Maureen Quin

- Master Sculptor -

Decades of Sculptural Excellence

About Maureen Quin

By Virginia Reid, 2014

Maureen Quin is a deeply passionate and emotionally engaged artist. South African Art and the South African viewing public are the richer for the insightful and thematically relevant quality of her works.

Her sculptures transcend and penetrate the surface of social reality; they explore and celebrate the ‘irreducible particularity of all existence, both animate and inanimate’ (Professor Bert Olivier, 1995).

Her art is deeply explored and deeply intelligent; it dislocates our preconceived beliefs and at times jars us from our comfortable concepts of societal norm. Quin’s works at various instances delight and warn; they make the familiar questioned and at times leave one with sorrow or discomfit.  They are alive with volumes and eloquent voids; they are visually challenging and harmonious – they beg pondering, which is precisely what she wishes the public to do.  

Artist’s statement

“My art is my life, and to evoke a response from the viewer is to share part of my life.”

“I wish,” said Miss Maureen Quin, “that people would not regard sculpture as something to be put on a pedestal apart from everything else. It is only because they see it that way in an art gallery that they never think of having as a part of their home which can be placed in many different places. The nice thing about sculpture, “she continued, “is that when you get tired of one aspect all you have to do is turn it around for an entirely different view.”

“My sculptures are not conceptual works, where thought is the main thing and sculptural form is ignored. My works are sculptures first and foremost, the result of deep emotional responses to the world around me. They are not illustrative, conveying their message to the viewer in a subtler way. My sculptures are triggered by human relationships and predicaments and they find expression through the human figure.

It’s difficult to explain the creative path. I normally start with drawings, and more drawings, where I compose shapes and forms and spaces between these: on paper and in my mind. I draw until I get under the skin of my subject – till I can “feel” that sculpture in me. After constructing the armature, I concentrate on the shapes and forms in space – composition and silhouette – then suddenly the work takes on a life of its own – the emotional content starts to manifest itself – the dialogue begins, between myself and the sculpture.

This dialogue is essential for me; it’s a tremendous stage of discovery, an adventure into my own inner self. The sculpture acquires a spirit and a personality. While I work I’m constantly looking at the composition in space – the tensions within the individual forms and the relationships between them….to me this is the essence of sculpture.”

Awards

1990

Silver Medal for contribution to Sculpture in South Africa by the University of Pretoria.

2000

Arts and Culture Award from the Eastern Cape Government for contributing to 3d arts in the Eastern Cape.

2016

On the 29th of June Maureen Quin was awarded the 2016 Medal of Honour for Visual Art from the South African Academy of Science and Culture at a prestigious event at the Atterbury Theater in Pretoria. (photo)

Collections

Maureen Quin has been a sculptor for 65 years and has had the privilege of having her sculptures bought by the following institutions for their art collections. Her early works were cast in resin or carved from wood but her preferred medium is bronze.

Above: Chase I 1995 Bronze 280 x 700 x 120mm

Collection Venue Title Medium
Public Library Umtata Xhosa Dialogue Resin
Hester Rupert Art Gallery Graaf-Reinette Abstract Torso Bronze
Ann Bryant Art Gallery East London Couple Bronze
Trapeze Artiste II Bronze
Welkom Municipality Art Collection Welkom Drinking Horse & Rider Bronze
Standard Bank Art Collection Johannesburg Moving Torso Wood
Stellenbosch Farmers Winery Art Collection Stellenbosch Watching Bronze
Ouzo Drinker Bronze
Resignation Bronze
Bistro Siesta Bronze
Portraits of Lothar Barth and Gunther Brose Bronze
Potchefstroom University Art Collection Potchefstroom Victims Bronze
Queen Bronze
Open Heart Bronze
Panel for Science Department
University of the Free State Art Collection Bloemfontein Vaulted Shapes Bronze
King George VI Art Gallery Port Elizabeth Victim Oak & Aluminum
University of the Western Cape Art Collection Cape Town Communications Disc
Oliewenhuis Art Museum Bloemfontein Shackled Man Bronze
Chase I Bronze
Anton Rupert Foundation Stellenbosch Interlocking Heads Bronze
First Bowring Bank Art Collection Port Elizabeth
Pretoria University Permanent Art Collection Pretoria Male Jackal-Head Squatting Figure Bronze
Pretoria Art Museum Pretoria Mother and Baby Bronze
Cape of Good Hope Bank Art Collection Cape Town
Syfrets Ltd Art Collection Cape Town Hunter Bronze
C.S.I.R Pretoria Africa Bronze & Resin
Nedbank Durban Family Group Bronze

Above: Chase I 1995 Bronze 280 x 700 x 120mm

Public Library, Umtata
Title Medium
Xhosa Dialogue Resin
Hester Rupert Art Gallery, Graaf-Reinette
Title Medium
Abstract Torso Bronze
Ann Bryant Art Gallery, East London
Title Medium
Couple Bronze
Trapeze Artiste II Bronze
Welkom Municipality Art Collection, Welkom
Title Medium
Drinking Horse & Rider Bronze
Standard Bank Art Collection, Johannesburg
Title Medium
Moving Torso Wood
Stellenbosch Farmers Winery Art Collection, Stellenbosch
Title Medium
Watching Bronze
Ouzo Drinker Bronze
Resignation Bronze
Bistro Siesta Bronze
Portraits of Lothar Barth and Gunther Brose Bronze
Potchefstroom University Art Collection, Potchefstroom
Title Medium
Victims Bronze
Queen Bronze
Open Heart Bronze
Panel for Science Department  
University of the Free State Art Collection, Bloemfontein
Title Medium
Vaulted Shapes Bronze
King George VI Art Gallery, Port Elizabeth
Title Medium
Victim Oak & Aluminum
University of the Western Cape Art Collection, Cape Town
Title Medium
Communications Disc
Oliewenhuis Art Museum, Bloemfontein
Title Medium
Shackled Man Bronze
Chase I Bronze
Anton Rupert Foundation, Stellenbosch
Title Medium
Interlocking Heads Bronze
First Bowring Bank Art Collection, Port Elizabeth
Title Medium
   
Pretoria University Permanent Art Collection, Pretoria
Title Medium
Male Jackal-Head Squatting Figure Bronze
Pretoria Art Museum, Pretoria
Title Medium
Mother and Baby Bronze
Cape of Good Hope Bank Art Collection, Cape Town
Title Medium
Syfrets Ltd Art Collection, Cape Town
Title Medium
Hunter Bronze
C.S.I.R, Pretoria
Title Medium
Africa Bronze & Resin
Nedbank, Durban
Title Medium
Family Group Bronze

“My art is my life, and to evoke a response from the viewer is to share part of my life.” ~ Maureen Quin