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Andrew Sprawson


Andrew Sprawson was born and raised in Johannesburg and the inner city has always held a certain fascination for him.

After attending Wits he relocated to Cape Town, to secure a more sedate lifestyle, where he worked for a decade in advertising and marketing. During this time he continued to produce work, though exhibiting was not one of his priorities. This hiatus in Andrew’s professional development as an artist allowed him an opportunity to develop stylistically and thematically without pressure, and upon returning to Johannesburg in 2011 he began working once again in earnest.

As it turns out, Andrew’s connection with this city is of paramount importance to his artistic practice; “Johannesburg is dynamic and inspiring, a place where I feel like anything can happen and opportunities abound.” (Andrew Sprawson)

Since his return to professional practice he has taken part in a number of group shows, and recently became a top ten finalist in the ABSA L’Atelier competition as well as a finalist in SASOL New Signatures 2012.

Artist Statement

"Our built environment is a form of archive; concurrently representing our past and present. Its every element is testament to the lives of those who designed it, built it, used it, lived in it, contributed to its decay, and ultimately took part in its rejuvenation.

Currently I am working towards creating a pictorial archive of Johannesburg as it stands today. To a large extent, it is my method of consolidating my youthful memories, which have been cast in the light of personal and societal change, with the reality of what I see today.

I work from photographic reference; my reliance thereon provides perspectives beyond the way in which we traditionally view our environment. This fragmentation and consolidation of the three dimensional urban space allows me to portray a greater field of vision in my work.

Nostalgia is a strong influence in my work. I am deeply interested in the way that memory can create a direct link between intellectual, psychological and physical spaces. "