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THE END IS COLOURFUL

Elize Vossgätter (b. 1981, South Africa) explores the tensions between the organic and the synthetic. She observes the emerging ecologies created by the integration of plastics and other polymers into ecosystems and the disruptive economics of waste systems.

“What strange natures are we making?

The exhibition follows a 6-week residency in the Thiess region of Senegal. “Here, I had the opportunity to observe a different ecosystem: a new crossroads of shapes, sounds and colors, light and humidity. And yet, many things were familiar: humans creating, innovating, consuming and discarding. The landscape retains the intimate exchange between people and their waste, and the environment becomes an augmented color field.”

Planet Earth is a closed system, and everything created on it stays there (Mehita Iqani, “What could Rubbish say?”; 2023).

 

Beeswax is the material with which she explores these ideas. It is an inherently mercurial medium - conservative by nature, but vulnerable to temperature. This “instability of states” is used as an analogy to explore themes of temporality and transformation in the context of a warming planet and impending climate crisis.

 

“In this exhibition, I have integrated other raw materials with wax: latex-sap, ground pigments, found plastic, aluminum car parts, found natural objects - to create a sensory atmosphere or ecosystem of a world in disequilibrium, observing the temporary co-mutation of human and non-human worlds. The paintings evoke natural processes such as attrition, sedimentation and erosion, while referring to man-made processes. They evoke a post-natural state in which organic processes begin to adapt to and co-evolve with synthesized contagions, creating hybrid ecosystems.” 

Color speaks.

COLOR DISTURBS.

Color cannot be contained.

Color is not subordinate. No “thing” is pure.

Impurity is renewed.

The color screams !

 

“Mankind has an ingenious ability to shape and reshape nature. In doing so, we have manufactured synthetic materials and chemical polymers far removed from nature, which are forced to integrate with organic processes of biodeterioration, altering the natural mechanisms of recovery and growth on which the planet depends. In this tug-of-war between innovation and degradation, humanity has systematically imposed the coevolution of natural life forms with abstract human “things”, with little or no understanding of the effects of this symbiosis.”

 

“The end is colorful” is the artist's first international exhibition. This exhibition follows the completion of her Master's degree in Cape Town in 2023 (with honors). She has organized seven solo exhibitions in South Africa over the past ten years, as well as numerous group shows and residencies abroad, including in New York, Istanbul and Leipzig. Her collections include the Saxon State Collection (Germany), the Francis Greenburger Collection (New York) and the Spier Collection (South Africa). She took part in the official Dakar Biennale in 2022.

She is represented by Everard Read Gallery, Cape Town, since 2019.

“I would particularly like to thank the following artists, with whom I had the privilege of working:

Issouf Zoungrana, the bronzier from Burkina Faso, who works with the traditional lost-wax casting technique using mud and fire, and who produced the recycled metal works for the exhibition.

Jonathon Durno, who always manages to translate my vision and 3D captures into an animated field.

And to my son, Sam O'Connor, who is studying music production in Berlin and created the soundscape for the animation.”
 

ELIZE VOSSGÄTTER

ELIZE VOSSGÄTTER (b. 1981, South Africa)
BA(FA) 2002, MFA 2023 (University of Cape Town)
The end is colourful is the artists first international show following a successful local career in South Africa and the recent completion of her Master’s degree at the University of Cape Town with a body of work entitled ‘Gutter Pop’, from which many of these ideas have expanded from.

She works with raw materials- mostly beeswax - which she contaminates with synthetically produced pigments to create highly saturated works that mediate between an organic, industrial and digital aesthetic. Elize gestures to a post-natural state of which the unknown biodegradable effects of human production and waste – continuously synthesised materials and contagions that co-evolve with organic processes – create a hybrid ecosystem. As such, she observes the tentative co-existence and co-mutation of the human and non-human world.

Wax is an inherently mercurial medium- sensitive to temperature and preservative by nature- its instability-of-states is used as an analogy with which to explore the relationship between human and natural environments and the themes of temporality and transformation within the context of the heating planet and immanent climate crisis, questioning the capacity for protection and preservation. 

Her work is a constant attempt to seek balance and harmony between contrasting states.


Elize Vossgätter refers to herself as a post-humanist, which at its core is the belief that the boundaries between human and non-human are fluid and that they exist in a constant state of interaction and interdependence, thus decentring long-established Western Enlightenment ideas of what it means to be human. Posthumanism instead, considers the changing relationship between humans and the natural environment that allows for the non-binary and anti-hierarchical interactions. Looking at the natural environment through the lens of posthumanism changes nature from being something fixed, categorised or represented to being dynamic, collective, and lived. 

“We become so enraptured with each other’s differences: our shades of colours, our multi-fabricated beliefs and languages and origins and powers- we have forgotten to see the view around us and the waste we’ve left in our wake. When it comes to the health of our planet, we are all equally inconsequential.”

“The tone of my work is waveringly optimistic. I observe the lust-of innovation, the melancholia-of-waste, the comfort of possibilities and the ineptitude of holding on. I express the giddy discomfort of being in this liminal-space — looking to the past to see the scope of the damage, and looking ahead towards plausible futures. Posthumanism presents an intoxicating shift in thinking, a recalibration of scales, from separateness to connectedness, wherein human and non-human agents can co-exist and cross-pollinate…… and to me, colour is the great disruptor.”

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THE END IS COLOURFUL

ANARCHY AND REGENERATION I, 2023

ELIZE VOSSGÄTTER

ANARCHY AND REGENERATION I, 2023

Signed, titled, framed

Beeswax and pigment on canvas

122 x 79 cm

Unique piece

TOXIC-SUBLIME I, 2024

ELIZE VOSSGÄTTER

TOXIC-SUBLIME I, 2024

Signed, titled, framed

Beeswax, pigment and spray paint on panel

80 x 60.5 cm

Unique piece

VIEWS FROM ANOTHER SHORE I, 2023

ELIZE VOSSGÄTTER

VIEWS FROM ANOTHER SHORE I, 2023

Signed, titled, framed

Beeswax and pigment on canvas

70 x 52 cm

Unique piece

ELIZE VOSSGÄTTER

VIEWS FROM ANOTHER SHORE III, 2023

Signed, titled, framed

Beeswax and pigment on canvas

70 x 52 cm

Unique piece

ANARCHY AND REGENERATION II, 2023

ELIZE VOSSGÄTTER

ANARCHY AND REGENERATION II, 2023

Signed, titled, framed

Beeswax and pigment on canvas

122 x 79cm

Unique piece

TOXIC-SUBLIME II, 2024

ELIZE VOSSGÄTTER

TOXIC-SUBLIME II, 2024

Signed, titled, framed

Beeswax, pigment and spray paint on panel

80 x 60.5 cm

Unique piece

ELIZE VOSSGÄTTER

VIEWS FROM ANOTHER SHORE II, 2023

Signed, titled, framed

Beeswax and pigment on canvas

70 x 52 cm

Unique piece

ELIZE VOSSGÄTTER

VIEWS FROM ANOTHER SHORE IV, 2023

Signed, titled, framed

Beeswax and pigment on canvas

70 x 52 cm

Unique piece

Sold

ELIZE VOSSGÄTTER

EMBRACE THE SOFTNESS, 2023

Signée, titrée, encadrée

Bronze bas-relief (Lost-wax)

60 x 42 X 5 cm

Pièce unique

Sold

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