SOPHIA VAN WYK | THE CODED CLOUD
02 march – 01 april 2017
Fried Contemporary is pleased to present an exhibition in Room 2 by Sophia van Wyk opening Thursday 02 March from 6pm-8pm.
The Coded Cloud features abstract sculptures and paintings by Sophia van Wyk. Van Wyk creates a visual memory bank with cloud shapes coded as timestamps for both significant historical and contemporary social issues including personal dates, events and memories. Van Wyk captures shapes of moving clouds through photographs and sketches and assigns each shape with a code that relates to the time, memory and/or event, then archives it through her art.
She ‘modifies’ the memory or event through interpreting the form or incorporating it with other “memory” clouds. With her sculptures and paintings she is able to change subjectively positive, neutral and negative memories and events through her interpretation, interaction and merging of ‘memory clouds’ to create new stories and memories. Through her artworks she creates subversive and non-representational biomorphic forms that becomes a metaphor for ‘new meaning and knowledge’ through the unfamiliar.
The use of biomorphic forms, clouds in particular, hold multiple meanings for van Wyk. Because clouds are constantly changing, never static, she sees them as signifying the constant changes in her constructed female identity. Van Wyk specifically work from liminal, morphing and moving forms that refer to an evolving state of flux and change. Ironically the shapes that she creates are solid and static.
Van Wyk positions herself as a post-feminist artist, who wants to activate and engage society by transforming the social landscape and recognising the diversity within gender norms. She challenges notions of gender stereotyping by choosing to undertake both historically construed ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ work.
Sophia Van Wyk (born 1981 in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa) obtained her Bachelor of Art in Fine Art degree at the University of Stellenbosch, in 2003. She graduated from her Masters in Fine Art (Cum Laude) from the University of Johannesburg at the beginning of 2015.
Van Wyk has participated in numerous group exhibitions and early in 2015 she had her first solo exhibition at the FADA Gallery in Johannesburg. Two of her sculptures were selected as regional finalists for the 2015 Barclays L’Atelier competition. Van Wyk exhibited at HAZARD Gallery in a solo exhibition titled ‘FLUX’ in November 2015 alongside Mexican born, NYC based Luis Alonzo Barkigia’s solo exhibition ‘Brou-ha-ha’.
She was invited to work at the Nirox Sculpture Park (Johannesburg) as part of a month long residency from May to June 2016. Van Wyk created a public sculpture (titled Cirrus 20.10.12) for the inaugural exhibition at The Cosmopolitan. Most recently van Wyk was selected for a funded three month bronze casting residency at The Falconer Foundry from March to May 2017.