Dominique Edwards creates a body of three-dimensional works in plaster as well as correlating ink-drawings for exhibition at Barnard Gallery.

Kimberley-born artist and lecturer at Orms Cape Town School of Photography, Dominique Edwards‘ latest body of work “Feelthings”, on display at Barnard Gallery, represents the artists’ past two years of practice-based meditation using Plaster of Paris. The process and labour intensive method of layering plaster, carving and sanding to a high-level finish, was one that evolved organically.

Dominique has always explored the repetitive activity of human labour and notions of time and place through a range of mediums from drawing to installations.

Emerging from a visceral negotiation with plaster, Dominique’s final presentation of “feelthings” is a process of solidifying that which was fine powder:

There is the pouring, the sifting, the mixing, a soothing warmth, a ferocious heat, and then, the cool. The cutting, hacking, chopping, sawing, scraping, sanding smoothing, washing, polishing โ€“ and the touch. In order to physically cope with this I need to โ€œsuit-upโ€ in tyvek, latex gloves and a full mask respirator. My practice requires continuous sweeping, cleaning, wiping down of surfaces and vacuuming.

Despite its traditional use within the arts as a process medium, Dominique uses Plaster of Paris to create forms (feelthings) that are ends in themselves, with their insides and their surfaces having been negotiated over long periods of time:

“There is also an element of letting go of the artist’s hand, as the hidden tension between plaster and water find their own balance to create solidity and strength. Importantly, the plaster assumes responsibility for all structural integrity, there is no armature and no technical guide to this way of working, it needs to be felt and worked through in an embodied sense. Thus, “Feelthings” can be seen as a collection of encounters with both the mess and harmony of creation and to acts of cleaning up, asking what it means to think or feel with a material?

Central to this question is the aspect of touch and duration. Despite their pristine finish, each piece was constantly handled over long periods of time. They are thus embued with touch and, in turn, call to mind many of its associated sensations.”

However, despite “Feelthings” striking resemblance or associations to the human body and other forms, they have not been created with these likenesses in mind and find their place in another space altogether.

About The Artist

Dominique Edwards holds a Masters in Fine Art from the Michaelis School of Fine Art (2012), a post-graduate certificate in education from the University of Cape Town (2003) and a bachelor in Fine Art from the University of Stellenbosch (2002).

Edwards has taught and continues to work with a broad spectrum of students at various FET and tertiary institutions in Cape Town. Her interest resides in the creative process, an area she explores methodologically in her teaching.

“Feelthings” will be on exhibition at Barnard Gallery in Cape Town until 22 October 2019.

Categories: Art