05/10/2022
Interviews
Alfred Portman-Corroll
Curator Adrian Locke on bringing William Kentridge to the RA
Marking the RA's major multi-sensory exhibition of William Kentridge's work, we sat down with curator Adrian Locke to discuss the process in putting the show together...

The Royal Academy’s contemporary solo shows never fail to astonish. The scale of the work and immersion achieved through the curation and display in the main galleries transports the viewer into the melancholy musings of William Kentridge. The exhibition follows proudly in the footsteps of sensational solo shows by artists from Antony Gormley, to Anish Kapoor and Ai Weiwei. 

Kentridge has been described as South Africa’s most celebrated living artist. He was born in Johannesburg to a well-off white family, his parents were both lawyers working in human rights, his father was a prominent anti-apartheid lawyer who was knighted in 1999. Tinged with biographical resonance, his work explores the politics of his country, the exploitation of natural resources as well as human labour. Across mediums including etching, tapestry, theatre, dance, collage, puppetry, film, sculpture and drawing the Johannesburg-born artist traces stories of colonisation from the journals of Victorian explorers to the 1980’s apartheid regime and present day Chinese neo-colonialism. 

De Como Não Fui Ministro D’Estado, William Kentridge, 2012

The RA’s main galleries have been transformed into an immersive experience displaying new work exhibited for the first time. Kentridge’s films are shown throughout the gallery, as well as his tapestries, drawings and sculpture. Laced with metaphor; the exhibition is a poetic voyage through the artist’s mind, spanning forty years of work.

We caught up with Adrian Locke, Chief Curator at the Royal Academy to find out more about how the show was put together.

Comrade Tree, I Report to You, William Kentridge, 2020

What was the most challenging aspect of putting together the exhibition?

With every exhibition, the main challenge is deciding what the narrative will be; how you will use the space to tell a story. This was agreed over a number of conversations with William. Once the concept of the exhibition is agreed upon then you have to populate the space with work. Deciding which works make the final selection and then securing them on loan can also be very challenging.   

Having studied theatre in Paris and previously worked in both film and opera, Kentridge surely had a great input into building the atmosphere and designing the setting of the exhibition. Have old pieces been displayed in a novel way and how much freedom did the curatorial team have in choosing how to display the work?

William has a great passion for the theatre as a place for performance, so he also likes to infuse galleries with a sense of theatre or the unexpected. Visual impact and the setting can greatly enhance the atmosphere of the exhibition as well as highlight individual works. We worked very closely with Sabine Theunissen, a theatre set and exhibition designer, who has worked with William for over twenty years. It was, like most of William’s work, a very collaborative process. We worked together on the design.

Drawing for The Head & The Load (The trumpets we used to blow), William Kentridge, 2018

What was the inspiration for transferring the drawings directly onto the walls of the gallery?

I had seen his in-situ drawings at an exhibition of his work in Cape Town at Zeitz MOCAA related to the same work, Ubu Tells the Truth. I asked if he would do the same for us and he agreed. What I did not expect was for the drawings to be so extensive. That was a complete and delightful surprise. I believe these are the largest he has done to date.

Kentridge is a multimedia artist who works in theatre, film, and dance, but drawing forms the spine of this exhibition. Was that a conscious choice based on the work you wanted to show or a response to working within the setting of the main galleries as well as within the RA as a whole which tends toward fine art?

It was my decision, discussed with William, to base the show around drawing. After all, he often says that his work, in whatever medium, starts with a drawing. The connections from the early works to the most recent are there to provide the links; from static drawings to animation and then on to the more ambitious films, drawings are always present. In my mind he is such a great draughtsman. I also was conscious of finding works that are not seen that often, particularly among the drawings of the 1980s and 1990s.

Colleoni, William Kentridge, 2021

With the BLM movement and passing of Queen Elizabeth II the legacy of empire has been thrown under the spotlight. Was that something that influenced the choice of works to display? 

The exhibition has been a work in progress for five years and many of the decisions around the content were made before the death of George Floyd and Queen Elizabeth II. However, the issues around the on-going legacies of European colonial rule in Africa and apartheid in South Africa are pertinent ones and essential to William’s work even if they are not always that obvious. By extension these subjects impact and reflect on Britain’s colonial legacy and BLM. That said it felt important to me to engage with specific works that William created that directly deal with very disturbing aspects of both of these highly emotive subjects.

William Kentridge is showing at the Royal Academy until 22nd December

Don't forget to collect your Yamos when you visit!

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
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05/10/2022
Interviews
Alfred Portman-Corroll
Curator Adrian Locke on bringing William Kentridge to the RA
Marking the RA's major multi-sensory exhibition of William Kentridge's work, we sat down with curator Adrian Locke to discuss the process in putting the show together...

The Royal Academy’s contemporary solo shows never fail to astonish. The scale of the work and immersion achieved through the curation and display in the main galleries transports the viewer into the melancholy musings of William Kentridge. The exhibition follows proudly in the footsteps of sensational solo shows by artists from Antony Gormley, to Anish Kapoor and Ai Weiwei. 

Kentridge has been described as South Africa’s most celebrated living artist. He was born in Johannesburg to a well-off white family, his parents were both lawyers working in human rights, his father was a prominent anti-apartheid lawyer who was knighted in 1999. Tinged with biographical resonance, his work explores the politics of his country, the exploitation of natural resources as well as human labour. Across mediums including etching, tapestry, theatre, dance, collage, puppetry, film, sculpture and drawing the Johannesburg-born artist traces stories of colonisation from the journals of Victorian explorers to the 1980’s apartheid regime and present day Chinese neo-colonialism. 

