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"OBJET TROUVE By Deryck Healey"
2001-03-27 until 2001-04-15
NSA Gallery
Durban, , ZA South Africa

After a momentous process spanning more than three years, Deryck Healey will present a complex installation in the three galleries at the NSA Gallery. For his previous exhibition at the NSA in 1998, Healey started collecting objects found on a stretch of Glenashley beach. Absolute rubbish: a shattered fragment of colour that once was a plastic bowl or bucket, a bright red lid of a coke bottle, tangled fishing line, the leg or torso of a Cindy doll, a feeding spoon, a bamboo root, the sole of a shoe and countless cigarette lighters. Thus scraps of rubbish that does not rate at all in a hierarchy of values. Heaps of it.

The 'search' for these mundane objects intensified after this exhibition, with daily walks, beachcombing, collecting, sorting, playing as a child, one thing leading to another on a journey of memory and discovery. These found objects have also travelled through time, being used, their sell-by-date long since gone, disposed of and forgotten. Discards that carry an aura of memory of prior purposeful existence. Relocated in the NSA gallery, the discarded and mundane is rendered special and accredited with implicit value.

For Healey the act of collecting are integral to the meaning of the final installation. He states that embodying the daily ritual and experience of the climatic changes of the beach, things sculptured, distressed and shaped by sea, wind, sun and rain - I dream of other worlds and distant horizons. The process is what the work means and gives to me. Thus by picking things up, collecting fragments from the beach stories and thoughts about these objects' history are created. Then they are transported into the garage studio (the magic room) and playing like a child the artist sort and assembles hanging traces.

The construction of this collected beach debris involves layering and overlapping many kinds of information and thereby creating absurd relationships between things. In this stuffed and tangled mass of overlapping strands there is enmeshed a message of the transience of life. The threads grow through the process of making - an additive process always giving space for development and change and for the emergence of something new and unpredictable.

The objects will be suspended in the gallery as a curtain/maze, through which the visitor will be invited to negotiate their way. Accompanying this web of objects will be a series of large inkjet image/text based pieces on canvas, a series of colour-manipulated images of some found objects and a smaller installation with objects in the Park Gallery.

The artist further states that the result is that the work is made of what there is: it is intervening objects and how Ive come to enjoy them of course there is the historically known influences of Duchamp, Rauchenberg, Jasper Johns, Magritte and Jackson Pollock. Added to this is the crazy mix up of surrealism and fantasy. All in all by mixing together ordinary elements that most people ignore as been part of the real world, elements that in some way express or represent time passing. How impossible to explain the poetry of one's daydreams!

Deryck Healey currently spends time in equal measures between Durban and London, working on exhibitions. He is returning to England to complete an exhibition of four letter words in June/July, and is currently negotiating to travel a show to Los Angeles.


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