Exhibition 18 November 2003 22 January 2004
Over the past six years, Jeremy Wafer has evolved a series of oval and rectangular wall pieces that integrate aspects of African sculpture into a broadly post minimalist style. These powerful, intensely elegant works are characterised by rhythmic patterns of surface articulation. The patterns are reductive transpositions of traditional African forms and artefacts onto appropriate formats which have become part of his own sculptural language . His materials derive from indigenous healing practices, and include earth, wax, resin and other mixed media.
Topographies also revolves around themes of land and territory using mapping, measurement, the marking of place and surface, and earth itself. The two dimensional works for this exhibition are evocative, but conceptual. Painting and print processes including photography, numeric and colour coding as well as mapping, focus on land and territory. A long row of close up photographs traces a path through a field of burnt grass; a colour field of yellow ochre covered with numbers, maps the topography of the battle field of Isandlwana, and a series of small abstract paintings on glass are based on map references rendered as stripes and bars of black on white.
Born in Durban, South Africa in 1953, Wafer trained in art history and fine art at the Universities of Natal and the Witwatersrand. Until recently he was head of the Fine Art Department at the Technikon, Witwatersrand, and he has now been appointed Associate Professor at the University of the Witwatersrand School of Arts.
He has exhibited widely in South Africa and abroad including, a retrospective exhibition at the Museum of the Stellenbosch University in 2002 and most recently a joint exhibition with Sandile Zulu at Michael Stevenson Contemporary in Cape Town, the Arnolfini, Bristol, in 1995, and in London at Art First. He is represented in the National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, the South African National Gallery and the Johannesburg Art Gallery and in many other museum, private and corporate collections. He is a recipient of of awards and residencies in the UK, Holland and most recently a fellowship at the Civitella Ranieri in Umbria. This is his second exhibition at Art First.