2007 JANAPATINA – STELLENBOSCH, CAPE TOWN
This was where it all started for me. My Master Patineur aunt Jana Roberts had been in the fine art bronze foundry for around 10 years before I joined her. She was there at the inception of artist Dylan Lewis‘ career and saw the rise of all of Cape Towns’ now established art foundries. Having grown in industry with the greats, she has learnt from one of the world’s most acclaimed Patineurs – Ron Young of Sculpt Nouveau in the USA.
I started working for her in 07, I was introduced to patination and its techniques. Having Lewis as her client, we would carry out experimentation in creating patinas that were better suited. Lewis’ affinity for the wilderness and wild open spaces translated into the multitude of organic colours and its variegated composition on the surface of the bronze, and as these trials and errors in patina processes were carried out, patination really came into focus as a passion and trade.
2012 SMIT STREET STUDIOS – STRAND, CAPE TOWN
Initially – still under the umbrella of Janapatina, Jana and I embarked on patination for a new up-and-coming artist Lionel Smit – at the time. Upon learning of his keen interest in colour – much related to his vivid use such as found in his painting, we saw patination as a strong medium to connect his painting and have it translate better into sculpture : being the catalyst between the two. We saw it was fit to setup studio within Smit’s studio, allowing Smit to have a larger window into the process and its various layers – enabling him to collaborate in a way greater than other artists were. Smits’ passion for colour certainly allowed for greater experimentation and and advancement in patina technique. Among these was the a memorable execution of the fume / vapour patina – which went on exhibition at Everard Read Jhb in 2013 with astounding results – of-which can be found at Ellerman House, Bantry Bay, Cape Town.
2015 CHINA ACADEMY OF ART – HANGZHOU 中国美术学院
Having operated under my own umbrella for some time, I ventured off into China. Being interested in rich mottled and organic colour -such as the unearthed vessels found in China, I decided it would be good to go to Shanghai’s Art museum to see these priceless artifacts. After arriving in Shanghai, I set off for China Academy of Art in Hangzhou, where I was invited to present and demonstrate patination and its relevance through the ages. The university supplied all I needed to setup studio within their sculpture faculty for one semester. It was here that I could conduct classes and experimentation for the students to learn from.
2015 HANGZHOU BOTANICAL GARDEN 杭州植物园
Having finished the semester, I was invited to transfer the studio to a location not far away – within the Botanical Garden premises where an artist and his team operated from – Lin Gang 林岗 – president of the Hangzhou sculpture society. It was here that I could further develop my colour palette, delving into copperplate works of my own including patina work for Gang himself. It was here that I spearheaded my techniques in copper sheet, having produced my work that was to be exhibited the following year at at an International Group Art Exhibition- Body Space.
2016 AFRICAN BRONZE CASTINGS – STELLENBOSCH, CAPE TOWN
Upon returning to South Africa once again, I continued with Dylan Lewis‘ patination, setting up studio within his private art foundry located in Stellenbosch. His work once again took a dramatic turn, and much experimentation was carried out, giving Lewis a patina that embraced earthlike colours, such as found on dug-up bronzes – yet sympathetic and complementary to the sculptures’ form and texture.
2018 OBSERVATORY STUDIO, CAPE TOWN (CURRENT)
I have setup studio in Observatory – Cape Town, where I can continue doing patination on Lewis’ bronzes and create my own works as an artist in my own right. As mentioned before, being unknown for a long time has allowed me to dive deep into the reasons why I do what I do.
I have once again evolved in my approach to creating art. Traditional mediums have never appealed to me very much, some prefer oil to canvas, whilst others prefer clay to bronze, I have come to see reflected sunlight as a medium, it’s just as malleable.
I’m keeping my new work off of the internet for now, I’d really like to explore the concept better before presenting it, since its really special to me. I stay far away from social media because my work has a strong IP component, and although I do want my work seen I don’t need validation from many people to tell me that I’m on the right track. I hope that doesn’t sound too snobbish, I just want it seen for real, think of it this way… My medium is natural light? How can our artificially-lit computer screens do any justice to something natural?? Think of the sunset for instance, does a video of the sunset have the same effect on you as opposed to sitting on the beach and seeing it for real??? Of-course not, it needs to be seen in its glistening glory – when the time is right.