Sometimes we come across works by artists and we want to speak to them about their work but can find no information about them or their whereabouts. We then rely on the web and social media to find snippets about them, and sometimes even this brings us no results! We’re hoping we can find this artist, Ada van der Vijver, through our network!
One of the nice things about what we do is often just looking, conjecture, tumbling down rabbit holes and ending up with more questions than answers. Julia and I were looking at these screenprints contemplating the size of the works in relation to the actual objects, discussing connections to pop art and the artist’s intention of representing these objects in their used and discarded state.
These are iconic images; Lion matches specifically iconic to South Africa, and Coca-Cola as a universally known brand. Conferring enduring fame to objects by immortalising them in a work of art is not a new idea, not even in their discarded state, but van der Vijver has managed to delicately hint at their context a little closer to home; lightly imprinted on the coke can top a Keep South Africa tidy is written, and below the deconstructed box of emptiness, The dead LION is inscribed in the widely-known Lion matches font. The Coke inscription seems obvious, but perhaps ‘the dead LION’ empty box becomes obsolete in its deconstruction.
We’re going to carry on with our research and will keep you all updated on our social media channels, so follow us there if you do not already!
(A small fragment of trivia! In one of our rabbit-hole-research tumbles we found out that matches were first manufactured in South Africa in 1885 and made by hand, and eventually the offshoots of these manufacturers and other match-making companies would amalgamate and become The Lion Match Company. Coca-Cola was, coincidentally, invented in the mid-1850s by a pharmacist and the font penned by his bookkeeper.)