Sarel is a postwar and contemporary sculptor based in Pretoria, South Africa.
He uses bronze, wood and various other found objects to create timeless sculptures.
A key theme prevalent throughout his works explores the relationship between humans and the natural environment, and humans and other species’ fight for co-existence.
My works are trophies for the lives of others, even though their stories are unknown to me.
These unknown stories create spaces for us to fill with our own stories and they thus become metaphors for our own memories and emotions.
I select found objects for their visual impact and for the stories they don’t tell. Each object retains its own secret past.
Our own end, death and decay might be predictable and unavoidable, but we choose the paths we take and the distances we travel.
Sarel lives and works in Pretoria, South Africa. Since obtaining a Fine Arts Degree at the Tshwane University of Technology in 2002, he has exhibited in many group exhibitions across South Africa; was a top 10 finalist in the 2007 ABSA La’telier Art Competition; and was awarded the Sculpture Merit Award at the 2014 Tami Mnyele Fine Art Awards.
His exhibition schedule, coupled with his passion for rock climbing, means that he frequently travels to cities and to isolated places.
In addition, he allows himself journeys of the mind into the strange relationship between traditional and throw-away-culture and what is left of nature as humans and other species fight for existence.
City and town dwellers, largely cut-off from natural continuity and natural spaces, are mostly unaware of what they leave behind wherever they go. But human existence and the natural environment are linked through timeless, hidden convergences of what we lack and what we have in surfeit.
In his work, Sarel refers to an obscure past to imagine a new voice for the abstract realities of objects.
2020 Knoop X, Gallery University of Stellenbosch, Slee Gallery and IS-Art Stellenbosch, South Africa
2020 Woordfees Festival, Stellenbosch, South Africa
2019 Living Depth, Comprehension, Dyman Gallery, Stellenbosch, South Africa
2018 In The Public Domain, Pretoria Art Museum, Pretoria, South Africa
2018 Bronze, Steel and Stone III, Everard Read London, UK
2017 Contemporary South African Art, Linteloo Showroom, Zeist, The Netherlands
2017 Summer Sculpture Show, Everard Reed & Circa Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
2016 Talisman, Fried Contemporary Gallery, Pretoria, South Africa (Solo Exhibition)