At the initiative of Galerie REVEL, and for ten weeks during the months of May, June and July 2022, the artist-sculptor from Cape Town, South Africa, studied the topography of Bordeaux and its region. In particular through old maps, ranging from the Middle Ages to the present day, as well as the history of the city and the similarities between Bordeaux and Cape Town: two wine cities with unique topographies and a strong link to the natural landscape.
The result is a high relief in recycled ceramic, almost one and a half meters long and one meter high; an abstract interpretation of the Bordeaux landscape, with distinctive elements such as the Garonne River, dunes, pine forests, vineyards. In keeping with the essence of artist Jan Ernst's work, which is a language that transcribes the forms, textures and sensations of the natural world, this high relief reveals unique complexities of form and texture, the heart of which is the river that winds through the landscape. Another important element is the LED light that runs along the river and illuminates the architectural character of the work.
Throughout the ten weeks of work, Jan Ernst and the gallery's curator/co-founder Prince Malik Jewiti, documented each step of the process via videos. Once the work was completed, the pieces making up the high relief were staged through a video shot in the ruins of an old commandery an hour's drive from Bordeaux. Also responding to contemporary realities of carbon footprint reduction, the artist's residency allowed the artist to work locally with recycled clay, to work and live in the region thus refusing the paradigm of worldwide transport of artworks. Truly a work inscribed in the region of southwestern France.