@ERG - NEILL WRIGHT: BLIZZARD HEAD
Jul 26 – Aug 18, 2018
EVERARD READ GALLERY
26th July – 19th August 2018
The title BLIZZARD HEAD is a metaphorical reference to a heady, intoxicated and somewhat over-whelming, post-fall state of mind. We have eaten our fill of Eden’s apple and sickened by our own excess we must begin to navigate this ‘paradise’ of our own making, terrified by the knowledge we have gained. It is this state of mind that the artist feels resonates with the current global mood as we grapple with the errors of the past and the weight of history while simultaneously trying to envisage a positive way forward.
The works in BLIZZARD HEAD are ruminations on Wright’s own life experiences as well as his larger questions surrounding the human paradox: our capability for inventiveness and adaption versus our careless capacity for destruction. The seductive, bright, and layered work presents a new world and a possible new life before us; an alluring wilderness beyond the confines of the canvas and sculpted surfaces. The question is, what sort of life will this be? Euphoric and exciting perhaps, but also possibly menacing, perilous and confusing.
In a recent essay on the artist’s work, UCT art theorist and lecturer Andrew Lamprecht stated that in the wilderness Neill has created, he “portrays nuclear proliferation, genetic manipulation and the constant, unremitting environmental disaster that we are all heir and progenitor to through happy, bright, even cartoonesque layerings and juxtapositions. In the series, lactations and ejaculations; explosions and implosions compete for our attention with lush foliage and sunny vistas about to turn dark.”
Wright believes that we exist in an exciting yet somewhat frightening time of discovery and renewal as we cut a new path to our own imagined destination, while along the way acknowledging and confronting the darkness and weight of the past as a means to affect positive change. We are at a crossroads, as our metaphorical nausea within the collective human psyche gradually begins to wane, making way for what the artist hopes will be a renewed and clear state of mind, fit to confront and deal with the multitude of issues with which humanity is faced.