Ashleigh Christelis Residency 27 Nov - 7 Dec 2017

Assemblage is proud to announce the successful projects/exhibitions who have been awarded the opportunity to exhibit in partnership with the organisation at its project space. This initiative is made possible under the auspices of The African Arts Trust grant funding towards the materialisation of projects/exhibitions at Assemblage’s project space for the last quarter of 2017 and first half of the 2018 calendar year.
 
Introducing Ashleigh Christelis, Christelis has been awarded a 2 week residency which commences on 27 November - 7 December 2018. At the end of her duration Ashleigh will be showcasing her work alongside Janet Wilson which opens on Saturday, 9 December 2017.
 
bandage 
ˈbandɪdʒ/ 
noun
 1. 1.
a strip of woven material used to bind up a wound or to protect an injured part of 
the body."her leg was swathed in bandages" 
 verb
 
1. 1.
bind (a wound or a part of the body) with a protective strip of material."bandage the 
foot so that the ankle is supported" 
 
• Our wounds are the sources of growth - Rachel Naomi Remen. 
• We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of 
injustice, we are to drive a spoke into the wheel itself. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer. 
 
Rationale: 
My work resembles bandaged forms, that which is healing or needing to be healed. I am drawn to this technique as i find myself in need of healing on a certain level. I live with Bipolar disorder and Rheumatoid arthritis in my hands… both of which are invisible diseases so the bandages are almost a metaphor for what i cannot do for my wounds. I also believe that there are so many wounded people walking the streets of our world that 
are unable or not willing to heal. 
 
The word ‘Assemblage” is also appropriate to my work 
because its as though the porcelain bandages are “assembled” to create beautiful vessel forms and sculptural busts.
 
“Bipolar Disorder and Rheumatoid Arthritis are the illness that I live with, they reside in me like time bombs. 
 
My sculptures are becoming the revealers of truths that lie deep within me. My illnesses are an intrinsic part of my physical, mental, spiritual and emotional life.
 
I make the paper porcelain clay that I work with, as there is no supplier here in South Africa and this determines my making cycle, if I have no energy- I have no clay. Primarily I am a thrower but the rheumatism has crept into my hands and throwing can be painful at times hence the development of these sculptures. It has been interesting to witness and has brought up questions like “do I let people see these?” The shame that goes with 
mental illness. “what is it that keeps me going/how do i keep on going?” where do I find strength, what form does (help) therapy take.
 
“what is healing?” there is no cure…how does that look for someone with these (in)visible illnesses. “What (belief) lies in my heart?” 
The coiling of the forms allows me to leave spaces, these spaces can be seen as gaps; holes; disfigurement; wounds; emptiness; but my feeling with them is not necessarily that, for me they are open spaces for newness, rebirthing, learning, so a filling-up or a space for new beginnings. In this particular sculpture below the figure is outside the chest having 
escaped the chains in the head..it could potentially take residence in the heart given that the gaps are a space for it to move through. A moving from the head space and a coming into the heart space.”
 
About The African Arts Trust
The African Arts Trust is a charitable trust set up to support visual artists by the collector and philanthropist, Robert Devereux, following the successful fundraising auction of his private collection of post-war British art at Sothebys, London in 2010.
 
The trust is based on years of frequent travel to Africa and the recognition that there is a wealth of talented visual artists whose opportunities are stifled by the lack of resources available locally in the visual arts sector.
 
The charity is run by the following trustees, Robert Devereux, Founder and Director, Hamish Dewar, Director of Hamish Dewar Conservation Ltd, Robin Woodhead, Chairman of Sotheby's International and administered by Danda Jaroljmek, Circle Art Agency, Nairobi.
 
Follow the link to find out more: http://www.theafricanartstrust.org
 
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