Pretoria-born MJ Lourens’ talents are extensive and varied. His body of work includes paintings, sculptures, and film - his 2006 PA/FATHER was screened at the Commonwealth Film Festival and was in the official selection of the African International Film Festival in Spain. Lourens started sketching at a young age and found that it helped make sense of the world around him – he is fascinated by constant change and how it can be viewed and understood from a distance or in passing. This curiosity and attention to the small things that others may miss results in striking, photo-realistic artwork that evokes feeling and nostalgia.
For Appearances, Lourens is exploring South Africa’s contemporary landscape as a place we live and move in. “It is both marred and burdened with the perceptions of the current outlook and the history it contains,” he explains. His pieces for Appearances reflect how inevitable change takes place as humans claim their place in nature, visible from the battlefields to railway graffiti signage as we try to understand the appearances of our times.