SaySay.Love / The Matrix of Water
Artist SaySay.Love was born in Berlin and now spends half his year in Cape Town, South Africa. It was here that he, along with over three million other residents, recently experienced the worst drought in the city’s history. “Being European, water shortages are outside my life-experience. Until now water has always been in abundance, something that I took for granted, an almost invisible resource, like air.” He said. The drought changed all this and inspired the artist to embark on a journey of discovery into water itself. SaySay.Love spent six months photographing water across the world, from Africa to Poland, in settings varying from oceans and rivers to inside plumbing and bottles. The resulting series of images show the artist’s interpretations of the mercurial structure and beauty of water and its integral relationship to environment.
“For me, photography is both an intentional and a spontaneous medium. My works strive to disseminate the idea that water has a memory and force us to look back at the past (as birth), and ahead to the idea of the waterless future as death itself. But it’s not that simple and clear cut. Water shapes history. It is a record imprinted in nature. Bodies of water, like photographs, contain memories, cultural and biological. Maps do not present merely a visual space, they are interactions between the existence and non-existence of water: Green lush landscapes with flowing rivers, to warm-coloured dry arid terrains. They allow for culture to flourish and the historical record of habitation and migration. In dendrochronology trees reveal historical imprints of water allowing us to discover the history of droughts and weather patterns. An abstract documentary of seasons in the truest sense. The existence and non-existence of water, the micro-printing in seasons, as ring patterns are translated through secular patterns. Such abstraction, visual and complex, I aim to capture in photography.” - SaySay.Love
MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE
In addition to 15 large-scale photographs, included in the exhibition is an installation ‘Message in a Bottle’ made from water bottles each containing a direct message from a resident of Cape Town to Londoners about the drought.
SaySay.Love’s body of work includes photography, video, social activism, installation and wearable art. The artist is partially sighted in one eye, a condition from birth that prevents him from seeing in three dimensions and effects his perception of depth, speed and distance. It is a limitation that he says has added to his visual appreciation of the world and is one of the reasons he took up art as a career. For his recent series of photographic works, he has dropped the traditional camera in favour of the iPhone as he sees it as the tool of our times, in both photographic and emotional terms. He enjoys the spontaneity that it affords that allows him to respond to immediate heart-felt moments. He takes photographs while travelling and during his daily life. Shortly after taking the photographs he works on the images using modern imaging techniques, in a process he equates to an artist using a paint brush. (Note: The images are not manipulated with computer software such as Photoshop). SaySay.Love then prints the images through various methods in his studio and outside, onto paper, fabric or Perspex.
Recent exhibitions include Gallery One11 and Ava Gallery in Cape Town in 2017 and solo shows at Agog Gallery and Melrose Gallery in Johannesburg in 2018. His work was featured at the Investec Cape Town Art Fair as part of the AVA Gallery display. In addition to the London exhibition at Coningsby Gallery, Highlights will be shown at Elite London 11-12 May and in Moscow in June.
OPEN: Monday-Friday 9am-6pm, Saturday 10am-4pm
PRIVATE VIEW: 22 Tuesday May, 6pm-9pm
PRESS CONTACT: Jessica Wood, Arts Media Contacts
MOBILE: 07939 226988