Egon Tania - Naledi

Home The work Egon Tania
Egon Tania - Naledi

Egon Tania’s work is deeply influenced by the sculpture of centuries and millennia past. When studying these antiquities, he tries to identify the ‘personality’ of the era by looking through the maker’s eyes and seeing how he or she thought and felt about the culture of the day. ‘Figurative work, with its expressive arms, eyes and pose, is often the strongest carrier of such information,’ says Tania.

Similarly, he strives to express the personality of the culture in which he lives in his own figurative works. Tania’s sculptures do not represent individuals or necessarily address current issues. ‘The fact that I often end up with a female figure is telling of something – maybe I feel that the culture I live in has a female personality!’ Creating beauty is not his objective either. If beauty is present, it may refer to a society’s ethical or idealistic aspirations, and is usually countered elsewhere in the sculpture, either physically or with irony or sarcasm. Here, ‘Naledi’ is the name of a scrapyard in the artist’s Cape Town vicinity. In contrast, traditional bronze has been used: Says Tania, ‘I enjoy the reference bronze makes to monumental works that turn people into heroes or promote political concepts.’

Omdat Tania so verdiep is in die antieke kunste probeer hy die kultuur van daardie tyd peil deur himself in die “oog” van die ou kunstenaars te verplaas. “Die figuratiewe werk, soos met die arms, oë en houding, is dikwels die sleutel tot daardie ou inligting,” meen hy.

So poog hy ook om in sy huidige werk juis daardie houdings raak te sien om ietsie van die hedendaagse kultuur uit te druk. “Dalk hetdie huidige kultuur ’n vroulike aard, want soveel van die werk wat ek doen is oor vroue,” sê hy. Die naam Naledi dui op ’n skrootwerf in Kaapstad waar hy woon, maar Tania het sy beeld in brons gegiet omdat dit ’n monument vir ’n held suggereer of miskien ’n politieke boodskap uitdra.

  About this artist