‘We wanted to seize the moment’, Caroline Douglas said
The Contemporary Art Society acquired a major installation by Dineo Seshee Bopape at Frieze London for Towner Art Gallery in Eastbourne.
Sedibeng, it comes with the rain (2016) is made of materials chosen for their link to cosmology and fertility. Metal structures evolved from abstracted representation of masculine and feminine paradigms, with references to the warrior, the mother, the father, and the child, etter charms hang loosely between the metal beams while bags of herbs containing sage, ginger, chamomile, and anise — all traditionally used to heal ailments of the womb — are fastened to the sculptures with string. Feathers are strewn on the floor and poked through floral foam, as images of ripe fruits are inserted between them, all symbolising the fecundity of ‘Mother Nature’.
Bopape also incorporates into the installation a slide projection of a woman’s hand moulding, touching, and throwing clay rocks, while creating a cacophony of images, illusions, textures, and sounds. Surrounding the installation are stickers of flowers native to Africa, along with mirrors and overhead projectors reflecting and refracting the light.
Contemporary Art Society Director Caroline Douglas said the acquisition ‘wanted to seize this moment at Frieze to acquire a major installation by an artist whose relevance is now being recognised so widely’, describing Bopape as a ‘distinct voice of a new generation of South African artists’ and noting that her work’s address of our relationship with the earth ‘urgent for us all.’
The idea of landspcae, Towner Art Gallery’s Head of Exhibitons Brian Cass noted, has been at the heart of the Towner’s Collection from it sinception - hence their decision to seek work at Frieze London that addressed the idea of ‘the edge in landscape’ . What makes Sedibeng, it comes with the rain ‘remarkable’, said Cass, is how Bopape creates a range of associations that explore powerful socio-political and metaphysical notions of fertility, land, Afro-diasporic spiritual aesthetics and practices’ and capturing audiences ‘emotionally and aesthetically.’
Sedibeng, it comes with the rain will be presented at Towner Art Gallery during autumn 2018.
Main image: Dineo Seshee Bopape, Sedibeng, it comes with the rain, 2016. Mixed media, variable dimensions. Installation view. Courtesy: the artist and Sfeir-Semler Gallery Beirut/Hamburg