© 2019 JONI BRENNER

Photography variously by Natasha Christopher, Bob Cnoops, Thys Dullart, James Fox, John Hodgkiss, Greg Marinovich, Liz Whitter and Graeme Williams.

 

Website: Danel van Jaarsveld | Triple M Design

A PLACE IN TIME – 2016

Kin is the fourth and last to be made in the group of large scale bronze skull sculptures that I began in 2013. 

 

I made the original small clay models in with the intention to upscale them all but the upscaling process was new to me at the time, and far more difficult than I had imagined. Consequently only the first three were produced for the Nirox Winter Sculpture Exhibition, 2014. The fourth armature, and also the largest had been patiently waiting to be made and cast and this process is now complete. 

 

Kin has a strange quality that results perhaps from the fact that it is upside down, as if tossed, discarded, or unearthed.  Its roundness also gives it a boulder like quality and, installed in the landscape it seems as if it is belongs to, is part of, this ancient earth. 

 

A skull – a life that once was – is tied to a sense of the inevitable passage of time. Skulls make us acutely aware of those who have come before us, and they foreground the spectre of our own death. They are thus intimations of continuity and the title Kin refers to that sense of lineage and belonging, and to the rootedness that is there in the knowledge of our origins.

 

When Roland Barthes observed that 

 

… lineage reveals an identity stronger, more interesting than legal status – more reassuring as well, for the thought of origins soothes us, whereas that of the future disturbs us, agonizes us (Barthes, 1984:105)

 

he may as well have been reflecting on skulls and their capacity to confirm past and future, to be soothing and unnerving at once.

This sculpture was included in the inaugural exhibition of outdoor sculpture at the Norval Foundation in Cape Town, 2018.