ANGUS TAYLOR | LAYERS OF BEING
Sep 13 – Oct 4, 2023
ANGUS TAYLOR | LAYERS OF BEING
13 September - 4 October 2023
Everard Read London is pleased to present an exhibition of new bronze and stone sculptures by renowned, South African artist Angus Taylor opening in September 2023.
Renowned for his powerful bronze and stone works, frequently on a scale that many sculptors find intimidating, Taylor works with an extraordinary range of materials and methods. From his immediate environment he incorporates Belfast granite and varieties of ancient minerals of the Barberton greenstone belt.
Taylor creates dialogue between the intrinsic narratives and value these materials hold, and cast metal. In essence, a dialogue between the found, ancient and profound, and the current contemporary possibilities of our manufactured world.
For Taylor, the presence of ancient rock and stone invites contemplation of deep time, often a humbling interaction that crystalises as an ode to the stone. Taylor’s sculptures transmit an acute awareness of humanity’s vulnerability and temporality – they are visual communicators that seek to share this contextual understanding. For the artist, the brief span of human existence, juxtaposed with the timelessness of stone, brings into focus the contrast between transience and permanence with profound poignancy. For him, the insight is a constant reminder, a loud call to utilise finite time with both gratitude and vigour.
In his ongoing exploration of the human condition and humanity’s capacity for struggle and resilience, Taylor has placed the human form within its mineral surroundings. The metaphorical interactions between the raw materials and the representation of the organic, living conscious beings is where the exploration and dialogue continues. Indeed, the relish with which the artist wrestles with tough and challenging materials is a vivid manifestation of humanity’s ability to overcome adversity and to be profoundly shaped by the experience. ‘As you alter a material, you in turn are altered,’ observes Taylor.
Layers of Being alludes to the layers of rock, and earth as soil horizons - a chronological tactile narrative we mostly, unknowingly tread over. Without insight into this foundational point of departure in thought, our short-lived dramas and daily challenges may seem immense or even permanent.
Layers of Being also references temporal and generational layers - the complex genetic knowledge and behaviour that passes from one generation to the next. It is the stacking of understanding, a foundational frame of reference on which more and more layers of knowledge may be placed, organised and bound, just as a sculpture is stacked, layered and bound as single idea.
With this body of work Taylor aims to convey how our reality is contextually relational, that in the context of geological deep time, our short gift of life is, or rather could be, of great value and importance. Each individual sculpture is an iteration of this very central understanding.
Since the start of his career as a sculptor some 25 years ago, Angus Taylor has maintained his position at the centre of his artistic process, from modelling and casting to the installation of site-specific artwork. Taylor believes that if the artist is the constant in the continuum, there is a greater sense of poetic intervention: “In this way, less of my intention can be lost in translation between concept and process, and between process and materials.”
Taylor’s craftsmanship, his bold and visionary approach, and his original use of materials, have resulted in landmark sculptures and many public and private commissions across Africa, Europe, North America and Australia.