Chris Soal’s (b. 1994) practice is concerned with the materiality of objects that are so common that they have become invisible to us. Utilised daily by millions of people before being discarded, toothpicks and bottle-tops comprise his key materials: they are essentially manufactured to become debris. Simultaneously, Soal juxtaposes concrete with these materials to provide structural reflections on urban habitation.
Click here to view Chris’ catalogue for the Investec Cape Town Art Fair 2019.
Driven primarily by formal concerns, Soal’s sculptural practice seeks to highlight the histories embedded in found and pre-disposable material, including their socio-political, economic and geographic aspects. Often highly textured, the sculptures utilise repetition and scale. Through the repetition of the singular, their form is reimagined, rendering them initially unrecognisable. Toothpicks become warm, soft, expansive topographies of fur; bottle-tops become gilded reptilian armour, and concrete is transformed into pocked, ruptured, dystopian landscapes. Brought into dialogue and into new conjunctions, these different materialities – soft, hard, warm, cold – evoke wholly fresh reactions. Soal’s works are meditations not only on human relations – between individual and community – but also on the relationships between humankind and the natural environment which sustain and support our existence.
Exhibitions, Awards and Collections
2019 – Stellenbotsch University Museum
2018 – Sculpture category and Overall Award at the PPC Imaginarium
2018 – Sasol New Signatures Finalist
2018 – Residency awarded by the South African Foundation for Contemporary Art.
2018 – RAW Material Company experimental residency, RAW Academie (Dakar, Senegal)
2018 – No End Contemporary Art Space
2018 – Guns & Rain Gallery
2018 – FNB Joburg Art Fair, Johannesburg, South Africa
2018 – Featured Artist- GONG LAUT: The First Singaraja International Art Forum in Bali, Indonesia
2017 – RMB Turbine Art Fair, Johannesburg, South Africa
2017 – Cassirer Welz A ward finalist
2017 – Wits Art Museum
2017 – Aeroplastics Contemporary, Brussels, Belgium
2016 – Wits Young Artis Award finalist
2016 – Museum of African Design
2015 – Thami Mnyele Award finalist