23 March - 3 May 2024
Bronwyn Katz
stone's embrace, a love spiral of erosion and renewal
stone's embrace, a love spiral of erosion and renewal

Bronwyn Katz, !KhāIIaeb (Flowering season), 2024, greywacke, sandstone, slate, copper, river stone, jasper, rose quartz, blue gum, pine, black wattle

STEVENSON is proud to present stone's embrace, a love spiral of erosion and renewal, Bronwyn Katz’s first solo exhibition with the gallery.

Through sculpture, installation and audio, Katz combines their interests in the body, the terrestrial, the celestial, and water to offer a picture of interdependence that they articulate as love.

The artist reflects:

This ancient romance between rock and water. There is nothing water loves eating more than rock. It dissolves its lover into the smallest grain. They merge. Time gathers, Mountain reborn. On this stone, rain, ocean, water bodies are wombs. They pierce earth, they birth, they cleanse, they reconfigure, they are doors.
We read from the sky that which we witness in macro and micro lifeforms on Earth.
The unconscious is in the sky, the unconscious is on, is under the skin. We are aligned with the moon’s tidal force, our stories are encoded in the stars.
How do we remember our indigenousness to this body, to this place? To be in listening relation with Earth is to be indigenous to Earth, is to speak the language of Earth. We look toward the wisdom of our siblings, trees, who root in care. We look toward our bones, stones, who know the heat of birth, who surrender to the ocean knowing that time will bring new life.
stone’s embrace, a love spiral of erosion and renewal stems from a gathering of self in communion with the cosmos.
The embrace is gravity
Stone’s love language is reciprocity

The abstracted symbols in Maaghout (Stomach wood) (i) and (ii) - suggesting trees, marine, and cellular life - are adapted from now-faded marks on Katz’s skin, as testaments to lived erosion. The structures are made with mild steel, and each is enveloped by stones found near the ocean. Each work is kept hollow, allowing each form to become a body with an inside and an outside, remaining receptive to the light and life around it.

The concept of reciprocity is carried forward in the wall-based installation !Khāǁaeb (Flowering season). Comprising driftwood and stone, these works present a different perspective of indigeneity. Arranged as a constellation, each work features the driftwood of invasive alien trees sourced from freshwater locations, and stones washed by the rainwater that enters the artist's studio. All of these are merged with a copper-wire mesh, a medium as conductive as the water that shaped both the stone and the wood, bringing material form to the artist’s discussion on the cycles of renewal.

Soetes (Sweetness) takes the form of trees as part of Katz’s childhood experiences with the Soetdoring or Sweet thorn. They recall that the plant and its sweet pods were found throughout the yards of Greenpoint, Kimberley, growing in vast amounts despite the soil and air compromised by colonial diamond mining. Despite its providence, the adults would reprimand the young for eating this ‘lowly’ fruit. This installation, which is accompanied by sound to tell the story of Katz’s relationship with this tree, unravels allegories of generational survival and the love provided by nature even amidst human neglect.

The artist acknowledges:

We honour and give thanks to the Atlantic Ocean, Greywacke, Sandstone, Slate, Copper, Mild Steel, River Stone, Iron Ore, Jasper, Rose Quartz, Sweet thorn, Blue Gum, Pine, Black Wattle, Red-winged Starlings, Johanna Mamba, Mercy Katz, Christopher Julio, Neville van Schalkwyk and Thingking studio for making this offering possible.

The exhibition opens Saturday 23 March, 10am to 1pm. The artist will give a walkabout on the day of the opening at 11am.