CONNECTIVITY: SOLO EXHIBITION BY TAHITI PEHRSON

Lyracolos by Tahiti PehrsonLyracolos / 2013 / Hand-cut Paper / 100% Cotton Rag, Acid-free / 914mm x 914mm

Salon91 Contemporary Art Collection, Cape Town presents:

Connectivity
A Solo Show and First Exhibition in South Africa of Paper Artworks by Tahiti Pehrson

Wednesday 26 February – 22 March 2014

Artist’s Statement
For as long as I can remember I have used art to define and document my experiences. We all start that way, some of us stop doing it at some point for better suited tools of expression. The inexactness of outcome always suited me and yet my work has evolved more and more towards exactness. In the process of cutting more and more detailed works I started to become aware of variation and indeed of repetition. Each shape morphing from square to diamond to triangle, and each variation leading to the next, all forming a larger fabric and pattern. A system connected. Our world is often defined by our differences rather than the reality of parts of a whole. I became interested in the things that make us the same. Even if art is reduced only to a visual experience, trying to create an experience that could both inspire and suggest a wide variety of narratives. The viewer is invited to tailor his/her own experience, and thus engaging personally. A person of faith may read and interpret religious or spiritual implications while a more scientifically minded individual could see Geometry yet both narratives describe a larger system encompassing a whole.

There is a tension, which exists between the apparent fragility of the medium played against the strength of connectivity in a radiant fabric of variation.

Formation by Tahiti PehrsonFormation / 2013 / Hand-cut Paper / 100% Cotton Rag, Acid-free / 508 x 508 mm

Artist’s Profile
Tahiti Pehrson spent his early years without electricity growing up in a bohemian artist household in Northern California. Art was a mode of entertainment without television or music and long hours were spent in nature and drawing. Influenced by the burgeoning skateboarding and punk scene of the mid Nineteen-eighties and later engaging in the San Francisco street art and graffiti culture of the late Nineties. Traveling Europe and China in search of art enrichment and later attending the San Francisco Art Institute as a painting major, Pehrson left after a year and a half. A practice of stencil-making and street art evolved into a more and more detailed practice of paper cutting two and three-dimensional works.

Pehrson has been working and exhibiting in hand cut paper for the last fifteen years. Over the last five plus years his works have concentrated on highly detailed geometric patterns called Guilloche which date back to Classical Greek and Roman times, later to be perfected by the Rose Engine Lathe in France in the late 1700’s. Today these patterns can be seen on almost every currency in the world as well as hub cups watches and also seem to touch on the design sense intrinsic to nature. These highly detailed monochromatic works create with light and shadow a hypnotic field of Moire patterning.

With many intersections creating a larger fabric, themes in the work center around Connectivity, Systems, Variation and fragility.

Equis by Tahiti PehrsonEquis / 2013 / Hand-cut Paper / 100% Cotton Rag, Acid-free / 914mm x 914mm

Symbiosis by Tahiti PehrsonSymbiosis / 2014 / Hand-cut Paper / 100% Cotton Rag, Acid-free / 508 x 508 mm

Connectivity
Tahiti Pehrson
Salon91 Contemporary Art Collection
26 February – 22 March 2014
Opening Night Wednesday 26 February 2014 at 18h30. The exhibition concludes Sat 22/3/2014 at 2pm.

Gallery Hours:
Tue – Fri: 10 am – 6pm; Sat: 10am – 2pm; Closed: Mondays & Sundays

Address: 91 Kloof Street, Cape Town

SARAH PRATT ARTIST INTERVIEW

Sarah Pratt

Born in Zimbabwe in 1972, Sarah Pratt holds a Master of Fine Arts degree. She is a highly skilled printmaker, specializing in copper etching, linocut, collograph and monoprint. After spending 10 years in the print department of Michaelis as a part-time staff member, Sarah decided to devote most of her time to making her own work. She is an extremely prolific artist, constantly creating, and participating in a number of exhibitions. Sarah works from a group studio in Observatory, where she is currently interested in ink and gouache on paper, paper cut-out work, monoprints and drypoints.

Sarah’s solo exhibition Away opened at Salon91 Contemporary Art Collection in Cape Town yesterday, and ends 22 February. The exhibition is made up of a large body of paper-based works, created while the artist has been travelling abroad. Expect to see exotic creatures, houses that grow on trees, chance meetings, scale displacements, unfamiliar and magical environments and more… Go check it out.

Sarah Pratt

What is art?
That’s tricky! For me it is just about anything that visually invokes an emotion in me.

What mediums do you mostly work in and why do you enjoy using them?
I work almost entirely on or with paper. At present I’m using gouache and pen and ink a lot. I like the both the flatness of gouache, and it’s ability to work as a watercolour where needed. I also love the process of cutting and assembling paper.

What do you enjoy about doing more surreal artworks?
I’m not really sure that I regard my works as surreal. I try to create humorous and dreamlike situations through my choices of subject matter and use of materials.

Birds feature in quite a lot of your works. Is this an intentional theme? Do you like to stick to any sort of imagery or themes?
At present, I simply enjoy the appearance of certain birds, and this is why I paint them. I do like to stick to certain themes, for as long as it takes to work them out of my system, then I move onto something else that inspires me.

Can you take us through your typical process when creating an artwork?
I become inspired by one thing i.e. an old house or a doll and from there I amuse myself by imagining what to place around it. It’s the juxtaposition of various discordant objects that I find pleasing. Once I am happy with the mapping out of the work, I like to experiment with pen and ink linework, then paint only certain objects. I think having been trained as a printmaker, I tend to create works in layer by layer.

Sarah Pratt

What do you do when you aren’t creating art?
Sleep mostly.

Where do you draw inspiration from?
Anywhere really – a conversation, a book, something I see.

If you had the chance, would you consider living somewhere considered more of an art capital e.g. San Francisco? What is it about South Africa that keeps you here?
Yes, I would and do consider living somewhere else, why not! But I do love plants, so the Western Cape is like an Eden to me. I mostly stay here because of my dog and friends.

Do you think that South Africa is moving forwards in terms of being recognised for its’ artists or not? Do you have any commentary on art in South Africa in the present day?
I don’t know – not really my area of interest if I’m honest, but I can tell you that I love being an artist in South Africa.

Why do you think that so many South African artists’ work seems to be strongly influenced by international artists? Is there a lack of originality in South African art?
Again, this is a place that I try not to go to in my head – I tend to think that all art is international. I find some art made by South African artists mind-blowingly exquisite, and some deeply awful but I am sure this is not unique to South Africa.

What advice would you give someone wanting to establish themselves as an artist?
Make the work that you need to make – don’t be swayed by what you think you ‘ought’ to be making.

Who are some of your favourite South African artists at the moment?
Oh, Georgina Gatrix, Elise Wessels, Andrew Lovell, Liza Grobler, Michael Taylor, Frank Van Reenen…

Away – Facebook Event

Sarah Pratt

Sarah Pratt

Sarah Pratt

Sarah Pratt

Sarah Pratt

Sarah Pratt

Sarah Pratt