Johann Ryno de Wet
02 | 08 | 14 . 17 | 09 | 14
Well, beginnings are almost as difficult as endings. We all know this. And that bit in the middle can be just as tricky, and possibly more so when one is trying to make a living as a creative person and must sometimes travel beyond the horizon just to return to where one began…
Johann Ryno de Wet has been featured in exhibitions in Spain, Czech Republic, Belgium, Switzerland, France, Germany, United States of America and Italy. Res Gallery will be hosting Untitled, de Wet’s first solo exhibition on South African soil.
My first encounter with de Wet occurred in my gallery. Some dude from the Republic of Pretoria introduced us, and there he was, appearing in front of me as I asked, “What have you got?” His answers resulted in this exhibition which incorporates a range of influences from family holidays, to de Wet’s personal studies of JMW Turner, and my association with the works of the grand Hiroshi Sugimoto.
In our conversation we touched on the ideas that these images reflect a sense of karma, a karma of the dispossessed, almost an eternal return for humanity to the emptiness that first bore witness to our emergence and our acts of change, and will bear witness to the quiet that falls when we are no more. His images are unpopulated, scenes of paradisal desolation, the last landmarks of a quiet apocalypse. Humanity is not portrayed in these images, only through echoes. Like scenes from a dream that stand outside of time they could as much be particular moments in a particular place as they could be translations of emotional states into images, the human mind projected onto and embodied by the landscape, attempting to create meaning, to grasp and speak a truth that hangs just beyond the tip of your tongue…
At some point after our meeting I heard a disembodied voice chanting from down the corridor: “The power of nothingness is related to the power of contemplation!”
The mystery of the mundane encapsulated in this phrase brought with it the emergence of slightly different ways of seeing for me.