Nicholas Hales
    2 - 26 February 2020

    Portals: a means of access, a passage or opening into a building, doorway, gateway. Any entrance or access to a place.

    The starting point for this body of work came from two incidents, the first was working on a project in Manenberg and being made aware of the almost tangible dark energy that hangs over this Cape Town suburb. (One is immediately aware of a atmosphere of frustration, helplessness and rage in a community that is besieged by violence.)

    The other incident was when a tornado struck Manenberg shortly thereafter. I was attracted by a visual in the newspaper tracking the path of the tornado. How it started in low intensity in the sea off Camps Bay moved in off the sea over Table Mountain, moved across a few suburbs until it hit Manenberg with full intensity then disappeared. This posed the question for me whether similar energies are attracted to one another. An aspect of Manenberg I found interesting was not only were all windows heavily barred but many were completely boarded up. A denial of access.

    I'm interested in the Chinese medical paradigm that when harmonious chi (energy, life force) flow is disrupted, illness occurs. I started to see these boarded windows and doors as metaphors for the blocking of energy flow. A metaphor for the "illnesses prevalent in this area". I'm interested in the possibility that illness, being a victim of violence and social imprisonment provide to the individual. All these conditions restrict the individual and result in a forced weakening of the ego. Being a victim of violence or suffering an illness often brings about a re-evaluation of ones' life and can be a catalyst for a shift in consciousness. What blocks your way and hinders you can actually provide an opening for a shift in consciousness. I'm interested in that brief moment when a shift in consciousness occurs when one can get a brief glimpse of the perfect structure to all things.

    This body of work explores these theories using symbols and metaphors from the City (Cape Town) where I live, where first and third worlds collide. These works are about blocked energy, releasing of energy and entrances to a different dimension.

    Opening reception: Wednesday 2 February, 6pm


    Window and grid no1, 2004. Oil on glass and oil and wax on carved wood. 35.5cm X 35.5cm
    Release, 2004. Oil and wax on carved wood. 35 X 35cm
    Untitled, 2004. Oil and wax on carved wood. 35 X 35cm

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