The National Arts Festival breathes life into the streets of Grahamstown, but artist Taryn King moves the spirit to another level – the rooftops.
King’s installation, Sentinels, consists of six sculptures placed on the roof of the Rhodes University Drama Department.
All are moulds of King’s own body and were created using fibre glass and resin. “Sentinels are usually figures that watch over or guard things,” says King. “The interesting thing about these is that because my eyes were covered when the mould was being made, all of the figures’ eyes are closed. So it seems like they’re looking out over the city when their eyes are closed.”
King purposefully placed her exhibition in public view, albeit high up, to encourage viewers to engage differently with the artwork.
This limited access creates an unequal relationship between artwork and viewer. “I’ve had a lot of people asking why I haven’t put them on the ground, but it’s that frustration of the viewer [not being able to directly access them] that I’m aiming for. People have to zoom in with a camera or use different viewing devices to get close to them and engage.”
Cue student reporter
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