De Como Não Fui Ministro D’Estado, William Kentridge, 2012

The RA’s main galleries have been transformed into an immersive experience displaying new work exhibited for the first time. Kentridge’s films are shown throughout the gallery, as well as his tapestries, drawings and sculpture. Laced with metaphor; the exhibition is a poetic voyage through the artist’s mind, spanning forty years of work.

We caught up with Adrian Locke, Chief Curator at the Royal Academy to find out more about how the show was put together.

Comrade Tree, I Report to You, William Kentridge, 2020

What was the most challenging aspect of putting together the exhibition?

With every exhibition, the main challenge is deciding what the narrative will be; how you will use the space to tell a story. This was agreed over a number of conversations with William. Once the concept of the exhibition is agreed upon then you have to populate the space with work. Deciding which works make the final selection and then securing them on loan can also be very challenging.   

Having studied theatre in Paris and previously worked in both film and opera, Kentridge surely had a great input into building the atmosphere and designing the setting of the exhibition. Have old pieces been displayed in a novel way and how much freedom did the curatorial team have in choosing how to display the work?

William has a great passion for the theatre as a place for performance, so he also likes to infuse galleries with a sense of theatre or the unexpected. Visual impact and the setting can greatly enhance the atmosphere of the exhibition as well as highlight individual works. We worked very closely with Sabine Theunissen, a theatre set and exhibition designer, who has worked with William for over twenty years. It was, like most of William’s work, a very collaborative process. We worked together on the design.

Drawing for The Head & The Load (The trumpets we used to blow), William Kentridge, 2018

What was the inspiration for transferring the drawings directly onto the walls of the gallery?

I had seen his in-situ drawings at an exhibition of his work in Cape Town at Zeitz MOCAA related to the same work, Ubu Tells the Truth. I asked if he would do the same for us and he agreed. What I did not expect was for the drawings to be so extensive. That was a complete and delightful surprise. I believe these are the largest he has done to date.

Kentridge is a multimedia artist who works in theatre, film, and dance, but drawing forms the spine of this exhibition. Was that a conscious choice based on the work you wanted to show or a response to working within the setting of the main galleries as well as within the RA as a whole which tends toward fine art?

It was my decision, discussed with William, to base the show around drawing. After all, he often says that his work, in whatever medium, starts with a drawing. The connections from the early works to the most recent are there to provide the links; from static drawings to animation and then on to the more ambitious films, drawings are always present. In my mind he is such a great draughtsman. I also was conscious of finding works that are not seen that often, particularly among the drawings of the 1980s and 1990s.

Colleoni, William Kentridge, 2021

With the BLM movement and passing of Queen Elizabeth II the legacy of empire has been thrown under the spotlight. Was that something that influenced the choice of works to display? 

The exhibition has been a work in progress for five years and many of the decisions around the content were made before the death of George Floyd and Queen Elizabeth II. However, the issues around the on-going legacies of European colonial rule in Africa and apartheid in South Africa are pertinent ones and essential to William’s work even if they are not always that obvious. By extension these subjects impact and reflect on Britain’s colonial legacy and BLM. That said it felt important to me to engage with specific works that William created that directly deal with very disturbing aspects of both of these highly emotive subjects.

William Kentridge is showing at the Royal Academy until 22nd December

Don't forget to collect your Yamos when you visit!

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
05/10/2022
Interviews
Alfred Portman-Corroll
Curator Adrian Locke on bringing William Kentridge to the RA
Marking the RA's major multi-sensory exhibition of William Kentridge's work, we sat down with curator Adrian Locke to discuss the process in putting the show together...

The Royal Academy’s contemporary solo shows never fail to astonish. The scale of the work and immersion achieved through the curation and display in the main galleries transports the viewer into the melancholy musings of William Kentridge. The exhibition follows proudly in the footsteps of sensational solo shows by artists from Antony Gormley, to Anish Kapoor and Ai Weiwei. 

Kentridge has been described as South Africa’s most celebrated living artist. He was born in Johannesburg to a well-off white family, his parents were both lawyers working in human rights, his father was a prominent anti-apartheid lawyer who was knighted in 1999. Tinged with biographical resonance, his work explores the politics of his country, the exploitation of natural resources as well as human labour. Across mediums including etching, tapestry, theatre, dance, collage, puppetry, film, sculpture and drawing the Johannesburg-born artist traces stories of colonisation from the journals of Victorian explorers to the 1980’s apartheid regime and present day Chinese neo-colonialism. 

De Como Não Fui Ministro D’Estado, William Kentridge, 2012

The RA’s main galleries have been transformed into an immersive experience displaying new work exhibited for the first time. Kentridge’s films are shown throughout the gallery, as well as his tapestries, drawings and sculpture. Laced with metaphor; the exhibition is a poetic voyage through the artist’s mind, spanning forty years of work.

We caught up with Adrian Locke, Chief Curator at the Royal Academy to find out more about how the show was put together.

Comrade Tree, I Report to You, William Kentridge, 2020

What was the most challenging aspect of putting together the exhibition?

With every exhibition, the main challenge is deciding what the narrative will be; how you will use the space to tell a story. This was agreed over a number of conversations with William. Once the concept of the exhibition is agreed upon then you have to populate the space with work. Deciding which works make the final selection and then securing them on loan can also be very challenging.   

Having studied theatre in Paris and previously worked in both film and opera, Kentridge surely had a great input into building the atmosphere and designing the setting of the exhibition. Have old pieces been displayed in a novel way and how much freedom did the curatorial team have in choosing how to display the work?

