With his current assemblage the artist has found 270 worker’s saws, both ancient and modern, each with its own impregnated patina of blood, sweat and sawdust, and painstakingly welded them together, rendering their original use inept. This re-appropriation challenges the spectator to re-assess their perceived view of these common hardware tools which now take on aspects of erotic pairing and rough spooning.
“The idea for this new exhibition came to me fully formed in an instant. Assembling 270 old saws and welding them together took a whole lot longer” George Tobias
“Impolite, imprecise and flagrantly disobedient of normative values, George’s things – made from clay, found materials, imprints and reclaimed debris – make meaning out of waste, revel in the ill-formed, the unfinished and the rough. Out of this concerted crudity, something precious and perfect emerges. It deserves to be seen. It unsettles, unnerves and unbalances us.” Professor Tamar Garb (Head of the Department of History of Art, at University College, London)
George Tobias has exhibited at the Margaret Street Gallery (2012); Kester and Bles Gallery (2009); The Open at the Whitechapel Gallery (1986). In the country of his birth, South Africa, his exhibitions include; ‘Democracy X’, which celebrated the first ten years of ANC rule in South Africa (2004, Cape Town); in the ‘Dada South’ show, the South African National Gallery (2009-2010, Cape Town); and ‘Migrant Journeys’ presented by the Witwatersrand Art Museum, Johannesburg (2013), which holds, in its permanent collection, a significant number of George Tobias’ diaries and sketchbooks. His films are available at youtube.com/achalapriya.