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Indepth Arts News:

"Beach: by Deryck Healey"
2003-02-24 until 2003-03-15
Association for Visual Arts
Cape Town, , ZA South Africa

The Association For Visual Arts, (AVA), 35 Church Street, Cape Town is hosting a solo exhibition of editioned giclee prints, entitled BEACH, by DERYCK HEALEY in all three gallery spaces. The exhibition will open on Monday, 24 February 2003 at 6 pm and run until Saturday, 15 March 2003 at noon. BEACH is divided into three sections, each exploring a different aspect. Since the gallery is divided into three, the exhibition is site specific in that there is a space for each of the three aspects of BEACH.

Each image is given equal importance and emphasis, be it a beached-up Barbie doll torso, a used and found dildo, sea sand scarred with oil spillage, a spirited beach party of lost friends, or the seduction of diet conscious models in fashionable swimwear. In all these things, including a self-portrait of the artist against a horizon of calm and storm, the here and now of life is evident.

In the first section, the images of BEACH BABES are created from collaged photographs of professional models by PETER BROWN. The BEACH BABES concept focuses on fashion, seduction and cruising and investigates the relationship of inner and outer self projecting the influences that model and shape our desires and lives. These images are created in order to give a sense of movement and sexual projection.

Section two, BEACHED, is a direct follow-up of the HEALEY’S exhibition at the NSA Gallery in Durban in 2001, where used, discarded, lost and found, beached-up ‘THINGS’ are restructured and given a new life. These beached and perfectly familiar objects (a very small section of the hundreds of ‘THINGS’ collected over a period of three years) carry an aura of history which expands into a network of imagined memories, a history of a past you can only imagine. Objects tangled in broken, washed-up seaweed; objects that have long since passed their sell-by date; objects that don’t get a second glance from beach-lovers; objects of no value; objects seen as pollution; objects that once gave pleasure and were loved and used by young and old, i.e. a life and death story upon which to meditate.

The third section is BEACH SPIRITS, where no boundaries exist, where one can dream, meditate, swim, play, and even sleep. Distant horizons, no boundaries. From the immensities of sea and land, the daydream transports the dreamer outside the immediate world to a world that bears the mark of infinity. This is a place where the spirit of the sea and sky can caress and wash away worldly problems, a place capable of initiating healing and harmony intimately linked to mind and body and present-moment awareness. BEACH SPIRITS makes use of discarded photographic material that once captured special moments with friends, friends that have moved on to new horizons leaving the storm of history behind, looking for beauty in the same sea and storm that is in all of us.

Says ‘Woman Today’ radio presenter, Nancy Richards, of this exhibition: " LIFE’S A BEACH … and vice versa for artist DERYCK HEALEY who has found significance and soul where the sea stops …

See international event-artist, HEALEY, scouring the beaches of Durban and Cape Town and know that here is a work in progress. The work – or perhaps play – is to be an exhibition called just BEACH, opening in February at the AVA.

But there are a few things you should know about this self-styled beach boy – one, that he was born in Durban. Two, that he has had mind-stretching exhibitions the world over – London, Paris, Glasgow, Santa Monica, Venice, Frankfurt, Chicago … and that for many years he ran a visionary design studio in London. And finally, three, that he’s a true original who once said, ‘My aim is to throw the pebble that will break the silence of the pond and release waves of energy.’ You’ll need to see BEACH to understand that his "waves of energy" are tidal and continuous.

As a rule, he commutes between his beachside home in Durban and his UK base, or wherever else his work takes him at the time….but whilst he’s working on BEACH he and his spirit are to be found sifting sand and continuing a conceptual process that started a few years ago with an exhibition called ‘OBJET TROUVE’ shown at the NSA Gallery in Durban. Because, like the tides and the dunes, the content of BEACH is ever-changing and shifting, DERYCK has charted its progress in a mini mid-process catalogue. Like the exhibition, it divides into three parts: BEACH BABES – redefined bodies beautiful, BEACHED – objects lost and found, and BEACH SPIRITS – captured metaphysical moments. He cites as his inspiration this quote from ‘THE POETICS OF SPACE’ by Gaston Bachelard: ‘One must be receptive, receptive to the image at the moment it appears; if there be a philosophy of poetry, it must appear and re-appear through a significant verse, in total adherence to an isolated image; to be exact, in the very ecstasy of the newness of the image.’ Intrigued? You will be."

All works are giclees (inkjet prints) in a signed edition of 25.

HEALEY’S exhibitions include "Back To Front" at the NSA Gallery in 1998, "Objet Trouve" also at the NSA, in 2001 and at Colchester Les Livre Gallery in Essex, UK, in 2001, and "Open Studio" at Wivenhoe in Essex in 2001, as well as " Beach Collectables" at Bean Bag Bohemia in 2002 in Durban.

Deryck Healey, United Kingdom
"Think First"
© Artists for Human Rights Trust

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