Lace aims to create encounters with the resplendent. God’s Finger was built in 2012 in response to an invitation to create a work that engaged specifically with the Circa gallery in Johannesburg. Lace chose to find a way to capture a transcendental moment and bring it down to earth. God’s Finger was the main installation in A Tendency Towards Complexity, a solo gallery presentation of multiple works. It is a sculptural crystallization of light moving a building’s exterior to its interior. Made from a precisely structured column of nylon threads, this imitation shaft of sunlight brings to mind Crepuscular rays, in atmosphereic optics it refers to those elusive moments when light from the sun appears to pierce through cloud and send rare, deliberate beams to the ground. Historically painters for the church called this phenomenon God’s Fingers, following on from this artistic tradition of attempting to capture the quality of light and drama in these natural occurrences, Lace creates a contemporary installation now free from canvas, patron or preset interpretation. The drama of Lace’s installation is heightened in the work by an additional step; the beam of light contains thousands of suspended shards of coloured glass, appearing to freeze time and solidify light the work throws all that seems true and permanent into question, without attempting to provide the answers.
Photography by Anthea Pokroy
Bronwyn Lace catalogue_website
Airs Above the Ground responds to the ‘architecture’ of the horses skeleton, through a process of dissembling the skeleton and laying it out a new structure was found. This structure aims to prompt the viewers imagination, using the components of such a familiar animal I wanted to create something that felt prehistoric or fantastical, an air or water creature of sorts. Drawing on some ‘unquestionable’ conventions such as the aesthetics of museum practise and the exactness of mathematics I hope to stimulate a discussion between disciplines and to highlight the continual presence of the imagination in so much of what we do.
Photography by Dieter Kuhl, Christian Ihrybauer and John Hodgkiss
Double Body, fishing line, hooks and brass weights, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, 2009. 1 Kilogram weights were individually suspended by moving their hooks from a horizontal row on the adjacent wall to a vertical row on the opposite wall. The artist did this until the equivalent of her body weight was suspended.
Photography by Marcus Neustetter
Unit for Measure, fishing line, fishing flies and African Monarch butterfly, colloborative project with Vaughn Sadie, Sci-Bono, Johannesburg & Durban Art Gallery, Durban, 2009
The Installation Unit for Measure was the result of an ongoing conversation between artists Lace and Sadie. This conversation has focused around the creation of platforms in South Africa for experimental and experiential work. It is comprised of three elements: units of material en masse, the relationship between the artists’ work and a specific site. The two spaces chosen for the installation were the antithesis of one another. For the Johannesburg leg the artists chose a newly built basement within the Sci-Bono maths and science learning centre. A dark space, revealing it’s infrastructure and without much history, as opposed to Durban’s Municipal Gallery, housed in the grand City Hall and speaking very heavily of a colonial past. The installation was a direct result of the process that is evoked through the use of materials en masse in a site-specific context.
Photography by Marcus Neustetter and Vaughn Sadie
Deuce, fishing line, ping pong balls, half ping pong table and bat, The Bag Factory, 2008
On entering the gallery audience saw a line of suspended ping pong balls moving up and down against a wall. When audience followed the noise of a ping pong game in the room behind the wall they found the artist. Lace was wearing an outfit with fishing line attaching her to the other side of the wall. She played a game of ping pong against herself for a period of 40 minutes.
Photography by John Hodgkiss
Lace is interested in how spaces relate to the preportions of the human body and how beauty and immersive bodily experiences are often used to influence thought and belief. Occasionally she immerses her own body into an installation.
Justified Detachment, fishing line, fish bowl and gold fish, Art Xtra, Johannesburg, 2007
In front of an audience and for the period of 1 hour the blindfolded artist bit and broke fishing line suspending a fish bowl with water and fish, after some time the weight snapped the remaining lines and the fish fell to the floor, at which point an audience member spontaneously intervened and rescued the fish using her wine glass. The Fish lived a few more hours before it died.
Photography by John Hodgkiss