William has a great passion for the theatre as a place for performance, so he also likes to infuse galleries with a sense of theatre or the unexpected. Visual impact and the setting can greatly enhance the atmosphere of the exhibition as well as highlight individual works. We worked very closely with Sabine Theunissen, a theatre set and exhibition designer, who has worked with William for over twenty years. It was, like most of William’s work, a very collaborative process. We worked together on the design.

Drawing for The Head & The Load (The trumpets we used to blow), William Kentridge, 2018

What was the inspiration for transferring the drawings directly onto the walls of the gallery?

I had seen his in-situ drawings at an exhibition of his work in Cape Town at Zeitz MOCAA related to the same work, Ubu Tells the Truth. I asked if he would do the same for us and he agreed. What I did not expect was for the drawings to be so extensive. That was a complete and delightful surprise. I believe these are the largest he has done to date.

Kentridge is a multimedia artist who works in theatre, film, and dance, but drawing forms the spine of this exhibition. Was that a conscious choice based on the work you wanted to show or a response to working within the setting of the main galleries as well as within the RA as a whole which tends toward fine art?

It was my decision, discussed with William, to base the show around drawing. After all, he often says that his work, in whatever medium, starts with a drawing. The connections from the early works to the most recent are there to provide the links; from static drawings to animation and then on to the more ambitious films, drawings are always present. In my mind he is such a great draughtsman. I also was conscious of finding works that are not seen that often, particularly among the drawings of the 1980s and 1990s.

Colleoni, William Kentridge, 2021

With the BLM movement and passing of Queen Elizabeth II the legacy of empire has been thrown under the spotlight. Was that something that influenced the choice of works to display? 

The exhibition has been a work in progress for five years and many of the decisions around the content were made before the death of George Floyd and Queen Elizabeth II. However, the issues around the on-going legacies of European colonial rule in Africa and apartheid in South Africa are pertinent ones and essential to William’s work even if they are not always that obvious. By extension these subjects impact and reflect on Britain’s colonial legacy and BLM. That said it felt important to me to engage with specific works that William created that directly deal with very disturbing aspects of both of these highly emotive subjects.

William Kentridge is showing at the Royal Academy until 22nd December

Don't forget to collect your Yamos when you visit!

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
05/10/2022
Interviews
Alfred Portman-Corroll
Curator Adrian Locke on bringing William Kentridge to the RA
Marking the RA's major multi-sensory exhibition of William Kentridge's work, we sat down with curator Adrian Locke to discuss the process in putting the show together...

The Royal Academy’s contemporary solo shows never fail to astonish. The scale of the work and immersion achieved through the curation and display in the main galleries transports the viewer into the melancholy musings of William Kentridge. The exhibition follows proudly in the footsteps of sensational solo shows by artists from Antony Gormley, to Anish Kapoor and Ai Weiwei. 

Kentridge has been described as South Africa’s most celebrated living artist. He was born in Johannesburg to a well-off white family, his parents were both lawyers working in human rights, his father was a prominent anti-apartheid lawyer who was knighted in 1999. Tinged with biographical resonance, his work explores the politics of his country, the exploitation of natural resources as well as human labour. Across mediums including etching, tapestry, theatre, dance, collage, puppetry, film, sculpture and drawing the Johannesburg-born artist traces stories of colonisation from the journals of Victorian explorers to the 1980’s apartheid regime and present day Chinese neo-colonialism. 

De Como Não Fui Ministro D’Estado, William Kentridge, 2012

The RA’s main galleries have been transformed into an immersive experience displaying new work exhibited for the first time. Kentridge’s films are shown throughout the gallery, as well as his tapestries, drawings and sculpture. Laced with metaphor; the exhibition is a poetic voyage through the artist’s mind, spanning forty years of work.

We caught up with Adrian Locke, Chief Curator at the Royal Academy to find out more about how the show was put together.

Comrade Tree, I Report to You, William Kentridge, 2020

What was the most challenging aspect of putting together the exhibition?

With every exhibition, the main challenge is deciding what the narrative will be; how you will use the space to tell a story. This was agreed over a number of conversations with William. Once the concept of the exhibition is agreed upon then you have to populate the space with work. Deciding which works make the final selection and then securing them on loan can also be very challenging.   

Having studied theatre in Paris and previously worked in both film and opera, Kentridge surely had a great input into building the atmosphere and designing the setting of the exhibition. Have old pieces been displayed in a novel way and how much freedom did the curatorial team have in choosing how to display the work?

William has a great passion for the theatre as a place for performance, so he also likes to infuse galleries with a sense of theatre or the unexpected. Visual impact and the setting can greatly enhance the atmosphere of the exhibition as well as highlight individual works. We worked very closely with Sabine Theunissen, a theatre set and exhibition designer, who has worked with William for over twenty years. It was, like most of William’s work, a very collaborative process. We worked together on the design.

Drawing for The Head & The Load (The trumpets we used to blow), William Kentridge, 2018

What was the inspiration for transferring the drawings directly onto the walls of the gallery?

I had seen his in-situ drawings at an exhibition of his work in Cape Town at Zeitz MOCAA related to the same work, Ubu Tells the Truth. I asked if he would do the same for us and he agreed. What I did not expect was for the drawings to be so extensive. That was a complete and delightful surprise. I believe these are the largest he has done to date.

Kentridge is a multimedia artist who works in theatre, film, and dance, but drawing forms the spine of this exhibition. Was that a conscious choice based on the work you wanted to show or a response to working within the setting of the main galleries as well as within the RA as a whole which tends toward fine art?

