What came from the cement
When you think of cement, things like jewellery, video art, and fashion aren’t normally what spring to mind, but at this year’s PPC Imaginarium exhibition, that’s exactly what you’ll find.
Currently on show at the KZNSA Gallery in Durban, the 2017 PPC Imaginarium Finalists exhibition is a multimedia collection of works, all inspired by and created with PPC cement. In the show you’ll find the macabre, the inspiring, the playful and the surreal. A quick walk around the expansive floor of the main gallery will see you coming face to face with brittle skulls, gigantic South African coins, flourishing dresses, and ornate earrings to name just a few of the works.
The PPC Imaginarium is an art and design competition in which emerging artists and designers are challenged to demonstrate their creative talent by incorporating Portland cement-based concrete into their respective disciplines. The competition has been running for several years now, winning numerous BASA awards for its continued fostering and platforming of local, emergent artists across the country.
The thing about the work in the PPC Imaginarium, though, is its medium. To see so many sculptures – both the large-scale and the delicate – fill up a room through sweeping greyscale works, really is a sight to behold. The works command your attention, they make you doubt their form and make-up. How can a delicate set of earrings really have come from a chunk of concrete? How does an old and discarded cement bag take on new life as a sweeping robe?
Perhaps the most impressive works of the exhibition were the pieces that merged the raw and malleable nature of cement with the intricate and rigid make-up of technology. Some of them, like a plain chair with a solar panel in its centre, even provide a glimpse into a more sustainable future.
Altogether, the exhibition does well to showcase the host of emergent artistic talent we have in South Africa, and how a single material can inspire a plethora of new creative work across various mediums.
Find out more about the PPC Imaginarium here.by Dave Mann