Roelof Petrus Van Wyk

"Dead in the Wate" / Edition 10 / SOLD OUT

Roelof Petrus Van Wyk (b. 1969) is a visual artist who lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa whose work, often exploring themes of national identity, incorporates photography, sculpture and architecture. His series of portraits entitled 'Jong Afrikaner: A Self Portrait' was included in 'Facts & Fictions: Contemporary South African Photography' at the V&A, London (2011) and was recently exhibited at Commune 1, Cape Town (2012).

artwork

Van Wyk's contribution to Delft was produced in collaboration with Ceramic Matters. An original artist proof was divided into three sections, placed in a cast and then reproduced in porcelain in a traditional potters kiln.

My greatest fear in life isn't death. It is death by drowning.

Guided by a single central structural line, a symmetrical, double sided, front and back visibly differentiated, slowly a shape comes into being. A kind of form-making that is born from repetition, a muscled memory, re-enacted, repeated, released from gravity, time after time, echoing the rhythmic waving of the sea. A solidified echo of an act of defiance, of man against nature, taming the ocean's wildness. I could be your hero, baby. A well equiped hand, shaping, holding, making an aesthetically beautiful form, but a form which function I will never be quite able to fully appreciate.

Recreated in blue, in porcelain, in some kind of Delftian echo of a joke. An inverse cast plaster form is moulded and reversed in a porcelain cast of the shape. A triptych of symmetrical shapes come into being. Each carrying the DNA of the original form, expressing its structure as its decoration, blue as the deep sea on a clear day.

But this board ain't never gonna float. It'll sink like a lead balloon, like a joke when you forgot the punchline, like a stone version of myself should I ever dare to try and carve, cowabunga or gun it.

Instead I will find myself, wiped out, mouth agape, eating sand. And it's here where a stone version of the classic Spider Murphy board will be planted, gathering mussel and mollusk, slowly turning blue as the sea claims it as one of its own, a gravestone in memory of my inability to ever be the one riding the tube.

Van Wyk's contribution to Delft was produced in collaboration with Ceramic Matters.

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