Top3Tuesday: Chantel Woodman

Chantel Woodman is a Cape Town based artist & designer, with a multidisciplinary background in design, metal smiting and sculpture. This diverse skill set has culminated in a unique and experimental approach to ceramics. The results are phenomenal, leading to a unique style that has caught the attention of many. Her work is currently being exhibited at the Workshop Gallery in Brooklyn, New York City. She has also exhibited through Galleries and Design shows in Germany (Glaugair) and South Africa; such as Southern Guild, Bronze Age, both Cape Town and Johannesburg Art Fairs as well as playing an important role in the ‘World Design Capital 2014 – Month Of Ceramics’.
Woodman engages in an inquisitive processes of pushing the boundaries of the material properties of various metals and clay, discovering the tension between the visible and invisible. She draws a lot of inspiration from urban design and architecture.

Let’s see what 3 things she has selected for this week’s Top3Tuesday.

3. Hearst Tower (Foster & Partners)

Hearst Tower. Foster&Partners. 2006
Hearst Tower. Foster&Partners. 2006

The Hearst Tower’s geometric organization and interesting triangular framing pattern captivates me. Whilst in New York City for a five-month artist’s residency in 2015, this architectural gem, the first of the metropolis’s “green” high-rises, confirmed the excellence and inspiration built up in my mind. Incredulous and awed by the building’s beauty and form, I found that though the steel frame and base is evident, what holds it together seems altogether a fabulous mystery. This juxtaposing ambiguity and precision relates to the inquisitive, technical process of my work.

2. Jean (Hans) Arp

According to the Laws of Chance 1933 Jean Arp
According to the Laws of Chance 1933 Jean Arp

A sculptor, poet and painter, Hans Arp drew deeply on his personal fascination with Taoist practices of divination to create an abstract art that broke with the orthodox conventions of the contemporaneous realism movement. Flouting artistic taboo, Arp engaged the otherwise banal mediums of torn paper and glue to craft “Chance”, a monumental work that explored the metaphysical dimensions of chance and serendipity. With this piece he opened a new frontier to the abstract, at once inaugurating a movement and sanctioning the explorations of untold movements to come.

1. The Art of the Perfectly Grilled Cheese Sandwich

griddle

In my journey to finding a unique medium – the blending of metal and clay in my pieces – I had to experiment continuously. It’s a bit like the journey in creating the perfect grilled cheese. To achieve that delicate equanimity of toasted bread, melted cheese, herbs and spices, a precise balance conferring luxuriant taste, epicurean satisfaction and down-home comfort, you have to deal in a lot of half-melted cheese and burnt-ass bread. It wasn’t easy. When I began, I wasn’t sure if I wanted emmental, cheddar or gouda; I had to determine if it’d be best with oregano or basil, tomato or aubergine.  Months I spent, configuring, attempting, charring and under-cooking…. until one day, I took a bite and thought, mmmm, now that’s good!

Do yourself a favour, drop by Chantel’s website, and take a look at some of her amazing work.