LIZA GROBLER: a rainbow in my pocket
Oct 10 – Nov 1, 2019
New paintings by Liza Grobler, with poems by Tom Dreyer
Opening 18:30 Thursday 10 October 2019
Walkabout at 11am on Saturday 26 October
“Reality is always shifting and, as an attempt to make sense of it, so am I.”
– Liza Grobler
a rainbow in my pocket is a series of paintings that recounts ‘scapes’ from the past twelve months of Cape Town artist Liza Grobler’s life, captured in mixed media on canvas. The individual pieces become building blocks for a larger narrative, where the physical movement through space (be it landscape, cityscape or dreamscape) is evoked as an emotive response to place.
Time, space and the impact of an impression are relative. Sometimes short moments in insignificant spaces can resonate for years. In this body of work, Grobler attempts to answer questions arising from such spatial experiences. How relevant is the visual appearance of a space to our experience thereof? What ties different spaces together – is it economy, ecology, politics or history? To what extent do our experiences within a space relate to our expectations of these spaces, or to prior experiences of other spaces?
a rainbow in my pocket refers to Grobler’s physical movements through spaces in geographically unconnected places: a week in the Karoo (Northern Cape), a two-month residency in Brooklyn (New York), a day trip to Kogelberg Nature Reserve after a devastating fire wiped out many hectares of this biodiverse region (Western Cape), various two-hour visits to Green Point Urban Park (Cape Town), which conjured up the artist’s first direct encounter with Monet’s Water Lilies (in Paris) many years earlier, as well as a pocketful of day dreams that resulted in Morse code projections of deep space.
In this ongoing process, imagined landscapes are challenged by physical encounters, and prior interactions are shaped by new explorations. These scapes become windows onto an inner world that is always under construction and constantly in flux.
Stellenbosch writer Tom Dreyer composed a series of poems in response to the work.
PARADISE TO METROPOLE
half-hidden behind trunks
she invites us to where basilisks
hang with dew on their scales
in an afternoon encompassed
by the glass of their eyes
the foregrounded tree was once
caprissus until transformed for his
thoughtlessness it is the wild ash
of paradise where unicorns
rest their heads on her lap she
who has amassed all this: rhizomes
and lilies and the trajectory of stars
she whose metronomic strokes
fold the world into a single wood
but basilisks have glacial eyes
they whisper that we have to leave
this frame these trees this shock
of greenness fretting at the sky