Fracture is a series of five hanging, embossed leather screens created for ‘SGX’ Southern Guild Gallery’s 10 year anniversary exhibition.
Materials: Leather and Brass
Cubism is like standing at a certain point on a mountain and looking around. If you go higher, things will look different; if you go lower, again they will look different. It is a point of view.
– Jaques Lipshitz
Fracture began as an exploration of Cubism. I wanted to see how I could interpret the Cubist concepts of faceted abstraction and plural viewpoints in my own medium.
Africa has a rich mineral heritage that is beautiful and enriching but often dangerous and brutal. The five panels of Fracture are abstract impressions of such geological forms from multiple perspectives.
The thick leather has a sensual and luxurious feel while the embossed patterns create the effect of jagged, fractured rock and transform the limited palette and plains of colour adding depth, light and shadows.
As you turn around the installation the brass arms sometimes frame and sometimes slice through the work contrasting with the unframed areas and negative spaces. The brass plates guide the eye from one leather panel to the next, creating highlights and a promise of wealth.
Naming an artwork can be difficult. I settled on Fracture as, for me, it references several things. The first is cubist fracturing of forms. The second is of a fracture, or break, with earlier traditions or work, the promise of something new. Another reference is to the breaking of rock to expose minerals.
The different embossing plates and techniques are the outcome of much experimentation. As ever my work is based upon working with with materials up until I find my own way, my own handwriting or point of view.
Xavier Clarisse, November 2018