It was my decision, discussed with William, to base the show around drawing. After all, he often says that his work, in whatever medium, starts with a drawing. The connections from the early works to the most recent are there to provide the links; from static drawings to animation and then on to the more ambitious films, drawings are always present. In my mind he is such a great draughtsman. I also was conscious of finding works that are not seen that often, particularly among the drawings of the 1980s and 1990s.

Colleoni, William Kentridge, 2021

With the BLM movement and passing of Queen Elizabeth II the legacy of empire has been thrown under the spotlight. Was that something that influenced the choice of works to display? 

The exhibition has been a work in progress for five years and many of the decisions around the content were made before the death of George Floyd and Queen Elizabeth II. However, the issues around the on-going legacies of European colonial rule in Africa and apartheid in South Africa are pertinent ones and essential to William’s work even if they are not always that obvious. By extension these subjects impact and reflect on Britain’s colonial legacy and BLM. That said it felt important to me to engage with specific works that William created that directly deal with very disturbing aspects of both of these highly emotive subjects.

William Kentridge is showing at the Royal Academy until 22nd December

Don't forget to collect your Yamos when you visit!

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
05/10/2022
Interviews
Alfred Portman-Corroll
Curator Adrian Locke on bringing William Kentridge to the RA
Marking the RA's major multi-sensory exhibition of William Kentridge's work, we sat down with curator Adrian Locke to discuss the process in putting the show together...

The Royal Academy’s contemporary solo shows never fail to astonish. The scale of the work and immersion achieved through the curation and display in the main galleries transports the viewer into the melancholy musings of William Kentridge. The exhibition follows proudly in the footsteps of sensational solo shows by artists from Antony Gormley, to Anish Kapoor and Ai Weiwei. 

Kentridge has been described as South Africa’s most celebrated living artist. He was born in Johannesburg to a well-off white family, his parents were both lawyers working in human rights, his father was a prominent anti-apartheid lawyer who was knighted in 1999. Tinged with biographical resonance, his work explores the politics of his country, the exploitation of natural resources as well as human labour. Across mediums including etching, tapestry, theatre, dance, collage, puppetry, film, sculpture and drawing the Johannesburg-born artist traces stories of colonisation from the journals of Victorian explorers to the 1980’s apartheid regime and present day Chinese neo-colonialism. 

De Como Não Fui Ministro D’Estado, William Kentridge, 2012

The RA’s main galleries have been transformed into an immersive experience displaying new work exhibited for the first time. Kentridge’s films are shown throughout the gallery, as well as his tapestries, drawings and sculpture. Laced with metaphor; the exhibition is a poetic voyage through the artist’s mind, spanning forty years of work.

We caught up with Adrian Locke, Chief Curator at the Royal Academy to find out more about how the show was put together.

Comrade Tree, I Report to You, William Kentridge, 2020

What was the most challenging aspect of putting together the exhibition?

With every exhibition, the main challenge is deciding what the narrative will be; how you will use the space to tell a story. This was agreed over a number of conversations with William. Once the concept of the exhibition is agreed upon then you have to populate the space with work. Deciding which works make the final selection and then securing them on loan can also be very challenging.   

Having studied theatre in Paris and previously worked in both film and opera, Kentridge surely had a great input into building the atmosphere and designing the setting of the exhibition. Have old pieces been displayed in a novel way and how much freedom did the curatorial team have in choosing how to display the work?

William has a great passion for the theatre as a place for performance, so he also likes to infuse galleries with a sense of theatre or the unexpected. Visual impact and the setting can greatly enhance the atmosphere of the exhibition as well as highlight individual works. We worked very closely with Sabine Theunissen, a theatre set and exhibition designer, who has worked with William for over twenty years. It was, like most of William’s work, a very collaborative process. We worked together on the design.

Drawing for The Head & The Load (The trumpets we used to blow), William Kentridge, 2018

What was the inspiration for transferring the drawings directly onto the walls of the gallery?

I had seen his in-situ drawings at an exhibition of his work in Cape Town at Zeitz MOCAA related to the same work, Ubu Tells the Truth. I asked if he would do the same for us and he agreed. What I did not expect was for the drawings to be so extensive. That was a complete and delightful surprise. I believe these are the largest he has done to date.

Kentridge is a multimedia artist who works in theatre, film, and dance, but drawing forms the spine of this exhibition. Was that a conscious choice based on the work you wanted to show or a response to working within the setting of the main galleries as well as within the RA as a whole which tends toward fine art?

It was my decision, discussed with William, to base the show around drawing. After all, he often says that his work, in whatever medium, starts with a drawing. The connections from the early works to the most recent are there to provide the links; from static drawings to animation and then on to the more ambitious films, drawings are always present. In my mind he is such a great draughtsman. I also was conscious of finding works that are not seen that often, particularly among the drawings of the 1980s and 1990s.

Colleoni, William Kentridge, 2021

With the BLM movement and passing of Queen Elizabeth II the legacy of empire has been thrown under the spotlight. Was that something that influenced the choice of works to display? 

The exhibition has been a work in progress for five years and many of the decisions around the content were made before the death of George Floyd and Queen Elizabeth II. However, the issues around the on-going legacies of European colonial rule in Africa and apartheid in South Africa are pertinent ones and essential to William’s work even if they are not always that obvious. By extension these subjects impact and reflect on Britain’s colonial legacy and BLM. That said it felt important to me to engage with specific works that William created that directly deal with very disturbing aspects of both of these highly emotive subjects.

William Kentridge is showing at the Royal Academy until 22nd December

Don't forget to collect your Yamos when you visit!

