From 24 March to 26 May, Southern Guild’s Cape Town gallery will come alive with over 100 thought-provoking sculptures and paintings by renowned French assemblage artist Philippe Bousquet. Philippe, who has lived in Johannesburg for close to 13 years, and is known for his intricately constructed jewel-like sculptures, will introduce new directions in his work, including portraiture, fine art and larger-scale structures.
The solo show, titled Between Dusk and Dawn, presents the artist’s intellectual foray into the space between these two states. ‘When it’s not dark, it’s not light,’ he explains of the title that alludes to the ideas of harmony and balance, in opposition to life’s extreme constructs. ‘There’s actually no dark or light, they’re just concepts of our mind, and we only notice them because of our perception and adaptation to our environment.’
Between Dusk and Dawn invites audiences to look beyond what they would normally see, and to search for meaning within the grey areas, because, as the artist views it, ‘truth is not real, it’s an individual concept of life’. Each piece, made from found objects and waste materials, in the traditional spirit of assemblage, tells a story that is open to interpretation based on personal experience, religious views, political leanings and social commentary. ‘It’s my way of telling stories about how I see people and the world,’ Philippe says. ‘Each story has more than one side to it, and will be received differently by each person.’
It’s this response, imbued with personal interpretation, that Philippe hopes will touch audiences deeply. ‘I know my work is edgy and sometimes difficult to understand, but it’s like planting a seed – it may sprout, or be understood, sometime in the future.’
Says Southern Guild director Trevyn McGowan: ‘Each piece has such a strong character that really gets under your skin when it resonates with your own narrative. The pieces are magnetic individually, but, as an entire body of work, presented in our gallery in this way, you get to understand the larger vision behind it all. It was important for Philippe to be given a platform to express the comprehensive narrative.’
The artist agrees. ‘There isn’t one masterpiece in this show. The masterpiece is simply to have them all in the same place.’
Between Dusk and Dawn will run from 24 March to 26 May, with a preview on 23 March, 6-9pm.
Opening hours: Monday-Friday 10am-5pm (Saturday by appointment only)