WARREN MAROON: Well, there goes that dream



WARREN MAROON: Well, there goes that dream
Sep 6 – Sep 27, 2023

“There is no dreaming when in a state of survival.”

An artist originally from the Cape Flats, Maroons new body of work is underpinned by themes of hope intermingled with despair. The people of South Africa are in survival mode, asserts Maroon, hanging on to what little hope they have.

“Our political climate is not making things any better,” he states. “There hasn’t been a South African government that has worked for people of colour. The poor are poorer and the dreams of something better seem to be further away. With the rising cost of everything, the rolling blackouts and corruption it seems that hope is fading.” How do we exist in a place that both makes and breaks us?

Maroon is inspired by an Arte Povera aesthetic. Within his new solo, Well, there goes that dream, he uses mostly everyday objects to communicate aspects of his – and others’ – real lived experience. Here his work translates familiar but heavily imbued items using a graceful sculptural language of both reverence and contempt.

The barbed wire stems of the roses in ‘You stole my heart’ invoke a contrast between the aspirations that once bloomed and the harsh realities of the present. ‘You are here’ is made of six judge’s gavels pierced by wooden dowels. It serves as a reflection on the intricate relationship between citizens, the law, and the lawmakers. Disrupted in their functioning – if a gavel never falls, justice never prevails.

There is a formal manipulation and reconfiguration of all the objects selected. This serves to convey a palpable tension – the pressure of an existence caught between violence and vulnerability. It is within these moments Maroon strives to question the validity of his material’s original purpose and meaning.




Opening reception: Wednesday 6th September - 6pm 



(b. 1985 Cape Town, South Africa)

‘My practice focuses on my lived experience growing up on the Cape Flats. The accumulation of events I have experienced and continue to experience as a person of colour in Cape Town reveals the unequal disposition so many experience as “normal life”. I create sculptural artworks using found objects and rearranging their context to tell these stories.’

Warren Maroon grew up in Mitchell’s Plain on the Cape Flats, an area most commonly associated with gangsterism, drugs and violence. Being exposed to harsh realities from an early age, he took to art as a way to escape. In 2011 he graduated from the Ruth Prowse School of Fine Art (Cape Town) with a Diploma in Fine Art, but it was only in 2018 that he found his voice as a sculptor. Maroon, inspired by an arte povera aesthetic, creates work using mostly found objects to communicate aspects of his lived experience.

A common thread through his work is the idealization of gangs and violence that stems from the varied traumas faced by youth of lower socio-economic status communities, and the influence media has in creating and reinforcing a narrative that glorifies gang culture.




Well, there goes that dream, Everard Read, Cape Town, South Africa


Reverence, Church Projects, Cape Town, South Africa

A Quiet Violence, CUBICLE Series, Everard Read, Cape Town, South Africa


Living in a Box, AVA, Cape Town, South Africa




The Objects, curated by Sean O’Toole, Under Projects, Cape Town, South Africa

Investec Cape Town Art Fair, with Church Projects, Cape Town, South Africa

The Invisible Thread, curated by Swain Hoogervorst, AVA, Cape Town, South Africa


Ex Libris, curated by Barbara Wildenboer, Everard Read, Franschhoek, South Africa

Seduction, Everard Read, Cape Town, South Africa


In Conversation, Everard Read, Cape Town, South Africa


Kwaai Vol. 2, Eclectica Contemporary, Cape Town, South Africa