Art Focus: Awaken your sensory imagination

Art Focus: Awaken your sensory imagination

By Melissa Cohen

Fictional, fantastical and a whole lot of fun is the best way to describe Cape Town based visual artist, Chad Rossouw’s latest exhibition. ‘The Planet’s Wake’, which is running until August 30 at the Brundyn Gallery in Cape Town, takes you on a mystical journey through time.
After recently receiving his Master’s Degree in Fine Art at UCT, Rossouw has established himself in the art world as an artist, writer and lecturer who has a passion for telling stories through his work. “I love history and storytelling, so I strive to show elements of both in my work,” discusses the artist.
‘The Planet’s Wake’ is an exhibition that highlights some of Rossouw’s life, his interests and planet earth. The exhibition makes constant references to the popular series, ‘Game of Thrones’, and the ‘Terminator’ movie series. With huge wooden shields carved with scripture, swords and big marble-lookalike tablets engraved with ancient texts hanging from the walls, walking around the exhibition room is like taking a trip into a medieval era with dungeons and dragons.

“I want people to see what connects with them and to think about what they are seeing. I also want them to enjoy the physicality of my pieces and take away what they want from my work,” says Rossouw. Each piece featured in the exhibition is different and created with various mediums.
A multimedia installation consisting of wood to marble to old manuscripts, digital paintings and even photographs, is built around the hidden concept of truth and fakery. Many of Rossouw’s pieces aren’t what they seem to be at first glance. For example, a shield that looks like it is made out of wood is actually painted to look like wood.

Not only does the artwork have a hidden meaning, but so too does the name of the exhibition. “The name ‘The Planet’s Wake’ came from a pun of the word wake. I wanted to use this word with its three meanings. The first being waking up to something, in other words the planet’s awoken to creativity and life. The second meaning is a wake in the sense of mourning something and this refers to the planet mourning its history, and the third meaning is a ship’s wake and how this again refers to the water that flows behind a ship and so too does the planet’s history follow it to its future,” explains the artist.
A good few hours of free time and a creative imagination is all that is required to visit Rossouw’s exhibition and write the script to your own story of ‘The Planet’s Wake’.

* The Brundyn Gallery is situated on the First Floor of the ORO AFRICA Building, on 170 Buitengracht Street, Cape Town.
Gallery times are from 9am to 5pm, Mondays to Fridays; and from 10am to 2pm on Saturdays.
Visit www.brundyn.com for more information.

Twitter: @MelCohen92