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Artist's x marks, stumps and graves blow viewers away

By unknown | Nov 19, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Patience Bambalele

Patience Bambalele

Seasoned visual artist Carl Jeppe, who is at present exhibiting at the Absa Gallery in Johannesburg, demonstrates the wonders that can be achieved with the humble pencil.

His exhibition Earth Works: Archiving the Present, which opened on November 12 and runs until November 30, blew viewers away on the opening night.

Born in Krugersdorp in 1949, Jeppe presents an amazing set of drawings focussed on "stumps" that have left people speechless.

The stumps are all that is left of a warehouse in Mitchell Street, Pretoria West. Jeppe created the stunning works from a photo of the site. But in his works the stumps look strikingly real.

"I think people define the works differently," says the artist. "I know the drawings look real - but they depict things that never existed."

There is also a series of drawings depicting an x shape.

Associated with spirituality, the x is a familiar mark to many - some sign their name with it while others are familiar with making an x on a ballot paper.

The x sign also signifies many things: from a crossroad to a meeting place, a place of danger, a sign of despair or, simply, a destination point.

"Looking at where we came from during apartheid we are at a crossroads at the moment," Jeppe says.

Also on display is a series of touching works featuring graves.

"These graves are varied in their scale and intentions. Some are elegant structures with careful and painstaking details, while others are mere piles of stone," he says.


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