Cape Town-based artist Lyndi Sales translates life’s vulnerability and fleeting nature into colorful sculptures that appear to burst and rupture in vivid forms. Using painted strips of blank paper or fragments of printed maps, Sales layers abstract compositions that splay outward, mimicking the structures of ice crystals or the cell replication process. The tension between the ephemeral and durable and the microscopic and macroscopic manifest in the large-scale works—all the pieces shown here stretch more than 4.5 feet—a relationship the artist teases out as “a way to locate myself in this universe.”
Despite the vibrancy and expansive qualities of Sales’ sculptures, much of her practice centers around dying, a theme that emerged during her childhood and which has been influenced by her father’s death in the Helderberg airplane crash of 1987. She tells Colossal:
The Buddhists believe that if you die peacefully you enter into a tunnel of light whereas if you die in fear you enter into a dark tunnel. Documented near-death experiences, mortality, and the moment of transition from the physical to the spiritual realm became fascinating subjects for me after my research around the Helderberg plane crash. Although my recent work is not specifically about the crash anymore, it has evolved from this core interest. I’m intrigued by the ability to see beyond the veil of the everyday into a realm that is a hair’s breath away from the reality we are familiar with, yet often difficult to access.