DAVID BRITS  

David Brits is an award-winning social impact artist whose compelling métier is dedicated to investigations in public-scale sculpture. Equally energised by material exploration and archival investigation, Brits’ practice spans installation, print-making, drawing and film. 


Recent major public sculpture commissions include the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation, the Spier Arts Trust and the Iziko South African National Gallery.

Brits is the winner of the Rupert Foundation’s inaugural Social Impact Arts Prize and a recipient of the Barbara Fairhead Award for Social Responsibility in Art.


Current:

Tears Become Rain: Social Impact Arts Prize film launch & immersive exhibition — Latitudes Online  

Red Edge (Ouroboros 1.3.1) Public Sculpture installed at the Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town.





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Red Edge (Ouroboros 1.2.1) 2019
Polyethene Foam, Glass Fibre, Resin, Quartz Chrystals, Pigment.
98 x 69 x 65cm

Public sculpture installed at the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation near Masiphumalele, Cape Town.

Red Edge (Ouroboros 1.2.1) is comprised of an unfolding series of dynamic curves that urge the spectator onward to a new and different viewpoint until a circuit is completed. The form embodies the patterns that govern both the human body and the natural world - simultaneously evoking the symbolic AIDS ribbon and the double-helix structure of DNA.

Read more below. ︎︎︎
︎ Public Sculpture





The title of the artwork refers to the Ouroboros, the ancient symbol of a snake devouring its tail. It is an image without beginning or end, whose logic refutes itself and which somehow suspends time.

“The sculpture explores pattern as the basis for understanding”, David reflects. “Seeing pattern is something which happens in the mind - you can see things with your mind that you cannot see with your eyes alone. Constantly recreating itself, the sculpture goes to the essence of what it means to see and perceive. It makes us aware of the great patterns of which we are part.”

Brits’ innovative sculpture practice lies at the intersection between art, 3D technology and breakthroughs in modern material processes. It is the culmination of three years of artistic exploration, prototyping and research in which the artist has transformed a series of drawings into sculpture. To arrive at these forms, in a process which is difficult to explain but which operates with a cool kind of logic, Brits scans his two-dimensional motifs into 3D design software, giving the outlined shapes three dimensions, then cleverly extrudes and manipulates them, creating complex endless loops.

“Not only is David’s sculpture an eye-catching feature”, says Githa Maralack of the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation, “it truly resonates with our work here - striving to impact both research and treatment relating to HIV and TB from within the community of Masiphumelele, rippling out to the wider world. There is no doubt in my mind that individuals leave our centre having not only information highlighting the work that takes place here but a memory ‘stamp’ of the Ouroboros sculpture to encapsulate their whole experience with us.”

The Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation’s new cutting-edge R10 million Aerobiology TB Research Facility is dedicated to studying the transmission of TB amongst the twenty-three thousand residents of Masiphumelele.

Opened by UCT Vice-Chancellor, Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, the building houses internationally renowned UCT researchers and scientists. Their research forms part of a large-scale TB project in collaboration with UCT’s Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine.

“This Aerobiology TB Research Facility exemplifies who we are as a University”, remarks  Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng. “When we say we are inclusive, engaged and African, this is what we mean. Our research happens in the communities because that’s the best way to explore the questions that are of importance to us as a society.”