Friday, January 21, 2011

The Art of the Construction Site

Julie Mayo “The Art of the Construction Site” at artSPACE Durban Opening on Monday, 24 January @ 6:30pm

Having an extensive background in Architecture, Durban artist Julie Mayo has always had a fascination for construction sites: the energy, the chaos, the danger; the smell of wet concrete, sawn timber and freshly dug earth; the noisy carefree chattering of the labourers, the ear-splitting sound of metal against metal. The visuals created by scaffolding, danger tape, cranes, the geometric skyline and the inevitable abandoned broken workmen’s shoe.

For this body of work Mayo has used original digital photographs that she took during the construction stage of the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, South Africa and digitally manipulated them to create these stunning images that are imbued with her own sensitivity to colour, emotion and atmosphere. Working in Photoshop she has used computer technology as a contemporary artistic tool to decompose the original image, and through the process of sorting, layering and manipulating, the construction site has become her theatre.

She has choreographed the horizontal, the vertical and the angular. She has layered texture over texture, and kept to a limited palette to create these theatrical but ethereal spaces. Here and there a human figure emerges, seemingly insignificant but essential to the process, to emphasize the scale and dominance of the built forms.

Here the construction site is a metaphor for the journey that is life: her photographs have captured the process rather than an image of the end.

artSPACE durban
3 Millar Road (off Umgeni Road)
Durban 4001 Tel: +27 (0)31-312-0793
Gallery Hours: Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm/Sat & Public Holidays 9am - 2pm

Ernest Roper


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