Originally from Johannesburg, Mammes exhibits extensively throughout South Africa. Now spending some time in London, Mammes’ work will be on view to the public at Pimlico Underground Station in London.
About Mammes’ work
The collection of work to be displayed is called Licking Your Wounds and is being displayed as part of Art Below.
Mammes grew up Afrikaans; much of his artistic imagery reflects the Boer War and Anglo-African relations, as well as medical anomalies and political narratives around empire and war.
The central image in the Underground painting is of World War One British soldiers tending to a German soldier’s wounds in an internment camp for POWs.
This imagery represents reconciliation
and a demonstration of humanity, but also of propaganda. On either side of the
main image is a depiction of a splinted hand and a bandaged man.
The imagery of bandages implies an injury that we have collectively decided needs correcting or healing and, at the same time, also hides something that we have decided is wrong or broken.
Mammes describes the use of bandages as a visual metaphor of our collective propensity to “civilise”, to pull the anomalous back into the realm of the normal or the correct.
He has travelled and worked on artworks in Varanasi, India, Moscow, Russia and most recently in Cairo, Egypt, and one can see the visual influences in his work.
Research, themes and media
Mammes found the reference images in the
Wellcome medical Library in London and the Archives at the National Army Museum
in London, where he does research for his artworks.
The main images are also overlaid on patterns that are utilized in all of his work, which suggest the multicultural nature of today’s globalized society. The patterns are adopted from patterns on monuments, temples, museums, palaces and streets from places Mammes has travelled and worked and lead the viewer to places far away from the context of the main image.
Mammes makes his drawings with a paintbrush pen and ink and his work is meticulous in following the traditional technique in drawing. It has been compared to woodcut and printmaking.
Mammes works primarily in the medium of drawing but also does large scale paintings and other colour artworks. He is a master of traditional drawing, with a distinctive style immediately recognisable.
Recent work and life in London
Peter Mammes is currently based in
London, where he is on an Exceptional Talent Visa for his artistic abilities.
He has also recently worked with the South African Mint to design commemorative
coins which will be released this year.
While in the United Kingdom, Mammes is
building on the archival material in his works by accessing archives and