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:

16 June — 31 July 2021
Tears Become Rain: Social Impact Arts Prize film launch & immersive exhibition — Latitudes Online  

Current:
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 1.3.1)
2020
Carbon fibre, fibreglass, resin, epoxy, polyethelene foam, quartz crystals, pigment.
311 x 183 x 98cm

Public sculpture installed at the Iziko South African National Gallery.

This sculptural work is the culmination of three years of vigorous material exploration and prototyping using advanced composite materials, such as carbon fibre together with innovative technologies such as 3D design and 3D printing. Such materials are generally used in automotive, marine and aeronautical industries, rendering them non-traditional within the conventions of fine arts. Carbon fibre is a product of recent advances in material technology and when combined with a plastic resin, it becomes eleven times stronger than steel.

The iconic serpentine shapes within Brits’ sculptures are rooted in his family background as his grandfather was a prominent South African snake catcher and reptile expert. Without a starting or finishing point, and appearing arterial in spite of their solidity, the forms seem to writhe and flow in constant movement. The effect is a sense of the wild and methodical working in harmony and unison - a kinetic energy feeding itself.

Snakes or serpents feature in mythologies from around the world, one of which Brits refers to in this work. ‘Ouroboros’ is a Greek word for the circular symbol of a snake eating its own tail. This represents infinity and according to Carl Jung is a, “symbol for the integration and assimilation of the opposite, i.e. of the shadow”. Signifying recreation, the ‘Ouroboros’ further denotes the cyclical natures of life, as well as the introspection involved in reincarnation or the concept of eternal return.


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