Andrew Verster


For some years now Verster has been fascinated by ancient cultures including the practice of body marking which includes tattooing, scarification and painting. Verster ‘excavates’ the richness of this heritage and the works draw their power from cultures where body marking speaks to identity and tribal signification. As such the figures are citizens of a collective global tribe. 

Previous bodies of work explored the ornate decorative elements of spiritual deities and iconography. This exhibition extends and develops this interest showcasing highly decorated figures with a cornucopia of seemly endless images and symbols. The works are highly crafted with a dazzling array of unlikely and unusual juxtapositions – they have a joyful, child-like exuberance. Verster’s work often expresses an interest in the collective unconscious, dreams, symbols and their meanings. As such these works are a reconstituted collection of a lifetime of collected objects and by definition memory and reflection. They are dreamlike, rather like walking through the memory of this 75 year old artist’s gargantuan imagination.

Reminiscent of a constellation of universal archetypes, spiritual, sometimes fetish-like, the works make reference to the sacred and the secular. A timeless relationship that speaks to the sacredness of life itself.