Chris Soal’s artistic practice explores ways of working sculpturally with pre-existing materials; thinking through space, form and light while highlighting the histories embedded in these objects.
Born in 1994, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts (Hons) at the University of Witwatersrand in 2017. Based in Johannesburg, he has focused on the materiality of “manufactured debris” – disposable objects created for a single utilitarian purpose whose hyper-accessibility has made them invisible to our eyes. His sculptural and spatial approach to making is driven foremost by formal concerns such as texture, light and form expressed in an abstract minimalist language. Conceptually, his works refer to the political context of their making, highlighting the histories embedded in the found material, and utilising them in a way that challenges societal assumptions of value.
Chris was awarded the 2018 PPC Imaginarium overall prize and in the sculpture category and was a finalist for, among others, the Sasol New Signatures Award 2018 and the Cassirer Welz Award in 2017. He has been awarded residencies by the South African Foundation of Contemporary Art and the RAW Material Company in Dakar, Senegal. His solo, Field of Vision, was held at Whatiftheworld Gallery in 2019. He has exhibited in group shows at institutions such as Aeroplastics Contemporary in Brussels (2017), Wits Art Museum (2017) and Stellenbosch University Museum (2018), and had his first solo exhibition, Orbits of Relating, at No End Contemporary in Johannesburg in 2018. He has most recently been a featured artist at GONG LAUT: The First Singaraja International Art Forum in Bali, Indonesia. His work has been included in both private and public collections, locally and internationally.