Jan van der Merwe
Jan van der Merwe considers himself an installation artist. He usually creates large artworks of intricately recreated tableaux, often composed in discarded, found material; Van der Merwe calls the found objects “artefacts of our time”. He accelerates the decaying process by adding layers of rust or burning the objects to charcoal, transforming them into archaeological relics. Being invited to participate in Site_Specific challenged van der Merwe to work outside of the white gallery cube and to allow his installations to converse with the larger environment. On Central Beach, just off the wooden walkway beside the main parking lot, stood van der Merwe’s Uprooted. It was composed of exposed blackened tree trunks merged with old discarded chairs standing before the sea. The chairs were never luxurious, but now they are stripped of whatever comfort they might have once provided. Van der Merwe describes the work as “a monument to all people whose lives were uprooted for various reasons.” It is not a monument for the ages. It will soon return to the earth.
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