Rory Emmett Presents Building Ground: Grey Areas
From April 30 to June 1, 2019, 99 Loop will present Building Ground: Grey Areas, an exhibition of recent work by Rory Emmett.
“This exhibition consists of painting and installation elements. I find myself interested in the coexistence of art and labour and the value systems that are produced and exchanged through, and as a result of various forms of work. I attempt to grapple with my immediate landscape on a personal and political level and consider the process of construction, both physical and ideological. Through the process of painting, a kind of surface-building, I seek to visually explore distinctions between “high” and “low” culture, coming to terms with negotiations of living with the symptoms of fundamental shifts in national ideology and ongoing economic transformation. Utilizing the language, alchemy and performance of painting as well as the visual devices of construction and industrialization, I seek to question the symbolic violence of Westernized standards of beauty and success which are still aspired to and normalized within the post-colonial landscape, as well as trying to come to terms with notions of Rainbowism and constructive criticism of a democracy still experiencing growing pains” said Emmett.
The artist completed his BAFA at the Michaelis School of Fine Art (UCT) in 2014. He majored in painting, and in his final year was awarded the Judy Steinberg Painting Prize. He was also the 2014 recipient of the Hoosein Mohamed Award and the Director and Staff Special Prize, in his final year. His work now forms part of one of UCT’s permanent collections, at the CCA (Centre for Curating the Archive), as well as a number of private and corporate collections.
Emmett was a Top 5 Sasol New Signatures Merit Award winner for 2015 as well as an SPI Portrait Award 2015 finalist. He has participated in a number of group shows including Greatest Hits: A Domestic Odysey & Claims to Land at the AVA in 2015, Movie Snaps: Cape Town Remembers Differently at the District Six Homecoming Centre in 2015, New Monuments at Commune.1 in 2016, Dresscode and Cape to Tehran at Gallery MOMO in 2017 & 2018, A Painting Today at Stevenson in 2017, Throughlines at Greatmore Studios in 2017 and Here and Now at Greatmore Studios in 2018, Image of Displacement at the District Six Homecoming Centre in 2018, the 2017 and 2018 Cape Town Art Fairs, and KWAAI at Eclectica Contemporary (2018).
Rory Emmett lives and works in Cape Town, where he held his first solo exhibition at the end of 2017 titled Concerning Alchemy at the AVA gallery. Emmett’s most recent projects include a group exhibition which he organized and curated at 99 Loop Gallery titled The Devil Loves When We Loathe Ourselves (2018), and a performance called I Feel Most Coloured When I Am Thrown Against A Sharp Black And White Background (2018) as part of a group exhibition titled The Main Complaint at Zeitz MOCAA in February 2019.
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