David Brits, 200 metres of billowing Tyvek, the Sculpture and the ArteBotanica at Nirox Sculpture Park

This story started in 2001 when Denise* met Leonard Shapiro  while he was revamping his kitchen.

Later in 2005 when she joined Marshall Hinds, Denise was surprised to be re-connected with Leonard who called asking to speak to  “Marshall Hinds” about Tyvek® for a community project he was running.

Much, much later in 2019, David Brits emailed, “Hi Denise, I got your contact details last week from a friend Leonard Shapiro.  I was chatting to him about a new series of sculptures I’ve been working on in using composite materials and he said I simply must contact you to share some of the things I’ve been up to in my art.”

David continued, “You’ll also find the video link below very informative of the complex processes that go into making my sculptures: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjBTm1Kn0Yg

Given the opportunity to share her passion for Tyvek® with creatives is Denise’s favourite thing and so it was that a meeting with David resulted in him using Tyvek® in not one, but two installations this year!

*Denise Paul-Montanari, Sales and Marketing Manager for Marshall Hinds

David explained, “I’ve been invited to create a large-scale sculptural installation at the Nirox Sculpture Park, located in the Cradle of Humankind in Gauteng. This is part of an event called ArteBotanica, a one-day festival that is a dynamic synthesis of art and fashion. Attending will be over a thousand of Johannesburg’s top art connoisseurs, cultural influencers, and fashionistas.

My proposal has been accepted to build an immersive, gigantic “cumulus cloud” sculpture around which the 2019 Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year for Jazz, Mandla Mlangeni will do a 30-minute performance. There will be lots of great media exposure around the performance (it is one of two musical items on the day) and we have commissioned a videographer to document the musical set too.

Click here to download video of Tyvek Statue in the making…

I’ve chosen to make this sculptural installation out of Tyvek, and use it in an altogether unique way, forming the billowing volumes of a highveld “rain cloud” with the material. For this project, I require 200m of Tyvek.

Placed in the middle of the large lawn at the epicenter of the Nirox, the sculpture, standing at 4.5m tall, held centre stage in the day-long event.

The Tyvek sculpture was the backdrop for a half-hour performance by Jazz legends Carlo Mombelli and Keenan Ahrends. As the folds of the material billowed and crackled in the highveld breeze, sculpture added atmosphere and movement to the eclectic soundscape of the duo’s performance.

David explained “The installation proved a massive hit with visitors and people couldn’t help but pose in front of the sculpture for photos. Most ventured inside the structure to lie on the huge folds of Tyvek and experience the perplexing paper like softness of the material, with some exclaiming, “What is this amazing material? How come it’s so soft but it doesn’t break?” People were in awe and mesmerized by its tactile beauty”.

He continued “seeing how incredibly positively people reacted to this material this experience has inspired me to experiment with the material even further, wondering, “What I could do with one kilometer of Tyvek?!”  Looking forward to really pushing this material and introducing ever-wider audiences to its incredible properties through the medium of art”.

Till next time Denise