Cheryl Gage Rites of Passage | | Art in South Africa
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Rites of Passage

Ceremonies of induction are universal occurances and the marriage ceremony is one such initiation. In dealing with the idea of transformation of self, the artist has explored the theme of the wedding as a context for this enactment of transformation.

In combination with a video sequence, a series of painted images, which is comprised of portraits, interior scenes and garden landscapes, is interspersed with three-dimensional constructs. For example, the checker board image in the painting of 'The Generic Bride' is extended as a free-standing chess board with the 32 'chess pieces' entitled 'Ophons'. The chess set comprises perfume bottles cast in resin cubes and etched with various chess moves/combinations.

In the work entitled 'The Aspirant Bride', a painterly portrait of the flower girl/bridesmaid is combined with a view of the honeymoon suite and a still life setting entitled 'The Feast of Eden'. Subsequent painterly images of the marriage pair, the reception etc. are also interspersed with non-figurative constructions of cloth that serve as abstracted metaphors of the wedding or marital context.

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