But what really catches my eye are Eddy’s 3-D “creatures” decorated with wooden balls, frayed rope, pins and light bulbs— the softly glowing light and shiny surface make me want to reach out and touch it.It seems like Edmiston and Eddy are trying to interact with their audience.A frank assessment of the nation’s plight is needed without the burden of political correctness and without the questioning of your “anti-apartheid struggle” credentials as soon as problems with the “new” South Africa are articulated. Yet, many of our emerging artists prefer producing slick works that get them great amounts of media attention and bookings on hot international shows. Ever since our first democratic elections in 1994, the private art sector in South Africa has experienced enormous growth.Today contemporary art is a booming industry catering for the needs of our ever-growing middle classes, both black and white, as well as the international market.A canvas has been mounted exposing the back, where a shoeprint and messy, scrawled writing are visible.While other exhibits might hide these traits, this exhibition doesn’t shy away from displaying the untidiness of the creative process.Individual South African artists such as William Kentridge, Willem Boshoff, Tracey Rose, Santu Mofokeng, David Koloane, Zwelethu Mthethwa, Kendel Geers, Lisa Brice and David Goldblatt are all familiar faces on the international art circuit.
However, the lack of innovative works by young artists that critically reflect the current political, economic and social environment is worrying.
I had expected the exhibition to be too stuffy and high-brow, but the art itself is inviting.
To me, the diversity and playfulness of “Walking to Work” make it feel inclusive—it’s as if you’ve walked in on a discussion between Eddy and Edmiston, and they’ve turned to ask for your opinion.
Walking through the entrance, the black and white, geometric style of Ben Edmiston presents rows of small, black symbols that seem like modern hieroglyphs.
And when you turn the corner, this is in stark contrast to Eddy’s brightly colored, textured piece that bursts from the canvas.