DSW represents a highly specialised and diverse skill base, enabling the studio to collaborate with fine artists or non-artists in almost any creative endeavour. The team is actively involved from the conceptualisation and development of an idea, to the execution, completion and installation of a project.
Although the DSW studio infrastructure allows for complex, large-scale sculpture projects, the studio also engages in alternative small-scale artworks. Extensive experimentation and research is done in new materials for sculpture, and this ranges from the natural to the inorganic. Moreover DSW continuously develops its sculpting possibilities through technology, such as 3-D scanning, virtual shaping and up-scaling.
The studio itself is ever-adapting to current sculpture project requirements, always maintaining sensitivity towards appropriate sculptural materials, advising specialised processes and technologies relative to the core concept of the artwork.
Homage to Hermes, created by Angus Taylor, is a permanent slate installation at the Apple Mac Head Quarters, in Johannesburg (2009).
Homage to Hermes was constructed by stacking stones. Stone stacking is mankind’s oldest way of marking an important site. This work in particular references the Roman practice of stacking stones in a pile on the crossroads outside towns as homage to the mythological god Hermes. Hermes was a god that artists may most relate to, being the god of weight and measure, boundaries, travels, the liminal, a trickster, traveller at night, bringer of dreams, and the bringer who allows the imagination a prosperous space.
The Udder Side, which Angus Taylor conceptualised and produced in collaboration with fellow artists Francois Visser and Steven Delport is an affectionate send-up of the dairy cow – the unofficial symbol of Irene.
This is the best example of an anti-monument that the studio has made, by taking a monumental sized sculpture and literary turning it on its back.
The Udderside refers to the other side of conventional thought, as it stages a conflict with the hyped ideology/propaganda and sculpture/public art proper. It undermines institutionally sponsored and guided traditional public art propaganda, such as the hero’s on horseback, and rather engage with the public in a whimsical manner.
DSW intended to construct the sculpture for children to interact and engage playfully with the piece. The bronze and concrete surfaces were treated and smoothed out to allow children to adventure, charter and slide across the structure with great reward.
Rina Stutzer, in collaboration with DSW, created a site-specific installation titled Sway from 3CR12 stainless steel outside the Everard Read Gallery in Johannesburg. She was awarded the Southern Africa Stainless Steel Development Association (SASSDA) Art Project Award in 2014 for this installation piece.
The success of this project can be attributed to the merger of the creative team of artists from Dionysus Sculpture Works and the engineers from Certus Engineering in Midrand. DSW drafted the scanned maquette installation into a 3-D digital design, and transferred it to the required format for the laser-cutting machinery. Fence parts were laser-cut and welded together at Certus. The welded fence segments were finally handed over to DSW who managed the metal chasing, surface finishing and installation of the structure.
A singular branch of a false Olive tree, adjacent to the installation site, was used as the point of departure, which guided the shape of the laser-cut silhouette forms. The fence consists of 104 individual branch silhouettes, where no single element is repeated, as the implicated ‘movement’ continuously alters the form. The fence was created with two distinctly different dimensions, simplistic frontal vertical line dimensions, and a lively arboreal animated side view dimension. Spaced consecutively, the row of laser-cut fence blades depicts tree branches swaying back and forth, as if moved by the wind.
The vertical linear design of Sway establishes a structural visual link between Everard Read Gallery and Circa on Jellicoe, across the street.