
DATE: 2011.
SIZE: 1010 x 755 mm.

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MEME SERIES (2012-13).
MEDIUM: ACRYLIC BASE, OIL ON CANVAS.

The Meme series investigates the ways in which culture content is communicated.
The Meme series investigates a way in which culture content is communicated. Layered metaphors based on religious and social behaviours have been used in this exploration. One the one hand, the hats (halos) are symbolically used as indicators of Christianity and the history of religious Western art. On the other, the baby is female and a symbol of the abuse and possibly of rape. The baby depicted appears to be injured as black viscous liquid that could possibly be blood, leaks from the injured parts. The black liquid also connects each of the panels in a visual way.

The presentation of the panels and the repetition of the main personage representing a time line quotes religious Western art devices, such as the idea of a continuous allegory. Pain and healing is questioned and presented as the basic fabric of culture creating a state of duality in the viewer.

This series questions the transference of cultural values while ironically the activity of painting and looking at painting is a cultural meme in itself.


TITLE: MEME I.
MEDIUM: ACRYLIC BASE, OIL ON CANVAS.
DATE: 2012.
SIZE: 1920 x 1215 mm


TITLE: MEME II.
MEDIUM: ACRYLIC BASE, OIL ON CANVAS.
DATE: 2012.
SIZE: 1920 x 2515 mm

TITLE: MEME V.
MEDIUM: ACRYLIC BASE, OIL ON CANVAS.
DATE: 2012.
SIZE: 7550 x 9000 mm


TITLE: MEME VI.
MEDIUM: ACRYLIC BASE, OIL ON CANVAS.
DATE: 2012.
SIZE: 1085 x 1200 mm

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