Southern Guild Exhibition: Implement by Conrad Hicks

WORDS Cheri Morris IMAGES Hayden Phipps

Implement, critically-acclaimed artist-blacksmith Conrad Hicks’  latest solo exhibition at Southern Guild, explores the quest for beauty and its role in human evolution.

Expect a combination of hand-forged metal furniture and sculptures that showcase the hammered marks and quintessential forms that define Conrad’s body of work.

As an analytical artist with a deep interest in anthropology and the history of humankind’s evolution, Conrad’s work is very labour-intensive, perpetuating a physicality through which he channels his innermost self. The plan for each piece unfolds only once his hands meet his materials. His intricate process of cutting, hammering, heating, pressing and stretching metal reveals archetypal shapes reminiscent of bygone eras.

Conrad’s process is not dissimilar to that which sparked the works of the earliest tool-makers known to mankind. “It is the pursuit of beauty through technology that has driven our evolution as humans. That beauty that we pursue is actually an engineering choice, intuitively made,” he says.

Conrad has shown to international audiences at design fairs such as Design Miami/Basel, Design Days Dubai and Collective 1 in New York. You can also find his work at Ellerman House, the Fan Walk and the Cape Quarter in Cape Town.

Implement will be on show at Southern Guild from 24 May until 17 July 2019. For more information, visit