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
05/10/2022
Interviews
Alfred Portman-Corroll
Curator Adrian Locke on bringing William Kentridge to the RA

The Royal Academy’s contemporary solo shows never fail to astonish. The scale of the work and immersion achieved through the curation and display in the main galleries transports the viewer into the melancholy musings of William Kentridge. The exhibition follows proudly in the footsteps of sensational solo shows by artists from Antony Gormley, to Anish Kapoor and Ai Weiwei. 

Kentridge has been described as South Africa’s most celebrated living artist. He was born in Johannesburg to a well-off white family, his parents were both lawyers working in human rights, his father was a prominent anti-apartheid lawyer who was knighted in 1999. Tinged with biographical resonance, his work explores the politics of his country, the exploitation of natural resources as well as human labour. Across mediums including etching, tapestry, theatre, dance, collage, puppetry, film, sculpture and drawing the Johannesburg-born artist traces stories of colonisation from the journals of Victorian explorers to the 1980’s apartheid regime and present day Chinese neo-colonialism. 

De Como Não Fui Ministro D’Estado, William Kentridge, 2012

The RA’s main galleries have been transformed into an immersive experience displaying new work exhibited for the first time. Kentridge’s films are shown throughout the gallery, as well as his tapestries, drawings and sculpture. Laced with metaphor; the exhibition is a poetic voyage through the artist’s mind, spanning forty years of work.

We caught up with Adrian Locke, Chief Curator at the Royal Academy to find out more about how the show was put together.

Comrade Tree, I Report to You, William Kentridge, 2020

What was the most challenging aspect of putting together the exhibition?

With every exhibition, the main challenge is deciding what the narrative will be; how you will use the space to tell a story. This was agreed over a number of conversations with William. Once the concept of the exhibition is agreed upon then you have to populate the space with work. Deciding which works make the final selection and then securing them on loan can also be very challenging.   

Having studied theatre in Paris and previously worked in both film and opera, Kentridge surely had a great input into building the atmosphere and designing the setting of the exhibition. Have old pieces been displayed in a novel way and how much freedom did the curatorial team have in choosing how to display the work?

William has a great passion for the theatre as a place for performance, so he also likes to infuse galleries with a sense of theatre or the unexpected. Visual impact and the setting can greatly enhance the atmosphere of the exhibition as well as highlight individual works. We worked very closely with Sabine Theunissen, a theatre set and exhibition designer, who has worked with William for over twenty years. It was, like most of William’s work, a very collaborative process. We worked together on the design.

Drawing for The Head & The Load (The trumpets we used to blow), William Kentridge, 2018

What was the inspiration for transferring the drawings directly onto the walls of the gallery?

I had seen his in-situ drawings at an exhibition of his work in Cape Town at Zeitz MOCAA related to the same work, Ubu Tells the Truth. I asked if he would do the same for us and he agreed. What I did not expect was for the drawings to be so extensive. That was a complete and delightful surprise. I believe these are the largest he has done to date.

Kentridge is a multimedia artist who works in theatre, film, and dance, but drawing forms the spine of this exhibition. Was that a conscious choice based on the work you wanted to show or a response to working within the setting of the main galleries as well as within the RA as a whole which tends toward fine art?

It was my decision, discussed with William, to base the show around drawing. After all, he often says that his work, in whatever medium, starts with a drawing. The connections from the early works to the most recent are there to provide the links; from static drawings to animation and then on to the more ambitious films, drawings are always present. In my mind he is such a great draughtsman. I also was conscious of finding works that are not seen that often, particularly among the drawings of the 1980s and 1990s.

Colleoni, William Kentridge, 2021

With the BLM movement and passing of Queen Elizabeth II the legacy of empire has been thrown under the spotlight. Was that something that influenced the choice of works to display? 

The exhibition has been a work in progress for five years and many of the decisions around the content were made before the death of George Floyd and Queen Elizabeth II. However, the issues around the on-going legacies of European colonial rule in Africa and apartheid in South Africa are pertinent ones and essential to William’s work even if they are not always that obvious. By extension these subjects impact and reflect on Britain’s colonial legacy and BLM. That said it felt important to me to engage with specific works that William created that directly deal with very disturbing aspects of both of these highly emotive subjects.

William Kentridge is showing at the Royal Academy until 22nd December

Don't forget to collect your Yamos when you visit!

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
05/10/2022
Interviews
Alfred Portman-Corroll
Curator Adrian Locke on bringing William Kentridge to the RA
Marking the RA's major multi-sensory exhibition of William Kentridge's work, we sat down with curator Adrian Locke to discuss the process in putting the show together...

The Royal Academy’s contemporary solo shows never fail to astonish. The scale of the work and immersion achieved through the curation and display in the main galleries transports the viewer into the melancholy musings of William Kentridge. The exhibition follows proudly in the footsteps of sensational solo shows by artists from Antony Gormley, to Anish Kapoor and Ai Weiwei. 

Kentridge has been described as South Africa’s most celebrated living artist. He was born in Johannesburg to a well-off white family, his parents were both lawyers working in human rights, his father was a prominent anti-apartheid lawyer who was knighted in 1999. Tinged with biographical resonance, his work explores the politics of his country, the exploitation of natural resources as well as human labour. Across mediums including etching, tapestry, theatre, dance, collage, puppetry, film, sculpture and drawing the Johannesburg-born artist traces stories of colonisation from the journals of Victorian explorers to the 1980’s apartheid regime and present day Chinese neo-colonialism. 

