Toni Pretorius

Through sculpture and ceramics I attempt to create contemporary Vanitas works that thematically centre on the transience of earthly life. Hand modelled porcelain still lives and intricate bone and object constructions incorporate models that symbolically refer to the vanities and rituals of secular being, the passage of time, and earthly attainment and conduct.
This has grown from a pre-occupation with, and a longing for, an era that recognized the brevity of life and focused on human achievement through labour-intensiveness, technical skill and meticulous artistry. My current works show the initial steps in working towards such richness, excess and exquisite craftsmanship.
The choice of materials and techniques are meant to instil a feeling of precious materiality, physical fragility and artistic rapport and accomplishment that can be linked to the human body and its earthly endeavours.
Whilst my works, when presently viewed in light of the Vanitas genre or transience theme, accentuate a seemingly morbid connection to the discountenanced theme of death and dying, they furthermore stand to provoke aesthetic associations with the fleeting quality of a mortal existence.