Featured workGuy du Toit: Improvised Seating

Sculptor Guy du Toit uses the unexpected juxtaposition of a noble material – bronze – with seemingly improvised arrangements of everyday materials and objects to invite the audience into a dialogue.

The artist creates objects derived primarily from his immediate surroundings, “selected for their non-heroic, open-ended meaning,” he states, denoting the double significance held by many of his choices. “Bells, for instance, may refer either to slavery or liberty.” In Improvised Seating, du Toit casts piles of bricks and rocks in bronze, arranging them informally much like builders in a construction site could improvise a seat for their lunch break. The forms echo temporary seating arrangements typically used by labourers. “Here we have a conversation between a building site (bricks) and someone in the veld (grasslands),” the artist explains. “These objects have been cast in bronze, a medium associated with permanence and the grand – the antithesis of their improvised and temporary nature.” The ambiguity of these pieces can also be interpreted as a reflection on South Africa’s socio-political condition, and questions the idea of value between formal and informal, what is permanent or impermanent, and why.

 

  • Bronze, one three-brick piece, 22.2 × 10.6 × 36.8 cm; two four-brick pieces, 22.2 × 10.6 × 41.2 cm each; one rock piece, 70 × 33 × 30 cm. Courtesy of Southern Guild, photo by Greg Cox © Guy du Toit

    Guy du Toit. Improvised Seating, 2014