July - September 2022 — Visual Arts
South African multimedia artist Grant Jurius primarily produces works that take place in public spaces. During his residency at Atelier Mondial in Basel from July to September 2022 he will be developing a project that explores the concept of urban surfaces embodying layers of narratives.
Titled “Animal Skin”, the project started with a series of paintings incorporating and referencing exterior spaces as breathing, living bodies communicating the artist’s experiences, dreams and aspirations. Grant was inspired by his exploration of the inner city, suburban and Cape Flats landscapes in Cape Town. Bringing together exterior and interior references, with motifs from hip hop and graffiti, the paintings explore what it means to create narratives that resonate personal meaning.
Grant explains: “Surfaces and textures breathe in and out of stories that feature vivid characters and abstract shapes that are a result of a layered history. Walls within the urban landscape are referenced as a way to allude to the layers of paint, cement and concrete that peel away to reveal multiple narratives. ‘Animal Skin’ refers to these surfaces as living, breathing entities that reflect light and dark. It sees, hears and feels like any other living organism and even responds and resonates like the tightly wound surface of percussive drums that appeal to the rhythms of time.”
During his residency, Grant plans to continue exploring the context of environment and develop “Animal Skin” into sonic research and recording of exterior spaces, surfaces and textures that will be brought into dialogue with the visual pieces and found objects.
Grant Jurius is a South African multimedia artist whose work primarily takes place in public spaces in response to the experiences of low income or segregated communities. Based in Cape Town, Grant is mostly self-taught and received the Lionel Davis Grant in 2012, which awarded him a three-month residency at Greatmore Studios in Cape Town culminating in an exhibition. In 2013 he co-founded the interdisciplinary collective Burning Museum, which focused on making visible obscure narratives, histories and heritage of lost or displaced communities affected by various forms of violence. Work was installed or painted in public spaces and exhibited locally at the District Six Museum in Cape Town and Gallery MoMo alongside a retrospective of former exiled artist and photographer, George Hallett, and internationally in Benin, Germany and Spain. In 2013 Grant joined the Future Nostalgia music archival and DJ collective, with whom he exhibited illustrations and artworks based on celebrating historic cultural icons. Also in 2013 Grant launched the “The Street Is The Gallery” initiative focused on mural painting, community projects, street art and graffiti cultural tours. Grant’s current illustration and mixed-media painting revolves around the themed “Son Of A Mantis”, incorporating indigenous heritage, ancient myth, the ritualistic nature of drawing, wall(rock) painting and storytelling and how these are reflected in contemporary society.