BETH DIANE ARMSTRONG

BIOGRAPHY

BETH DIANE ARMSTRONG

(b. 1985 Nelspruit, South Africa)

 “Sculpture, for me, is a space to explore the feeling of one’s body in relation to an object. Functional objects quite obviously explore this relationship. What is functional or non-functional is debatable especially in this strange-expanding-spacescape of life. I believe there should always be room for the obvious and non-obvious in all things.

I am always looking. I read mathematical, philosophical, scientific and medical books that go over my head. Seeking the big, grand, rushing feeling of grasping-and-not-grasping. Pushing always into the unknown. Whatever I am looking for, a fascination with density and looseness is the lens through which I see the world. It’s about how I physically and mentally feel on this earth: things are intense and then blunt, real and then unreal, meaningful and then meaningless. I am in this dynamic tension with my materials too. There is a give and take, a push and pull, an expansion and contraction – a density and looseness to working with steel. It takes a lot as it is a very demanding material: it’s heavy; it’s hot; it’s hard; it behaves unpredictably; it exhausts me. But it gives me so much back, in its permanence and reliability.”

Beth Diane Armstrong 2017

 

Currently living and working in Johannesburg, Armstrong was born in South Africa in 1985. In 2010 she completed, with distinction, her Masters of Fine Arts at Rhodes University. Rhodes bought her BFA exhibition, Hibernation, for their permanent collection. Armstrong has exhibited several solo shows, participated in a number of group shows and projects locally and internationally, as well as being included in various private and public collections. Some highlighted commissions include the completion of a large permanent public artwork, Flag, in Oostvoorne, in the Netherlands (commissioned by the Kern Kunst Westvoorne Foundation), a large commissioned sculpture at the Design Miami/Basel Fair in Basel, Switzerland and Design Miami, Florida, and her Page for the National English Literary Museum, a 10-ton outdoor sculpture in Makhanda, South Africa. 2016 saw her launch the NELM Page outdoor commission in Makhanda and also partake in the Yorkshire Sculpture exhibition A Place in Time, hosted at the NIROX Sculpture Park at the Cradle of Human Kind. Armstrong was awarded the prestigious Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Visual Arts in South Africa for 2017.

 

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2018                    

in perpetuum, Everard Read, Cape Town; NWU Gallery, Potchefstroom; Oliewenhuis Museum; NMM Art Museum, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

2017                    

in perpetuum, Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg; National Arts Festival, Makhanda, South Africa

2011                     

Towards an architecture of loss, iArt, Cape Town, South Africa

To skip the last step, iArt Gallery Wembley Project Space, Cape Town, South Africa

2010                     

Hippocampus, iArt Gallery, Cape Town; Monument, Makhanda, South Africa

2007                     

Hibernation, Gallery in the Round, Makhanda, South Africa

 

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2020      

TINY2020, Everard Read, Johannesburg, South Africa

2018     

Summer, Everard Read, Cape Town, South Africa

FNB Joburg Art Fair, with Everard Read, Johannesburg, South Africa

Not a single story, co-curated by Elizabeth Millqvist & Mattias Givel, in association with the Wanås Foundation – Wanås Kons at NIROX Sculpture Park, Johannesburg, South Africa

Investec Cape Town Art Fair, with Everard Read, Cape Town, South Africa

2017     

FNB Joburg Art Fair, with Everard Read, Johannesburg, South Africa

Investec Cape Town Art Fair, with Everard Read, Cape Town, South Africa

2016     

Pastoral Abstraction, Everard Read Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa

Opening Exhibition, CIRCA Gallery, London, UK

Investec Cape Town Art Fair, with Everard Read, Cape Town, South Africa

A PLACE IN TIME (in association with the Yorkshire Sculpture Park UK), curated by Helen Pheby, NIROX

Sculpture Park, Johannesburg, South Africa

2014     

Design Miami, SouthernGuild, Miami, Florida, USA

The Benediction of Shade II, David Krut Projects, Johannesburg, South Africa

FNB Joburg Art Fair, David Krut Projects, Johannesburg, South Africa

Design Miami/Basel, Southern Guild, Basel, Switzerland

NIROX Winter Show, NIROX Sculpture Park, Johannesburg, South Africa

Turbine Art Fair, David Krut Projects, Turbine Hall, Johannesburg, South Africa

Joburg Joburg, Rooftop in Commissioner Street, Johannesburg, South Africa

Guild, Southern Guild, Cape Town, South Africa

2013     

Southern Guild 2013 Collection, MOAD, Johannesburg, South Africa

The Benediction of Shade, David Krut Projects, Cape Town, South Africa

After the Rainbow Nation, NIROX Sculpture Park, Johannesburg, South Africa

2012     

Material/Representation, BRUNDYN + GONSALVES, Cape Town, South Africa

FNB Joburg Art Fair, BRUNDYN + GONSALVES, Johannesburg, South Africa

2010     

Summer in the City, iArt Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa

NOVUS, iArt Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa

Make A Difference Foundation Exhibition, iArt Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa

The Mechanics and Mysteries of Perception, iArt Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa

Johannesburg Art Fair, iArt Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

2008     

Absa L’atelier Competition, Absa Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

2007     

Absa L’atelier Competition, Absa Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

Fourth Year Student Show, Fine Art Building, Makhanda, South Africa

Untitled, Salem House, Salem, South Africa

2006     

National Arts Festival, Makhanda, South Africa

2005     

National Arts Festival, Makhanda, South Africa

2004     

National Arts Festival, Makhanda, South Africa

 

 

RESIDENCIES

2013      NIROX Sculpture Park, NIROX Foundation, Cradle of Humankind, South Africa

 

 

SELECTED PUBLIC COLLECTIONS

National English Literary Museum Makhanda, South Africa

Rhodes University, Makhanda, South Africa                                                      

Standard Bank of Southern Africa

 

COMMISSIONS/AWARDS

2017         Standard Bank Young Artist Award – Visual Arts

2016         Page, outdoor sculpture, NELM, Makhanda, South Africa

2015         NELM Page outdoor sculpture, Makhanda, South Africa

2014          Flagpole Sculpture Commission for Kern Kunst Westvoorne Foundation, the Netherlands

2011         3 sculptures for Prescient Investment Management Group’s first major advertising campaign, Cape Town, South Africa

2010         Not all is Black and White, All for World Foundation, FIFA World Cup Initiative

                  Academic Honours

2008         Purvis Fine Art Prize

 

CONFERENCES

2009      ‘Locating Space: An Investigation into Two and Three Dimensions in Art Practice’, Rhodes University Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Conference

 

PUBLICATIONS

2010      ‘Hippocampus: Seahorse; brain-structure; spatial map, concept’. Master’s Thesis, Rhodes University