Cabinet of Curious Creatures


Medium – Found objects from Anglo’s JCI archive and metal hangers, a by-product from the platinum converter process .
Detail - 11 sculptures of creatures, various ledger books from the Anglo-American Platinum archive dating from 1890 onwards.

Anglo American Platinum commissioned the artist in 2021 to consider objects from their archive for a sculptural installation to be hosted at their new offices at 144 Oxford Road, Rosebank.

 

The Cabinet of curious creatures (2021),  the repurposing and re-joining of old archival objects and a mining by-product, was founded on conversations the artist had with various Anglo America Platinum employees. The embossment presses, used to endorse official documents for more than a century, were used as heads of the creatures. The hangers used to pick up 16-ton platinum processing casts, left the artist with the ‘legs’ for the creatures. The 30mm solid round bar hangers were left too frail for further use because of the temperatures mineral processing needs, but it was a perfect remnant to use in a sculpture. The hangers were selected from the Anglo Converter Process (ACP) scrapyard.

The creatures were in inspired by the old Marshalltown buildings’ exterior relief artworks in sandstone of African wildlife. The creatures are non-specific, leaving the interpretation up to the viewer. Material, loaded with the company and the country’s history, transforms into strangely curious contemporary creatures.

 

The old ledger books are left open in the installation, to grant the viewer access to to the company’s history, inspiring transparency in the future. The books are installed as an open landscape increasing in height from left to right to interpret a great acceleration graph. The creatures are installed on higher shelves for the viewer to look up to the animal kingdom, and thus reiterating that sustainable futures can only be built with respect for nature.

 

The procession of creatures develops from a male dominated history on the left-hand side shelves, to a more diverse and dynamic right-hand side where the great acceleration landscape shoots up.





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