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Tuesday, November 26, 2013


** Apologies for late publication**

(“A temporary lapse of reason” by Tony Starkey)

Tony Starkey’s retrospective exhibition, The Long and Winding Road, was recently presented at the Durban University of Technology Art Gallery.

This is the artist’s statement:

“This selected body of work illustrates the three central preoccupations of my artistic development; architecture, social commentary and representation/abstraction through painting, hand-papermaking and mixed media. The presence of the human figure is implied by its absence and manifests itself in the form of the viewer.

The central concern in the use of architecture as a subject matter has been the depiction of structures as both a reflection of change and of individual lives.  This was addressed through the recording and interpretation of prominent and commonplace buildings on sites such as Block AK (Greyville), the Station Workshops, the City Hall precinct, the Point, Clairwood and the Berea.

The use of social commentary is associated with an ongoing preoccupation with history, especially South African history, as a site of investigation. The use of found objects with inherent personal histories, presented in glazed drawers, alludes to the categorization of artefacts as historical records.

The preoccupation with representation/abstraction is evident to varying degrees throughout the body of work in a number of approaches ranging from photorealism, through naturalism and partial abstraction, to full abstraction.

One of the most rewarding periods of my art practice over the years has been the collaboration with my colleague John Roome, in the production and manipulation of handmade paper. This period of collaboration resulted in a conceptual and creative dialogue that resulted in a unique body of work.
The colleagues I have worked with and the students I have taught, during my tenure as a staff member in the department of Fine Art and Jewellery Design at Durban University of Technology, have provided me with a rich and stimulating context for my creative endeavours. I am indebted to them all.”