Two Solo Exhibitions at Lizamore & Associates Gallery | Art Exhibition Listings
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Art Exhibitions

Two Solo Exhibitions

3 July 2022

Two solo exhibitions featuring Karla Nixon and James Thomas
Underfoot by Karla Nixon
Home… Not house, place, or space, but home. Something that moves beyond walls and a roof or a place of shelter. That theoretical line that changes a house into a home. The cold box into a sanctuary.
It is an inherent human condition to seek comfort, to turn a cold space into a place of warmth. It has been argued that early evidence of this condition, the need for comfort, is the creation and use of objects that could be construed of as rugs. Rugs have shifted and changed throughout history but this historic object, whether an animal pelt or a contemporary carpet, still manages to hold an important role in our homes. Its function brings comfort, whether actual or perceived, and is a perfect object to signify this theoretical line that changes a house into a home.
For an object so ordinary and commonplace, carpets and rugs come with a multitude of hidden value. Outside of the functionality of the carpet, whether it be a space to clean or dry one’s feet, or an important role in cultural and religious ceremonies, rugs have been transformed into both art and décor through the invention of hand weaving and dyes that allowed for elaborate designs and patterns. And with the colour and pattern it also became a signifier of wealth as well as an expression of personal taste.
This body of work explores space and place using carpets/mats as signifiers. They underlie the mood and feeling for a room, an emotional and behavioural bubble. They’re a backdrop for the action that happens within a space and therefore hold so much history and communication about the lives within. Whether used for function or statement they age; fade, hold dust and dirt, absorb spills, take on impressions from furniture, they rip, scuff and mark from experiences lived across them; they hold memories in the way they’re blemished. The effects of meaningful actions are seen on them and in this way become representative of our feelings and memories about a space.
Karla Nixon, born in 1990, spent her early childhood on a sugarcane estate in Swaziland before relocating to Durban, South Africa.  She is a Durban based artist who predominantly works with paper. She hand-cuts, tears and sculpts intricate images and objects, drawn from her surrounding environments. More recently her work has used this medium to explore themes around colour, texture, textiles and land. Nixon completed her Master’s degree in Fine Art in 2017 at the Durban University of Technology, South Africa. Her degree focused on transience in the work of paper artists, which she completed with Cum Laude. Nixon was awarded and completed an artist residency in Bremen, Germany, in 2017-18. She has been selected as a finalist in both the Sasol and ABSA art competitions. Nixon has participated in a number of group shows in Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg, and has had a few solo shows the most recent being, Crease, in 2021 at State of the Art Gallery, Cape Town. Her work is in private collections in South Africa, Lebanon, Australia, Spain and Holland to name a few. As well as in public collections including the Durban Art Gallery and The National Art Bank.  Nixon is currently lecturing 2D and 3D studies in the Arts Extended Curriculum Program at The Durban University of Technology. This is Nixon's first solo exhibition with Lizamore & Associates. 
Crome Yellow and the Duality of Progress by James Thomas
Duality; a defining trait of this city. Marbled floors and skeleton towers. Flawless lawns and red dust. 
The Weaver bird is an iconic feature of the highveld region with its nests dotting the millions of trees that Johannesburg hosts. Each Weaver builds multiple nests, building and destroying them like a parody of the Greek myth Sisyphus. 
Johannesburg is a city built from the exploits of both the earth and human sacrifice alike. It is seen, by many, as the crown jewel of the modern African metropolis - but at what cost, past and present? 
Like the shrubs and grass destroyed to build the nest; Johannesburg, the land it lies on and its inhabitants are the same. 
Thomas explores the parallels shared by the Weaver and this city in the act of destroying to create. 
James Thomas (b.1996) is a visual artist based in Johannesburg, South Africa. He works in a range of mediums - oil paint, acrylic, pastel and charcoal on canvas and found objects salvaged from the street.
The artist has spent intimate time as a skateboarder on the streets of the inner-city since the age of eleven. This gave him a unique and nuanced view of the visual, socio-political and ambient landscape of the metropolis. An interest in documenting his experiences in the city developed into an obsession as he began to work in various downtown clubs and bars. What began as writing, became drawing and eventually gave way to large-scale paintings.
Through these experiences Thomas has created art with a journalistic approach. He captures, anecdotally and personally, what it means to live in Johannesburg in the 21st century. The work draws from the nature of city: Organised chaos.
Words are scrawled on the canvas as if a store front or bus stop.
The colours are harsh and monochromatic and then colourful and vibrant. The harsh dualities present in the city are emphasised by contrasting elements of abstraction and realism. The compositions are at odds with one another and in a state of harmony simultaneously.
Thomas has been exhibited by David Krut Projects, Kalishnikov Gallery and Gallery Fanon. Thomas was featured as part of TAF22 Unearthed exhibition. This is Thomas' fourth solo exhibition and his first with Lizamore & Associates. 

Participating: Karla Nixon and James Thomas


Address: 3 Hetty Avenue, Fairland, Johannesburg
Cell: 082 651 4702
Gallery hours: Mon - Fri: 10:00 - 17:00. Sat: 10:00 - 15:00.


HER EYE ON THE STORM: A tribute to Gisèle Wulfsohn (18 March 1957 - 27 Dec 2011)

Participating: Gisèle Wulfsohn

Opening: Tuesday 16 August 2022 at 18:00 - 22 October 2022

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