BROEIGROND: FERTILE GROUND FOR GOLDEN REGRETS
KANNA AWARD WINNING
MULTI MEDIA SOLO EXHIBITION
KLEIN KAROO NATIONAL ARTS FESTIVAL, OUDTSHOORN
5 – 15 APRIL, 2017
IMAGE: Ronél de Jager
“Incalculable eons tumble past. The earth shifts, shrugs, stretches. One year, one day, one hour, a great upflow of magma gathers a seam of crystals and drives it toward the surface, mile after burning mile; it cools inside a huge, smoking xenolith of kimberlite, and there it waits…”
– Doerr, A. All the light we cannot see (2014: 520)
‘Broeigrond: Fertile Ground for Golden Regrets’ is a multidisciplinary exhibition by Ronél de Jager, inspired by the Karoo landscape, geology, infrared photographic process and cosmology.
In this series of works, the artist constructs fictionalised landscapes which oscillate between the familiar and the alien; De Jager constructs artefacts of paintings, light-boxes, glass orbs with brass and copper electroplated flora and time-lapse film gathered from previous expeditions in the Karoo.
These artifacts present fertile landscapes with an energy potential, at the cusp of its revelation; they incubate our imagined future, thoughts and potential regrets. Beginning as a photographic process of experimentation, De Jager, uses infrared photography to investigate the characteristics of the landscape and found flora. These flora represent the biota of a specific landscape, period and people. These are then re-interrogated in her studio as she translates this into paintings and multimedia works. These images are painted as part of a meditative process of ‘searching’, contemplating these notions of latent landscapes.
Like a heat seeker the infrared analyses its components, tapping into magnetic fields which we cannot see as humans, providing us some kind of alternative universe where we may see these energetic fields and imagined futures through the landscape. It is this very mediation between scientific process and fine art object where De Jager actively teleports her viewer.
These artefacts consider time and space and play on the notions of memory as transcendental, ephemeral and intangible.
As an alter ego exists so it seems De Jager wishes to reconstruct herself through the reconstruction of these familiar spaces. The landscape becomes her internal universe; the infrared becomes the electromagnetic wave seeker, searching for the obscure, inspecting within the unknown.