13.04.2022 - 15.06.2022
Cape Town
The concept for "Spring Awakening" arises from the idea of spring as a time of intense ecological, physical and psychological change. Curator Lindsey Raymond invited artists to consider the role of renewal and growth in their work, as well as their opposite – loss and decay.

Southern Guild presents Spring Awakening, a multi-sensory exhibition by more than 20 artists and designers that will occupy the entire gallery, opening on 13 April 2022 (until 15 June). The exhibition will encompass painting, sculpture, photographic work, ceramics, wearable art, textiles and sonic pieces by artists from Southern Guild’s stable alongside recently joined emerging artists and invited guests.

The concept for Spring Awakening arises from the idea of spring as a time of intense ecological, physical and psychological change. Curator Lindsey Raymond invited artists to consider the role of renewal and growth in their work, as well as their opposite – loss and decay.

“In springtime, the future is a thing that gleams within palpable reach like a ripe fruit ready to be plucked from a tree. It signifies the starting growth of a new harvest, while occupying the liminal space between a year almost passed and a year yet to come. In this way, it is a time of reflection in as much as it is a willingness for a future ideal,” Raymond notes.

However, she adds: “This showcase beckons the more intriguing questions of what boils beneath the surface too. Spring is as much a rebirth as it is a resurrection; particularly in light of the pandemic’s dormancy of the past two years. The emotion of pure and authentic happiness cannot exist without an experience of deep sadness to compare and define itself from –  this is what theorist Jacques Lacan refers to as ‘jouissance’ — a drive to feel ‘superabundant vitality’ (Seminar VII, 18 May 1960) and to experience the excess of life beyond need. But, as Lacan cautions, this is also a ‘backhanded enjoyment’ (Seminar X, 23 January 1963). Jouissance ‘begins with a tickle and ends with blaze of petrol’ (Seminar XVII).”

This exhibition borrows its title from the play written by Frank Wedekind which tackles the fervent sexual desire and angst of four teenagers as they wrestle the difficulties of abortion, depression, rape, suicide and queerness. First performed in Germany in 1906, the play is acknowledged for the macabre spirit of comedy which underpins its tragedy. Erotic fantasies play out through hedonistic behaviours, revealing the rawness and unquenched thirst of sexuality and the curiosity, shame and vulnerability accompanying it.

Spring Awakening will be a journey for the senses that evokes the arc of human energy, from wide-eyed innocence to transgression, loss and acceptance. Enriching the cross-pollination of art and design are a number of new and invited artists, including painter and ceramic artist Jeanne Hoffman, New York-based Egyptian artist Ghada Amer, photographer Lea Colombo, fashion designer Lezanne Viviers, printmaker and painter Shakil Solanki, ceramicist Martine Jackson, tapestry artist Talia Ramkilawan, furniture designer and fine artist Christine Jacobs, and jewellery designer and sculptor Githan Coopoo.

Notable works include a pair of large paintings by Hoffman that are site-specific in their reference of the gallery’s interior space, a trio of Brutalist-inspired ceramic sculptures by Jackson evoking the fierceness and tenderness of feminine power, and a series of sculptural ceramic totems by Shirley Fintz representing different elements of spiritual awakening. In addition, Mthatha-based artist and igqirha Sisonke Papu will contribute a healing intervention that includes a photographic work and “spiritual tech” soundscape, Justine Mahoney will present a ceramic piece alongside her usual choice of bronze sculpture, and Beninese artist Dominique Zinkpè will show paintings and assemblage sculptures made from carved wooden Ibeji dolls.

A number of Southern Guild artists will present work that explores new threads of interest. These include a ceramic vessel inspired by a traditional African udu drum by Andile Dyalvane, a dramatic chandelier made from glazed stoneware by ceramic designer Chuma Maweni, and a series of large enamel paintings on glass by Jozua Gerrard depicting scenes of intimacy and comfort between young lovers.

Adam Birch
Bridge Pedestal, 2020

Canary cedar timber
50 x 47 x 70 cm
Unique

Adam Birch
Bridge Pedestal, 2020

Canary cedar timber
50 x 47 x 70 cm
Unique

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Adam Birch
Orbit Coffee Table, 2022

Eucalyptus cladocalyx timber
83 x 77 x 45 cm
Unique

Adam Birch
Orbit Coffee Table, 2022

Eucalyptus cladocalyx timber
83 x 77 x 45 cm
Unique

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Adam Birch
Venus Chaise, 2022

Eucalyptus cladocalyx timber
240 x 80 x 140 cm
Unique

Adam Birch
Venus Chaise, 2022

Eucalyptus cladocalyx timber
240 x 80 x 140 cm
Unique

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Andile Dyalvane
Ngwanya, 2021

Terracotta
65 x 65 x 100 cm
One-off

Andile Dyalvane
Ngwanya, 2021

Terracotta
65 x 65 x 100 cm
One-off

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Andile Dyalvane
Umbhompolo (Stalk of The Agave Plant Flower), 2022

Smoke-fired terracotta
55 x 45 x 45 cm
One-off

Andile Dyalvane
Umbhompolo (Stalk of The Agave Plant Flower), 2022

Smoke-fired terracotta
55 x 45 x 45 cm
One-off

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Cheick Diallo
Coumba, 2015

Leather, timber
46 x 75 x 86 cm
Unique

Cheick Diallo
Coumba, 2015

Leather, timber
46 x 75 x 86 cm
Unique

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Cheick Diallo
Doussey, 2020

Leather, timber, steel
135 x 35 x 97 cm
Unique

Cheick Diallo
Doussey, 2020

Leather, timber, steel
135 x 35 x 97 cm
Unique

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Cheick Diallo
Dumbia, 2021

Nylon cord, steel
60 x 96 x 86 cm
Edition of 18

Cheick Diallo
Dumbia, 2021

Nylon cord, steel
60 x 96 x 86 cm
Edition of 18

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Cheick Diallo
Lafia, 2018

Leather, timber
39 x 88 x 72 cm
Unique

Cheick Diallo
Lafia, 2018

Leather, timber
39 x 88 x 72 cm
Unique

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Christine Jacobs
Felt(veld)scape, 2022

Wool, felt, steel
420 x 230 x 160 cm
One-off

Christine Jacobs
Felt(veld)scape, 2022

Wool, felt, steel
420 x 230 x 160 cm
One-off

Christine Jacobs
Field Note, 2021

Charcoal, acrylic, pen on paper
145,5 x 185,5 cm
One-off

Christine Jacobs
Field Note, 2021

Charcoal, acrylic, pen on paper
145,5 x 185,5 cm
One-off

Chuma Maweni
Imbizo Table (Rustenburg Granite), 2022

Stoneware, Rustenburg granite
100 x 100 x 76 cm
Unique

Chuma Maweni
Imbizo Table (Rustenburg Granite), 2022

Stoneware, Rustenburg granite
100 x 100 x 76 cm
Unique

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