Son Of Man

Son of Man, a slightly larger than life-size bronze male figure supported by 4 fabricated steel "stilts", was part of my solo exhibition at the 2015 Sasol New Signatures and subsequently the Everard Read Gallery's Bronze-Steel-Stone exhibition. Edition 2/5 of Son of Man was purchased by the Pretoria Art Museum for their permanent collection. Edition 1/5 is in a private collection in Gauteng.

'Son of Man' is my largest piece yet and one which could be perceived as almost the antithesis of most of my other work in the sense that the figure is intimately connected to technological structures rather than to the natural (animal) world. The figure’s near-nakedness is in sharp contrast to the hardness of the constructions that supports him: my aim with this figure was to explore at the same time human longing for transcendence and the inescapable vulnerability of the human individual in navigating life and the world, a vulnerability that perhaps, ironically, fuels the cold hard edge of our technology. For me transcendence is to do with going beyond limitations. We all long for it. We strive for it in a host of ways. Money, material things, and success, are all to do with this restless need for transcendence. But in the end it is very close to us.

‘Son of Man’ attempts by all his might to transcend vulnerability and free himself from the constraints his body places on him. This is to me another profound aspect of the human condition, the desire to free ourselves from constraint. But we cannot do this as we are all ultimately doomed to return to dust, the humus (from where we get the word humility).

To move away from this misguided and limited sense of transcendence, from (our myth of) being in the world as though we control it, to being in the world as though we share it, requires a huge shift in the way we understand ourselves in relation to our environment.

The original was sculpted from clay which was used to make a mold for casting into bronze, a very challenging project. The assistance of the Goodwin Foundry was invaluable.

Total dimensions 3.5m by 2.5m by 1.5m. Edition of 5.