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Sophia Van Wyk | Archival Sky

HAZARD Gallery | 14 October - 12 November

In this exhibition, Sophia van Wyk has captured significant moments, both socio-political and personal. Her art practice is ritualistic and a method of connecting to her subconscious. On significant days in her life Van Wyk documents shapes of moving clouds through photographs, film and sketches, then archives it through her art. Her forms are developed by strategies of automatism, chance and association. She creates subversive biomorphic sculptural and painted shapes garnered from her interaction with the world.

Her painted sculpture bases take the shape of a traditional tiered wedding cake. This references the symbol of the “woman as dessert”, which according to the academic Caitlin Hines (cited in Bucholtz, A, Liang, C & Sutton, L 146:1999) “reduces woman to the status of objects, with the attendant implication of powerlessness, inanimacy, and procurability”. The sculpture bases furthermore allude to the notion that woman are often portrayed as one- dimensional objects to be consumed, and continue to be deemed sexualised commodities objectified by the media for male consumption.

Van Wyk’s bronze sculptures evoke transgressive cake toppers, commenting on social issues such as fertility, the #Zumamustfall campaign, social-political passivity, entrenched patriarchy, birth and memory. She uses the familiar as a starting point to create unsettling and fantastical objects which reflect gender complexity. Through her artworks van Wyk aims to disrupt normative white middle class hereto-femininity and break away from limiting historically-defined conceptions of female identity.

Following a residency at The Falconer Foundry in Kwa-Zulu Natal, Van Wyk was selected and funded by the Eduardo Villa Trust to participate in the El Ranchito at Matadero Madrid. She continued making bronze sculptures at Capa EsCultura Foundry in Madrid. Archival Sky features new bronze works made at the two residencies and includes paintings, fabric sculpture and a short film.

Bucholtz, A, Liang, C & Sutton, L (eds). 1999. The Gendered Self in Discourse. Berkeley: University of California.


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Fertility menorah 2017 | Bronze 52 x 47 x 50 cm Edition 2/12 

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