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The biggest challenge and triumph of our time was the letting go of attachment to what we made and staying focused on pure experimentation. The review of Monique Van Zyl and Brendan McCumstie Residency at RMS

Published: 07.01.2020
Monique Van Zyl Monique Van Zyl
Author:
Monique van Zyl
Edited by:
Klimt02
Edited at:
Barcelona
Edited on:
2020
Brendan McCumstie and Monique Van Zyl at RMS studio with Dandan Xing..
Brendan McCumstie and Monique Van Zyl at RMS studio with Dandan Xing.

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Intro
Our vision of what we aimed to explore throughout the RMS residency was working as a couple to merge our existing, individual practice and develop it into a collective one.
Check the residency result exhibition: Ink Blot Tests by Monique Van Zyl and Brendan McCumstie at 798 Art Zone from 11.01.2020 to 19.01.2020.

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Our previous creative work has been inspired by vastly different experiences and influences, but our core concepts and inspirations have always been the same. While one focused on a large scale, conceptually challenging ideas in innovative materials such as found electronics and reactive chemicals, the other worked in miniatures constructed and reworked from nostalgic objects and sensory elements recovered from forgotten places.

Even though seemingly very different, both bodies of work orbited around concepts of shadows, silhouettes, and the playful open-endedness of the viewer creating their own content.

The RMS residency evolved our artistic practice by providing opportunities for us as artists to be invigorated through an exchange of ideas and new ways of working. The studio and its devotees provided the open-mindedness and encouragement to challenge every experiment conducted around the studio’s well-worn wooden table, inscribed with messages and drawings from the numerous artists who have sat in exactly the same seat, inspired and challenged just as we were in those moments.

It has been a true adventure throughout the conceptualizing and making of this collection – every piece is taken out of the kiln evolved into a new possibility, whether the outcome was planned or not. We became entranced by the properties of enamel itself, how every step of its melting process lent itself to a different feel. We decided to forego colour and focus entirely on the varying textures that a few seconds difference in the kiln created. (We definitely set a new record for the amount of white enamel used in in the RMS studio…)

The biggest challenge and triumph of our time in the RMS residency was the letting go of attachment to what we made and staying focused on pure experimentation. A single work, even if beautiful, was not included if it did not feel like it had reached the end of its creative evolution, and the few pieces that we are calling our final collection is a very small percentage of what has actually been made.

This transformative experience at the RMS residency could not have been remotely possible without the unconditional support of Dan, owner and founder of RMS studio, who gave us free reign of her studio and kilns. We are sure that our process must have left her rather confused at times, but she seemed to have enough confidence in us to introduce us to numerous artists and members of the creative industry, connections that provided us invaluable opportunities to participate further in Beijing’s art world.

/ Monique Van Zyl and Brendan McCumstie
 
On process.
On process

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Monique Van Zyl. Brendan McCumstie. Brooch: Rorschach 2, 2020. Hand-cut and polished brass, enamelled copper, lapis lazuli, silver.. 7.9 x 9.1 x 2.8 cm. Monique Van Zyl
Brendan McCumstie
Brooch: Rorschach 2, 2020
Hand-cut and polished brass, enamelled copper, lapis lazuli, silver.
7.9 x 9.1 x 2.8 cm
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Monique Van Zyl. Brendan McCumstie. Brooch: White Rhino, 2020. Hand-cut and polished brass, enamelled copper, lapis lazuli, silver.. 10.8 x 7.3 x 1.5 cm. Monique Van Zyl
Brendan McCumstie
Brooch: White Rhino, 2020
Hand-cut and polished brass, enamelled copper, lapis lazuli, silver.
10.8 x 7.3 x 1.5 cm
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
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