De Como Não Fui Ministro D’Estado, William Kentridge, 2012

The RA’s main galleries have been transformed into an immersive experience displaying new work exhibited for the first time. Kentridge’s films are shown throughout the gallery, as well as his tapestries, drawings and sculpture. Laced with metaphor; the exhibition is a poetic voyage through the artist’s mind, spanning forty years of work.

We caught up with Adrian Locke, Chief Curator at the Royal Academy to find out more about how the show was put together.

Comrade Tree, I Report to You, William Kentridge, 2020

What was the most challenging aspect of putting together the exhibition?

With every exhibition, the main challenge is deciding what the narrative will be; how you will use the space to tell a story. This was agreed over a number of conversations with William. Once the concept of the exhibition is agreed upon then you have to populate the space with work. Deciding which works make the final selection and then securing them on loan can also be very challenging.   

Having studied theatre in Paris and previously worked in both film and opera, Kentridge surely had a great input into building the atmosphere and designing the setting of the exhibition. Have old pieces been displayed in a novel way and how much freedom did the curatorial team have in choosing how to display the work?

William has a great passion for the theatre as a place for performance, so he also likes to infuse galleries with a sense of theatre or the unexpected. Visual impact and the setting can greatly enhance the atmosphere of the exhibition as well as highlight individual works. We worked very closely with Sabine Theunissen, a theatre set and exhibition designer, who has worked with William for over twenty years. It was, like most of William’s work, a very collaborative process. We worked together on the design.

Drawing for The Head & The Load (The trumpets we used to blow), William Kentridge, 2018

What was the inspiration for transferring the drawings directly onto the walls of the gallery?

I had seen his in-situ drawings at an exhibition of his work in Cape Town at Zeitz MOCAA related to the same work, Ubu Tells the Truth. I asked if he would do the same for us and he agreed. What I did not expect was for the drawings to be so extensive. That was a complete and delightful surprise. I believe these are the largest he has done to date.

Kentridge is a multimedia artist who works in theatre, film, and dance, but drawing forms the spine of this exhibition. Was that a conscious choice based on the work you wanted to show or a response to working within the setting of the main galleries as well as within the RA as a whole which tends toward fine art?

It was my decision, discussed with William, to base the show around drawing. After all, he often says that his work, in whatever medium, starts with a drawing. The connections from the early works to the most recent are there to provide the links; from static drawings to animation and then on to the more ambitious films, drawings are always present. In my mind he is such a great draughtsman. I also was conscious of finding works that are not seen that often, particularly among the drawings of the 1980s and 1990s.

Colleoni, William Kentridge, 2021

With the BLM movement and passing of Queen Elizabeth II the legacy of empire has been thrown under the spotlight. Was that something that influenced the choice of works to display? 

The exhibition has been a work in progress for five years and many of the decisions around the content were made before the death of George Floyd and Queen Elizabeth II. However, the issues around the on-going legacies of European colonial rule in Africa and apartheid in South Africa are pertinent ones and essential to William’s work even if they are not always that obvious. By extension these subjects impact and reflect on Britain’s colonial legacy and BLM. That said it felt important to me to engage with specific works that William created that directly deal with very disturbing aspects of both of these highly emotive subjects.

William Kentridge is showing at the Royal Academy until 22nd December

Don't forget to collect your Yamos when you visit!

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Collect your 5 yamos below
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05/10/2022
Interviews
Alfred Portman-Corroll
Curator Adrian Locke on bringing William Kentridge to the RA
Marking the RA's major multi-sensory exhibition of William Kentridge's work, we sat down with curator Adrian Locke to discuss the process in putting the show together...

The Royal Academy’s contemporary solo shows never fail to astonish. The scale of the work and immersion achieved through the curation and display in the main galleries transports the viewer into the melancholy musings of William Kentridge. The exhibition follows proudly in the footsteps of sensational solo shows by artists from Antony Gormley, to Anish Kapoor and Ai Weiwei. 

Kentridge has been described as South Africa’s most celebrated living artist. He was born in Johannesburg to a well-off white family, his parents were both lawyers working in human rights, his father was a prominent anti-apartheid lawyer who was knighted in 1999. Tinged with biographical resonance, his work explores the politics of his country, the exploitation of natural resources as well as human labour. Across mediums including etching, tapestry, theatre, dance, collage, puppetry, film, sculpture and drawing the Johannesburg-born artist traces stories of colonisation from the journals of Victorian explorers to the 1980’s apartheid regime and present day Chinese neo-colonialism. 

De Como Não Fui Ministro D’Estado, William Kentridge, 2012

The RA’s main galleries have been transformed into an immersive experience displaying new work exhibited for the first time. Kentridge’s films are shown throughout the gallery, as well as his tapestries, drawings and sculpture. Laced with metaphor; the exhibition is a poetic voyage through the artist’s mind, spanning forty years of work.

We caught up with Adrian Locke, Chief Curator at the Royal Academy to find out more about how the show was put together.

Comrade Tree, I Report to You, William Kentridge, 2020

What was the most challenging aspect of putting together the exhibition?

With every exhibition, the main challenge is deciding what the narrative will be; how you will use the space to tell a story. This was agreed over a number of conversations with William. Once the concept of the exhibition is agreed upon then you have to populate the space with work. Deciding which works make the final selection and then securing them on loan can also be very challenging.   

Having studied theatre in Paris and previously worked in both film and opera, Kentridge surely had a great input into building the atmosphere and designing the setting of the exhibition. Have old pieces been displayed in a novel way and how much freedom did the curatorial team have in choosing how to display the work?

