A Place in Time

A Place in Time will celebrate, encourage and share with the world the highest standard of creative practice informed by and focusing attention on the exceptionally important context of South Africa as a centre of global heritage and an exciting contemporary art destination. A Place in Time presents over 40 new sculptures by artists from Africa, Europe and the USA – including Richard Long, Willem Boshoff, Nandipha Mntambo, Thomas J. Price, Moataz Nasr, Rachael Champion, Anton Burdakov, Serge Nitegeka, Angus Taylor and Marco Cianfanelli– created in response to this highly significant environment.

Nandipha Mntambo was born in 1982 in Mbabane, Swaziland and graduated with a Masters in Fine Art from the Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town in 2007. In 2011, Mntambo was announced as the Standard Bank Young Artist for Visual Art and produced the critically acclaimed travelling exhibition Faena. Her work has been exhibited worldwide and will be included in the International Exhibition of the 12th edition of Dak’Art 2016 in Dakar (3 May to 2 June).

Willem Boshoff is one of South Africa’s foremost conceptual artists with a career spanning more than 30 years. Boshoff works in a variety of media, which includes: sculpture, installation, performance and printmaking. His extensive oeuvre reflects his interest in languages, words, plants, nature, materials, science, mathematics, astronomy, philosophy and politics. Boshoff’s practice has been described as an encyclopaedic obsession.

A Place in Time
Minotaurus, Nandipha Mnthambo, 2015. Courtesy-of-NIROX.

This unique exhibition will take place in the UNESCO Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, some five kilometres from the recent extraordinary discovery of what is arguably a previously unknown hominin species, Homo Naledi. The exhibition considers contemporary sculpture practice within a human tradition to make and appreciate objects that is seemingly as old as we are, underpinned by an exceptional display of artefacts on loan from the University of the Witwatersrand Origins Centre Museum collection, curated by Lara Mallen.

The NIROX Foundation Trust was established and run for the benefit of the arts. NIROX comprises artists’ residency; studios and workshops; a sculpture park; outdoors concert venues and related function facilities. It is located within an extensive private nature reserve in the heart of the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, 45 minutes from the centres of Johannesburg and Tshwane. NIROX is committed to excellence in all disciplines of contemporary arts. The sculpture park comprises 15 hectares of cultivated landscape and water-ways designed to showcase sculpture and give comfort to private and public visitors.

The beauty and tranquility of the park are tributes to its sensitive design and fastidious upkeep. It is located within the Khatlhampi Private Reserve, a privately owned nature reserve which has more than 40 kilometres of walking, cycling and game driving trails through unspoiled grasslands, ancient dolomitic valleys, natural fountains, discovered and yet to be discovered caves, indigenous forests, ridges and kopjes. It is a bio-diverse environment, populated with indigenous game, moving freely in their natural habitat.

Moataz Nasr was born in 1961 in Alexandria (Egypt). He lives and works in Cairo. After studying economics, he decided to change direction and take a studio in Old Cairo. This self-taught artist gained local recognition marked by many prizes before breaking into the international art scene in 2001, notably winning the Grand Prix at the 8th International Cairo Biennial. Since, he has participated in large international gatherings like the Venice, Seoul, São Paulo and Bogotà biennials and exhibited in prestigious contemporary art venues.

A Place in Time
Moataz Nasr. Courtesy of NIROX.

Now in his 40th year, Angus Taylor demonstrates that he is a force to be reckoned with as a sculptor. Since graduating from the University of Pretoria, Taylor has plotted a trajectory that has seen him rise to the top of his game within the local and international art scene. Taylor’s ambitious nature has him tackling materials and scale that most sculptors would prefer to avoid.

This has resulted in gigantic slate figures set into landscapes in various prestigious collections such as the Apple Mac headquarters in Sandton, in the Karoo and in private collections in Canada and Belgium. His 3,5m high figures called Sit en Staan were the highlight of the opening of the first Johannesburg Art Fair held at the Sandton Convention Centre in 2008, where three were sold on opening night. The majestic figure towered imposingly over the throngs of other artworks and gallery stalls, leaving visitors aghast with wonder at how he was able to transport and build such a huge piece.

Serge Alain Nitegeka was born in Burundi in 1983 and lives and works in Johannesburg. He won the Tollman Award for the Visual Arts in 2010, and in the same year he was selected for the Dakar Biennale, where he won a Fondation Jean Paul Blachère prize. Nitegeka’s work is currently being exhibited in the group exhibition I Love You Sugar Kane at the Institute of Contemporary Art Indian Ocean, Mauritius until 17 June.

A Place in Time
Marco Cianfanelli. Courtesy of NIROX.

Marco Cianfanelli is an artist who works across the public and private realms, engaging the world in terms of systems rather than discrete objects or fenced off territories. He is constantly looking to realise art where one doesn’t expect to find it and testing the possibilities for artistic intervention in the public realm. In so doing, he has been involved in a wide range of projects involving art, architecture and public space. Cianfanelli’s work embodies a vast variety of media and materials, from laser cut materials, masked glass and digital imaging and branding to burnt mielie skins and sculpted sea sand.

Although he uses computer-aided design and technology in the production of his work, he often engages with the more visceral organic aspects of the material he works with. Marrying the application of data to more expressive gestural acts, he aims to set up a tension or dialogue between the controlled accuracies of the digital realm and the uncontrollable realities of being human.

A Place in Time is curated by Helen Pheby PhD, a Senior Curator at Yorkshire Sculpture Park in collaboration with Mary-Jane Darroll, assisted by interns Naudia Yorke and Danika Bester. Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) is the leading international centre for modern and contemporary sculpture. It is an independent charitable trust and registered museum situated in the 500-acre, 18th-century Bretton Hall estate in West Yorkshire. Founded in 1977 by Executive Director Peter Murray, YSP was the first sculpture park in the UK, and is the largest of its kind in Europe, providing the only place in the world to see Barbara Hepworth’s The Family of Man in its entirety alongside a significant collection of sculpture, including bronzes by Henry Moore, and site-specific works by Andy Goldsworthy, David Nash and James Turrell.

YSP also mounts a world-class, year-round temporary exhibitions programme including some of the world’s leading artists across five indoor galleries and the open air. A Place in Time has been supported by the SA-UK Seasons 2014 & 2015, a partnership between the Department of Arts and Culture, South Africa and the British Council.

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