100 Generations of Soil by Louis Olivier

Past: Summer 2017/18

Text from Art Times, November 2017

Louis Olivier’s 100 Generations of Soil, a solo exhibition of sculptures and mixed media drawings, remains installed at the Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden in Stellenbosch throughout the summer.

100 Generations of Soil opened originally at Everard Read / CIRCA Cape Town in May 2017, which is where the idea for the collaboration was sparked. Olivier explains: ‘I had a remarkable encounter with Dylan Lewis after the opening of my exhibition at CIRCA Cape Town. He approached me with appreciation for my work, and offered to extend the exhibition to his sculpture garden. Dylan was drawn to the work, not necessarily in the way it resonated with his work, but as a fellow sculptor and craftsman he found my sensitivity and execution of material quite appealing.’

Olivier’s exhibition is curated in the garden’s pavilion. ‘It is a new opportunity to have my work in a different, almost contrary setting,’ Olivier says. Against the backdrop of breathtaking mountain views with etheric garden tapestry, the pavilion sits hidden like a protected cave. It is this cave-like atmosphere that resonates well with the work; challenging architecturally, it is quite a space in its own right.

Located between two worlds, one wild and one tamed, the Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden borders the suburbs of Stellenbosch and a rugged mountain wilderness where leopard still roam. In this garden of private myth, Lewis explores the Jungian notion of ‘the wilderness within’. 100 Generations of Soil joins this conversation, exploring that which goes deep in the recesses of pre-memory and the commonality of the origin of humankind.

As German sculptor Ursula von Rydingsvard remarked, there is significance in one sculptor recognising a fellow sculptor. Visitors to the Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden this summer can reflect upon two distinctive creative languages, yet equally profound in the study and excavation of the human condition.


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