William has a great passion for the theatre as a place for performance, so he also likes to infuse galleries with a sense of theatre or the unexpected. Visual impact and the setting can greatly enhance the atmosphere of the exhibition as well as highlight individual works. We worked very closely with Sabine Theunissen, a theatre set and exhibition designer, who has worked with William for over twenty years. It was, like most of William’s work, a very collaborative process. We worked together on the design.

Drawing for The Head & The Load (The trumpets we used to blow), William Kentridge, 2018

What was the inspiration for transferring the drawings directly onto the walls of the gallery?

I had seen his in-situ drawings at an exhibition of his work in Cape Town at Zeitz MOCAA related to the same work, Ubu Tells the Truth. I asked if he would do the same for us and he agreed. What I did not expect was for the drawings to be so extensive. That was a complete and delightful surprise. I believe these are the largest he has done to date.

Kentridge is a multimedia artist who works in theatre, film, and dance, but drawing forms the spine of this exhibition. Was that a conscious choice based on the work you wanted to show or a response to working within the setting of the main galleries as well as within the RA as a whole which tends toward fine art?

It was my decision, discussed with William, to base the show around drawing. After all, he often says that his work, in whatever medium, starts with a drawing. The connections from the early works to the most recent are there to provide the links; from static drawings to animation and then on to the more ambitious films, drawings are always present. In my mind he is such a great draughtsman. I also was conscious of finding works that are not seen that often, particularly among the drawings of the 1980s and 1990s.

Colleoni, William Kentridge, 2021

With the BLM movement and passing of Queen Elizabeth II the legacy of empire has been thrown under the spotlight. Was that something that influenced the choice of works to display? 

The exhibition has been a work in progress for five years and many of the decisions around the content were made before the death of George Floyd and Queen Elizabeth II. However, the issues around the on-going legacies of European colonial rule in Africa and apartheid in South Africa are pertinent ones and essential to William’s work even if they are not always that obvious. By extension these subjects impact and reflect on Britain’s colonial legacy and BLM. That said it felt important to me to engage with specific works that William created that directly deal with very disturbing aspects of both of these highly emotive subjects.

William Kentridge is showing at the Royal Academy until 22nd December

Don't forget to collect your Yamos when you visit!

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
05/10/2022
Interviews
Alfred Portman-Corroll
Curator Adrian Locke on bringing William Kentridge to the RA
Marking the RA's major multi-sensory exhibition of William Kentridge's work, we sat down with curator Adrian Locke to discuss the process in putting the show together...

The Royal Academy’s contemporary solo shows never fail to astonish. The scale of the work and immersion achieved through the curation and display in the main galleries transports the viewer into the melancholy musings of William Kentridge. The exhibition follows proudly in the footsteps of sensational solo shows by artists from Antony Gormley, to Anish Kapoor and Ai Weiwei. 

Kentridge has been described as South Africa’s most celebrated living artist. He was born in Johannesburg to a well-off white family, his parents were both lawyers working in human rights, his father was a prominent anti-apartheid lawyer who was knighted in 1999. Tinged with biographical resonance, his work explores the politics of his country, the exploitation of natural resources as well as human labour. Across mediums including etching, tapestry, theatre, dance, collage, puppetry, film, sculpture and drawing the Johannesburg-born artist traces stories of colonisation from the journals of Victorian explorers to the 1980’s apartheid regime and present day Chinese neo-colonialism. 

De Como Não Fui Ministro D’Estado, William Kentridge, 2012

The RA’s main galleries have been transformed into an immersive experience displaying new work exhibited for the first time. Kentridge’s films are shown throughout the gallery, as well as his tapestries, drawings and sculpture. Laced with metaphor; the exhibition is a poetic voyage through the artist’s mind, spanning forty years of work.

We caught up with Adrian Locke, Chief Curator at the Royal Academy to find out more about how the show was put together.

Comrade Tree, I Report to You, William Kentridge, 2020

What was the most challenging aspect of putting together the exhibition?

With every exhibition, the main challenge is deciding what the narrative will be; how you will use the space to tell a story. This was agreed over a number of conversations with William. Once the concept of the exhibition is agreed upon then you have to populate the space with work. Deciding which works make the final selection and then securing them on loan can also be very challenging.   

Having studied theatre in Paris and previously worked in both film and opera, Kentridge surely had a great input into building the atmosphere and designing the setting of the exhibition. Have old pieces been displayed in a novel way and how much freedom did the curatorial team have in choosing how to display the work?

William has a great passion for the theatre as a place for performance, so he also likes to infuse galleries with a sense of theatre or the unexpected. Visual impact and the setting can greatly enhance the atmosphere of the exhibition as well as highlight individual works. We worked very closely with Sabine Theunissen, a theatre set and exhibition designer, who has worked with William for over twenty years. It was, like most of William’s work, a very collaborative process. We worked together on the design.

Drawing for The Head & The Load (The trumpets we used to blow), William Kentridge, 2018

What was the inspiration for transferring the drawings directly onto the walls of the gallery?

I had seen his in-situ drawings at an exhibition of his work in Cape Town at Zeitz MOCAA related to the same work, Ubu Tells the Truth. I asked if he would do the same for us and he agreed. What I did not expect was for the drawings to be so extensive. That was a complete and delightful surprise. I believe these are the largest he has done to date.

Kentridge is a multimedia artist who works in theatre, film, and dance, but drawing forms the spine of this exhibition. Was that a conscious choice based on the work you wanted to show or a response to working within the setting of the main galleries as well as within the RA as a whole which tends toward fine art?

