Conrad Botes’s survey exhibition, On Earth as it is in Heaven, at the KZNSA Gallery in Durban, presented in association with Michael Stevenson Gallery, interrogates notions of sin, retribution, guilt and redemption, with strong biblical undertones.
With this collection of work, which will be exhibited until 31 October 2010, Botes draws attention to how people make God in their own image and how the Christian notion of judgement is ultimately about judging ourselves, as human beings.
The first series of work in Botes’s collection reflects the Biblical origins of violence as depicted through the story of Cain and Abel. Included in this exhibition will be the series of 41 painted glass panels depicting the artist’s rendering of this story, a body of work Botes recently extended for the Sydney Biennale. The second series of works explore the notions of love, betrayal and its consequences. It also considers ways in which the human condition is open to personal and political interpretation. Botes layers these with the realities of gender and race that underlie many of the debates in South Africa.
On Earth as it is in Heaven sees Botes painting a large wall drawing in-situ in the gallery and employing a number of large-format reverse-glass paintings. The latter is a medium that Botes has made his own through translating the graphic immediacy of his drawn comics into paint.