South African artist Heike Taschner Jeske crafted a special artwork for SculptX at The Melrose Gallery. This is the sixth edition of the largest annual sculpture fair in South Africa and attendees can view the unique opportunity to view a diverse collection of sculptures.
Taschner Jeske specialises in mixed media; printmaking and installation art. Her work at the gallery is suspended in a floating movement of expansion and embrace with soft, descending petal wings. The rose is inverted and subtly suspended and so large that you cannot miss it, you cannot walk through it – but are instead encouraged and perhaps drawn in and upward by it.
Notes from the artist
‘I grew up on a Rose Farm and nature, especially flora inspires me. Being amongst the roses since childhood has given me a natural understanding and love of the rose’s anatomy. What has been occupying me for some years is the essence of the rose and asking myself why, we as human beings, are so infatuated with this flower.
I sometimes draw and depict fear, politics, horror, and trauma – emotions we are exposed to regularly – and often not by choice, but this installation is presented to the viewer as a choice to immerse themselves in awe, purity and comfort of the large white rose petals. Something energetically compelling is borne when an artwork finds its space. I mould and morph elements and materials, including empty spaces & unseen potential into one authentic expression. I have been making larger-than-life metal rose sculptures since 2006 but this one had to be soft and fluid. After a lot of research, I found a lightweight material which is used in the building and medical industry and was happy to find off-cut pieces from an industrial building site. I applied heat and cold and stretching and
shaping using my whole body, head, knees and any round surfaces to sculpt, applying just enough tension to it to hold the petal shape. The petals are then all separately suspended to form the rose shape. Only together do they make the whole. The size is 2400 x 2400 with a suspension height of 4m. It took 140 hours to complete and consists of 24 large petals.’
See ‘Gracefully Embraced’ at SculptX, running until 27 October 2023 at The Melrose Gallery.
Cost: FREE entry
When: Running until 27 October 2023. Monday to Friday, from 9am to 6pm. Saturday and Sunday, from 9am to 4pm
Where: The Melrose Gallery at Melrose Arch, Corlett Drive, Birnam, Johannesburg