Prisoners of Stone

Prisoners of Stone

Authors: Bernard Brand & Adriaan Diedericks
Affiliation: ESCAP3 Gallery (pty) Ltd
Country: South Africa 

About ESCAP3 Gallery 

Established in June 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, ESCAP3 Gallery is founded as a solution to assist artists of Africa and its Diaspora. 

 ESCAP3 Gallery showcases both emerging and established contemporary artists of Africa its Diaspora, who are often still experimenting with different mediums and interests but who all reflect on identity and their relationship with their environment whilst navigating young democracies in a Post-Colonial and Post-Slavery landscape. 

 ESCAP3 Gallery believes that artists should continue to intensely and freely investigate their various creative research and practice, whilst the gallery administers and represents their brand with the integrity and respect it deserves. ESCAP3 Gallery works as agent to the artists. 

 Write-up of the artwork 

The works selected for this exhibition contain not only visual reference to stone, but also the use of stone or rock as symbolism and metaphor. Prisoners of Stone alludes to the juxtaposition of stone being shaped or used by the Artists, to indicate both a release and captivity, either in the cyclical strife of life, or the moment between what the Artist senses and the medium speaks. The works reflect an eternal struggle of humans who wish to free the spirit from material trappings. 

Titled after the Greek King Sisyphus who was punished to endlessly roll a huge boulder up a steep hill only to find it rolling back upon nearing the top the artist seeks to comment on the endless struggle of life and all its challenges. 

You are met with an insurmountable task, almost nearing completion only to find yourself in the gutter, once again defeated and once again dusting yourself off and pushing onward once more. Here however the subject seems triumphant over his burdens, conquering the weight of the rock he carries and stands tall, even victorious, if only for a fleeting moment. 

“Visually, Adriaan Diedericks’s Absorption strongly recalls Michelangelo’s non-finito slave statues, wherein a human form is only partially carved from a block of marble in order to thematically convey the challenge and burden of individuation. Diedericks’s bronze shifts Michelangelo’s philosophical inquiry into the realm of power dynamics inherent in Hegel’s Master/Slave dialectic, by depicting two figures – who are either embracing or tussling – locked in a struggle of perpetual becoming. The seeming liquidity of the bronze suggests a certain inversion of Michelangelo’s marble, the fusing of mind and consciousness, and self and other into a singular consolidated entity.” – Tim Leibbrandt 

Adriaan Diedericks

Born 1990 in Cape Town, South Africa 

Lives and works in Boussac, France 

 Adriaan Diedericks is a South African sculptor based in Strasbourg, France. After graduating with a BA degree in Fine Arts from Stellenbosch University in 2012, he completed an apprenticeship with Lionel Smit from 2013 until 2014. 

 Diedericks was a SASOL New Signatures Finalist in 2010 and again in 2014. He also participated and became a Finalist in PPC YCSA in 2013. His work features in prominent art collections such as Quoin Rock Wine Estate, Cavalli Wine & Stud Farm, Bartinney Wine Estate and NAC VIP Lounge, Lanseria Airport as well as other private collections around the world such as USA, UK, Switzerland, Sweden,

Germany, Australia and South Africa. Diedericks has placed public sculptures in Hermanus, Franschhoek, Stellenbosch (South Africa), Rhineland-Palatinate (Germany) and Sainte Radegonde (France). 

 In 2014 Diedericks was invited to take part at Art Fair Strasbourg and Cologne. In 2017 he attended the 4th International Artist Symposium along with 9 other individuals at Museum Villa Böhm in Germany where he was given the opportunity to work with sandstone for the first time. He has been featured in various media publications such as Effe O’ Arte in Milan, Top Billing and Visi’s ‘Artists to watch’ among others. 

 Diedericks presented his 7th solo exhibition, Continuum, in 2019. He continues to support several charities on a regular basis such as Art Angels, MAD Charity and IRIS House Children’s Hospice. Diedericks’ career has continued to grow since moving to France. Patronage of his work has since extended to be included in the collections of both the Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten, in Hannover, Germany and the Director of the European Investment Bank (EIB) in Luxembourg. Recently his work was also acquired for the prestigious Kirsh Family Collection. 

 Bernard Brand 

Born 1985 in Odendaalsrus, South Africa 

Lives and works in Pretoria, South Africa 

 Bernard Brand is a freelance photographer working predominantly in the field of conceptual and experimental portraiture. He considers himself a hermit, and has made use of his creative research to connect and engage with the world. 

 His lists of past clients include Universal Music, Sony Music, Walmart and FCB Joburg. In 2014 he had the pleasure to travel to the United States of America to intern for the photographer, Zack Arias, and then again in 2017 and 2018 to Switzerland, where he documented Steinway Pianist, Charl du Plessis, at the Musikdorf Festival Ernen. In 2019 he also attended a Residency with Juanita Kotzé at The Rare Library in Franschoek, South Africa. 

 He has participated in a several local group exhibitions including the Sasol New Signatures in 2015, ABSA L’Atelier in 2017 and the Sasol New Signatures in 2018 (Finalist). 


August 25, 2022