Stuck in the middle at Everard Read
Depending on how you look at it, being stuck in the middle can be a positive or negative experience. You could be halfway on the journey to achieving your wildest dreams, or you could be middle-aged, old and tired, now, and thinking of giving up. For Angus Taylor, being in the middle seems to be nothing but productive.
Having opened this Wednesday evening at Johannesburg’s Everard Read Gallery, In The Middle Of It is Taylor’s latest body of work, having first been exhibited at Everard Read’s London-based gallery.
Taylor works within the realms of sculpture, but challengingly so. This is evident not only in the scale of his works, but the materials, too – ancient stone, red jasper, bronze, and polished steel.
Placed considerately throughout the gallery, Taylor’s works comprise of great, hulking men with jasper heads, chunky stone busts, and smaller steel sculptures resting atop perspex plinths. One work even occupies an entire room – end to end and floor to ceiling – through its manipulated steel frame.
While some works are shrewd and even humorous, most of Taylor’s pieces speak directly to the exhibition title. In the largest room of the gallery, a series of eight polished sculptures battle their way through hurtling rocks and debris, almost as if they are wading through the blast, and taking it in their stride. The piece is titled Resistance as Nurture and provides a striking glimpse into the process of the artist, both in his personal and professional life.
Overall, In The Middle Of It is an impressive body of work. It is personal and deeply self-reflexive, without straying too far from the familiar. In this way, you can journey through Taylor’s exhibition and come out feeling as if you’ve learned more about the artist, and about yourself. Most importantly, you’ll learn the importance of radical self-care as a means of survival, or at the very least, you’ll be reminded of the value in stopping, and taking stock of yourself every now and then.
In The Middle Of It is on at Joburg’s Everard Read Gallery until November 2. Find out more about the artist here.by Dave Mann