Substratum.

Substratum

Substratum is a solo show by Chrisél Attewell (previously van der Merwe) that was held at the Lizamore and Associates Gallery in Johannesburg from November 2018 till January 2019.

Click the button below to download the exhibition catalogue. All images on this page and in the catalogue are taken by JP Hanekom.

Exhibition Statement

Substratum:

  1. An underlying layer or substance, in particular a layer of rock or soil beneath the surface of the ground
  2. A foundation or basis of something, an underlying truth

Substratum implies that the viewer might learn about the underlying truth of something, a truth that the artist observes in her milieu and daily life, which manifests itself in the artist’s work. Through diverse media such as painting, printmaking, bronze and even construction materials, Attewell presents a world of surfaces constructed in her controlled-accidental environments. 

In Attewell’s work there are initial intentions, but there is an overlapping of uncontrolled process. These processes ricochet off one another within her different mediums where a shared language emerges from the collective of her work. The translation from textures in her paintings to the forms in her sculptures and shapes in her prints all contribute to this collective understanding. The mark-making within them is what joins them. 

The paintings are evidence of Attewell’s rationale that paint can reveal something to you if you allow it. They are simultaneously reminiscent of galaxies, micro organisms, topographical imagery and similar shapes the artist notices in her everyday existence. Attewell’s use of contour lining and the extended sculptural aspects of her canvasses make the exhibition about landscape, while also defying this by being inspired by surface texture and not by conventional scenery.

Surface and what lies beneath becomes the main focus of the show. Through Substratum, Attewell presents a body of work that shows what underlies her truth; the desire to look closer, to uncover what truly is and to challenge perception.  Her continuous interest in the unnoticed, the fleeting, the overlooked or the invisible under-layer, and what is unearthed when one looks beneath the surface are echoed in Substratum. 

August Potholes III

Rock and Bronze castings | 33 x 39 x 20 cm

 

August Potholes I

Rock and Bronze castings | 33 x 39 x 20 cm 

 

August Potholes II

Rock and Bronze castings | 33 x 39 x 20 cm 

 

August Potholes III

Rock and Bronze castings | 33 x 39 x 20 cm | 2018

August Potholes I

Rock and Bronze castings | 33 x 39 x 20 cm | 2018

August Potholes II

August Potholes III

August Potholes I

Unearthed

Drypoint Etching on Fabriano | Edition 1/1| 126.4 x 203 cm | 2018

Front view:

Techtonic plate I

Copper Sculpture | 44 x 150 x 45 cm | 2018

Back view:
Techtonic plate I

Copper Sculpture | 44 x 150 x 45 cm | 2018

 

Detail: Techtonic plate I

 

Juxtapose I
Oil on canvas | 121 x 91 cm | 2018

Juxtapose II
Oil on canvas | 121 x 91 cm | 2018

Analogy

Oil on canvas | 112 x 138 cm | 2018

Excavation

Oil on canvas | 120 x 162 cm | 2018

Dessication

Oil and marble dust on canvas | 126 x 190 cm | 2018

Arcane

Oil on canvas | 200 x 180 cm | 2018

Byproducts I

Oil on canvas with iron slag | 92 x 72 x 13 cm | 2018

Byproducts II

Oil on canvas with iron slag | 92 x 72 x 13 cm | 2018

Insular I

Oil and Indian Ink on canvas | 91.4 x 60.5 cm | 2018

Insular II (Dyptich)

Oil and Indian Ink on canvas | 60 x 213 cm | 2018