I generally find my own exhibitions quite nerve wracking, but for this particular one my emotions seemed to go into neutral, and just as well...my Grade 12 class secretly organised to meet each other ouside the venue & surprise me. They sneaked in as a big group - I was standing on the balcony talking to the gallery assistant & all sixteen girls managed to get right up to me before I noticed them. They are in the middle of writing preliminary exams & sacrificed some of their study time to attend the opening - what a special gesture!
Jenny Stretton, the senior curator from the Durban Art Gallery, opened the exhibition.
This is an excerpt from her speech: "In Understory we descend to a level below consciousness, below the physical and below logic. The artists have used botanical shapes as the ladder for their descent: a curvaceous, organic, root-like link brings the viewer down from the canopy to their world. There is a sense that we are not viewing abstracted forms in the real world but rather real forms in an abstracted world – an exhibition that Alice may have curated. But the work is more serious than that with both artists narrating internal journeys that paradoxically have their roots above ground in the hustle and bustle of everyday life: it’s as if they descend to process and express the tensions in modern society." You can read the whole speech here.