Igshaan Adams brings evocative new exhibition to Johannesburg

Exhibition:    When Dust Settles

Artist:            Igshaan Adams, Standard Bank Young Artist 2018

Dates:             27 July – 15 September 2018



Igshaan Adams (b.1982, Cape Town), winner of the 2018 Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Visual Art, presents a new body of work in an exhibition titled When Dust Settles. In this exhibition Adams draws upon material and formal iconographies of Islam as well as coloured culture in South Africa. Due to this background, Adams’ cross disciplinary practice is an ongoing investigation into hybrid identity and liminality, particularly in relation to race, religion and sexuality.

When Dust Settles is an eclectic and multi-sensory large-scale installation, bringing together aspects of sculpture, textiles, found objects, furniture and performance to create an immersive environment.

Revisiting earlier bodies of work, the presentation will draw inspiration from conceptual themes, artistic processes and materialities dating back several years to investigate the evolution of ideas within the artist’s practice. For Adams, the intrigue lies in the questions underpinning it: How have his personal views and objectives shifted? How has the artist’s language evolved? What was overlooked the first time?

Adams’ first exhibitions were preoccupied with the domestic environment, specifically that of his upbringing in Bonteheuwel on the Cape Flats. This earlier period in Adams’ artmaking is exemplified by his use of found objects, the marks left behind on their surfaces suggesting the physical space as a manifestation or reflection of our internal spaces.

Later, in 2012, Adams work shifted to explore ideas around sexuality and the challenges of reconciling his own homosexuality with the Islamic faith. It was also at this time that Adams furthered his investigation into textile craft, employing string curtains in sculptural installations along with other religious paraphernalia and domestic items associated with Cape Malay culture. His interest in textiles developed into the weaving of tapestries out of recycled nylon rope and rags, in designs that often incorporated Arabic calligraphy to reference surahs (chapters) from the Quran. These tapestries, now synonymous with Adams’ oeuvre, were first exhibited on the exhibition Parda, in 2015.

In a sense, When Dust Settles serves to insert chapters into existing bodies of work, reexamining those concerns that have informed Adams’s practice for almost a decade.

To date, Adams has held solo exhibitions in Cape Town, Rotterdam and Amsterdam. He has also participated in numerous group shows, both locally and internationally, including Da Uno A Dieci (2018) at Galleria Massimo Minini in Brescia, Italy, Les jour qui vient (2017) curated by Marie Ann Yemsi at the Galerie des Galeries in Paris, Sacre du Printemps (2015) curated by AA Bronson at the Grazer Kunstverein in Graz and Barriers (2015) at the Wanås Foundation in Knislinge, Sweden.

When Dust Settles will travel on a nationwide tour of museums and institutions across seven cities.

The Standard Bank Gallery – located on the corner of Simmonds and Frederick streets in central Johannesburg – offers free, safe undercover parking on the corner of Harrison and Frederick streets. Gallery hours: Mondays to Fridays from 8am to 4.30pm, and Saturdays from 9am to 1pm. Entrance to the exhibition is free.

The Standard Bank Gallery will be open on First Thursday evenings (2 August and 6 September 2018) during the exhibition.   For further info please contact 011 631 4467

Artist walkabouts will take place on the following dates:

  • 28 July – 10:00 to 11:00
  • 8 September – 10:00 to 11:00

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