The Ballast – A solo exhibition by Anja Marais

On 17th October 2014, multidisciplinary celebrated contemporary South African artist Anja Marais will present a solo exhibition entitled “THE BALLAST” (On view through 12th December) in parallel with Prospect 3 and P3+BR Art Biennale.

Anja Marais will take over the Firehouse Gallery with her installation “THE BALLAST”  in which she creates an environment that questions the experience of change, stagnation, and our ability to embrace surrender. Anja’s work builds an intricate visual poem into the space that brings forth a feeling of contemplation and longing.

The elements of this installation can be broken down into moving images, sculpture work, works on paper and mixed media. The moving image work is a sepia stop animation created and filmed in St. Petersburg Russia and follows a female that through acceptance of her burden, surrenders herself over to nature.

Through the sheer projection of the stop animation you will be aware of a few sculptures in the space, one is of a women standing on the floor that is caught in mid state of being a solid entity and turning into flux state of water.

On the walls of the gallery we have mixed media paintings and photography that is transformed still images of the stop animation work. We are given an intimate look at our female that moves through states of fluidity (water) and stagnation (stone). Amongst these wall works is an installation of found antique oval frames encasing broken down fragments of the texture of water.

Water as subject has been a frequently recurring theme in Anja Marais’ work, functioning as an object of philosophical inquiry, a proxy towards reflection.

Considering herself a storyteller, Anja Marais’ work goes beyond the linear prediction of events by delving into her own consciousness to bring about a new perspective on subjectivity and our relationship to how the rest of the world experience itself. As the viewer moves through the installation, the boundaries of the dream world and reality dissolves with the interplay of moving image, painted surfaces, and sculptural object.

The imagery of stone and water in “THE BALLAST”, creates a dense web of visual, literary and philosophical relationships which investigate issues of change, surrender and acceptance through the space of multidisciplinary installation.

After the opening of “THE BALLAST”, Anja Marais will embark on a month-long journey to Finland where she will attend the Arteles Art residency to further her investigation into art making and the study of visual poetry.

Anja Marais’ work is included in the permanent collections of the Miami Museum of Contemporary Art, The Washi Museum in Japan, the Kronstadt History museum of St Petersburg Russia among others. She currently works from her studio in Miami, Florida.