It was my decision, discussed with William, to base the show around drawing. After all, he often says that his work, in whatever medium, starts with a drawing. The connections from the early works to the most recent are there to provide the links; from static drawings to animation and then on to the more ambitious films, drawings are always present. In my mind he is such a great draughtsman. I also was conscious of finding works that are not seen that often, particularly among the drawings of the 1980s and 1990s.

Colleoni, William Kentridge, 2021

With the BLM movement and passing of Queen Elizabeth II the legacy of empire has been thrown under the spotlight. Was that something that influenced the choice of works to display? 

The exhibition has been a work in progress for five years and many of the decisions around the content were made before the death of George Floyd and Queen Elizabeth II. However, the issues around the on-going legacies of European colonial rule in Africa and apartheid in South Africa are pertinent ones and essential to William’s work even if they are not always that obvious. By extension these subjects impact and reflect on Britain’s colonial legacy and BLM. That said it felt important to me to engage with specific works that William created that directly deal with very disturbing aspects of both of these highly emotive subjects.

William Kentridge is showing at the Royal Academy until 22nd December

Don't forget to collect your Yamos when you visit!

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
05/10/2022
Interviews
Alfred Portman-Corroll
Curator Adrian Locke on bringing William Kentridge to the RA
Marking the RA's major multi-sensory exhibition of William Kentridge's work, we sat down with curator Adrian Locke to discuss the process in putting the show together...

The Royal Academy’s contemporary solo shows never fail to astonish. The scale of the work and immersion achieved through the curation and display in the main galleries transports the viewer into the melancholy musings of William Kentridge. The exhibition follows proudly in the footsteps of sensational solo shows by artists from Antony Gormley, to Anish Kapoor and Ai Weiwei. 

Kentridge has been described as South Africa’s most celebrated living artist. He was born in Johannesburg to a well-off white family, his parents were both lawyers working in human rights, his father was a prominent anti-apartheid lawyer who was knighted in 1999. Tinged with biographical resonance, his work explores the politics of his country, the exploitation of natural resources as well as human labour. Across mediums including etching, tapestry, theatre, dance, collage, puppetry, film, sculpture and drawing the Johannesburg-born artist traces stories of colonisation from the journals of Victorian explorers to the 1980’s apartheid regime and present day Chinese neo-colonialism. 

De Como Não Fui Ministro D’Estado, William Kentridge, 2012

The RA’s main galleries have been transformed into an immersive experience displaying new work exhibited for the first time. Kentridge’s films are shown throughout the gallery, as well as his tapestries, drawings and sculpture. Laced with metaphor; the exhibition is a poetic voyage through the artist’s mind, spanning forty years of work.

We caught up with Adrian Locke, Chief Curator at the Royal Academy to find out more about how the show was put together.

Comrade Tree, I Report to You, William Kentridge, 2020

What was the most challenging aspect of putting together the exhibition?

With every exhibition, the main challenge is deciding what the narrative will be; how you will use the space to tell a story. This was agreed over a number of conversations with William. Once the concept of the exhibition is agreed upon then you have to populate the space with work. Deciding which works make the final selection and then securing them on loan can also be very challenging.   

Having studied theatre in Paris and previously worked in both film and opera, Kentridge surely had a great input into building the atmosphere and designing the setting of the exhibition. Have old pieces been displayed in a novel way and how much freedom did the curatorial team have in choosing how to display the work?

William has a great passion for the theatre as a place for performance, so he also likes to infuse galleries with a sense of theatre or the unexpected. Visual impact and the setting can greatly enhance the atmosphere of the exhibition as well as highlight individual works. We worked very closely with Sabine Theunissen, a theatre set and exhibition designer, who has worked with William for over twenty years. It was, like most of William’s work, a very collaborative process. We worked together on the design.

Drawing for The Head & The Load (The trumpets we used to blow), William Kentridge, 2018

What was the inspiration for transferring the drawings directly onto the walls of the gallery?

I had seen his in-situ drawings at an exhibition of his work in Cape Town at Zeitz MOCAA related to the same work, Ubu Tells the Truth. I asked if he would do the same for us and he agreed. What I did not expect was for the drawings to be so extensive. That was a complete and delightful surprise. I believe these are the largest he has done to date.

Kentridge is a multimedia artist who works in theatre, film, and dance, but drawing forms the spine of this exhibition. Was that a conscious choice based on the work you wanted to show or a response to working within the setting of the main galleries as well as within the RA as a whole which tends toward fine art?

It was my decision, discussed with William, to base the show around drawing. After all, he often says that his work, in whatever medium, starts with a drawing. The connections from the early works to the most recent are there to provide the links; from static drawings to animation and then on to the more ambitious films, drawings are always present. In my mind he is such a great draughtsman. I also was conscious of finding works that are not seen that often, particularly among the drawings of the 1980s and 1990s.

Colleoni, William Kentridge, 2021

With the BLM movement and passing of Queen Elizabeth II the legacy of empire has been thrown under the spotlight. Was that something that influenced the choice of works to display? 

The exhibition has been a work in progress for five years and many of the decisions around the content were made before the death of George Floyd and Queen Elizabeth II. However, the issues around the on-going legacies of European colonial rule in Africa and apartheid in South Africa are pertinent ones and essential to William’s work even if they are not always that obvious. By extension these subjects impact and reflect on Britain’s colonial legacy and BLM. That said it felt important to me to engage with specific works that William created that directly deal with very disturbing aspects of both of these highly emotive subjects.

William Kentridge is showing at the Royal Academy until 22nd December

Don't forget to collect your Yamos when you visit!

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
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