No Closer to the Truth

23 March - 17 April 2010

In the exhibition No Closer to the Truth, painter Mary Wafer presents two new series of paintings. The first series of small and intimate works are portraits and still lives of mercenaries and gun nuts and their weapon collections and kit. The second series is an investigation into the Durban architecture and harbour.

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"One of the recurring threads in my work is the notion of visibility and invisibility, concrete and conceptual visibility, evidence of citizenship, ways of belonging to and possessing the physical and imagined spaces we occupy. The overwhelmingly challenging materiality of these spaces demands a constant navigation, attention and vigilance, a perpetual re-negotiation and re-interpretation of the particular imagined and real spaces we occupy.

For me painting is a conceptual practice that operates as a platform for investigating social and urban realities. Painting offers the possibility of both building up complex layers of meaning and signification, and at the same time the possibility of subtraction and distillation, enabling suggestions of real and imaged absences and presences.
I use my own photographs as preliminary sketches for my paintings: the initial photograph and my subsequent abstraction represent a layered approach to inducing visibility, and reveals the multiple levels of mediation that frame the experience of an urban ‘reality’. By this I mean that I attempt, through my paintings to reveal that which is not visible through a purely representational image. The images are initially captured by the camera and then re-thought, re-invested by the paintbrush.

Because of this possibility of multiple layers of signification, and the processes of distillation and layering of information, I believe that painting can function as a theoretical and political practice in which the act of making visible is a political act against invisibility."