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Sculpting The Future Of Public Art

V&A Waterfront Art in Public Places Programme launches a new outdoor sculpture

The V&A Waterfront’s Art in Public Places Programme unveiled its most recent sculpture commission, Michele Mathison’s Angular Mass, at the V&A Waterfront’s Silo District on Thursday, 15 February 2018.

The sculpture comprises of five large flywheels that formed an integral part of the original Grain Silo machinery when it was first constructed in 1921. When the building was repurposed as the new Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA), the flywheels were given to artist Michele Mathison. He used the wheels to create a static sculpture that nevertheless captures the dynamic motion of their rotational drive, and the sheer weight and size of the wheels.

The sculpture forms part of the V&A Waterfront’s Art in Public Places programme. This ongoing initiative brings creative outdoor elements to the property, allowing visitors to interact with and enjoy sizeable works of art on a free, open-air platform that is open 24 hours a day.

Artist Michele Mathison and Angular Mass

Angular Mass is the latest in a number of other sculptures installed across the V&A Waterfront by artists such as Noria Mabasa, Mohau Modisakeng, Kyle Morland, Cameron Platter, Carl Frederik Reuterswärd, Claudette Schreuders and Gavin Younge.

Mathison has drawn critical acclaim for his solo exhibitions, States of EmergenceManual, and Harvest, which are currently housed within Zeitz MOCAA.

When talking about the sculpture, Mathison, who is renowned for his socio-political commentary and use of found material says: “I was honoured to have the opportunity to integrate these magnificent pieces of historical machinery into the public realm. Hopefully the work reflects how the Waterfront continues to be a dynamic and integral part of South Africa’s working economy.”

Executive Director and Chief Curator of Zeitz MOCAA, Mark Coetzee, who also serves as the chairperson of the Art in Public Places Programme says: “The V&A Waterfront Art in Public Programme demonstrates a strong commitment to Access for All. This Programme allows visitors to the V&A Waterfront to experience some of the most evocative artists working today, free, 24 hours a day. We are honoured to have commissioned a new piece from one of the most innovative young sculptors working in South Africa today, Michele Mathison.”

David Green, V&A Waterfront CEO, says: “The idea behind our Art in Public Places initiative is to showcase Africa’s creativity, and to stimulate cultural awareness and public dialogue bymaking it accessible. We believe it is important to put these inspiring and imaginative sculptures into the public domain for all to visit and see.”

Sculptures included in the V&A Waterfront Art in Public Places Programme are on view throughout the year, and new artwork will be added.