selected past works


Tongue-tied (2000)

Tongue-tied (2000) is a bronze life-cast of two cow tongues twisted together.

“Tongue-tied is a visual expression of the inability to speak. It posits two simultaneous positions:  voices silenced and disallowed to communicate and a self-imposed silence for fear of retribution” (Streak 2000).

“First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me”.

— Martin Niemöller

Home (2004)

Home (2004)

Mild steel, MDF, paint. 500 mm x 350 mm x 350mm

The marquette Home (2004) is a parodic response to Bruce Nauman’s 1988 commissioned work titled The Center of the Universe. Nauman’s public sculpture is not merely a large, concrete structure, but more importantly has tunnels extending in each cardinal direction – north, east, south, west, and up. The one in the center opens to the sky.

Home (2004) consists of a solid MDF block resembling the generic shape of a house, bisected by a a 50mm mild steel square tube bracket/structure that references Nauman’s cardinal tunnels. “According to the cosmological principle of physics, the universe is expanding in all directions at once—implying that any given reference point is technically the centre of the universe”.

“The concept of home is also a constitutive metaphor in much political debate, and has been instrumental in the shaping of the public–private distinction” (Davies 2014: 153). 


Alexandria (2005)

Bronze, life-cast, one-of. Produced for the exhibition titled Twist in the Tale, curated by Virginia Mackenny for the Klein Karoo Kunstfestival (KKNK), 2005.

Alexandria is a feminine form of Alexander originating from Greece, meaning “defender of humankind” or “defender of the people.” Female sacrifice matters too. 

Collection: Sasol Art Collection

The Apartment (2007)

“Greg Streak is an interdisciplinary practitioner working in sculpture, video, installation and documentary filmmaking. His work is characterised by formalistic concerns and a preoccupation with the materiality of substance and things, but also space, both physical and psychological”. – Dr Kathryn Smith

In 2007, I was awarded the Ampersand Fellowship – a three month residency in an apartment in TriBeCa, New York City with no expectations other than to assimilate and contemplate for future creative ventures.

The Apartment (2007) was a simple architectural work made from balsa plywood. It was conceived as both a respite from the jungle of glass, concrete and steel monoliths and a homage to it. The intimacy of an internal apartment space is belied by the impenetrable, emotionless facades, of which there are many. The physical and psychological intertwined. 

Collection: Ampersand Foundation

Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid (2008)

“Greg Streak’s piece, Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid, consists of a cross constructed out of energy saving light bulbs. The cross correlates perfectly to an actual statue of Christ on the cross on the other side of the road, on the grounds of a Catholic Church. While the gallery is accessible to the public, the church is less so, surrounded by security fencing”. (Machen 2008: n.p.)

Marquette for Mapping a Dyslexic Heart (2009). Lead, cotton thread, stainless steel pins, steel-wire cable. 500mm x 300mm x 30mm.

In a peregrination between process, material and ideas, one of the strongest works on exhibition is Greg Streak’s Marquette for Mapping a Dyslexic Heart. Masterfully evocative, this conceptual rendering of emotional dysfunction a result of ‘the inability to place oneself – both physically and emotionally’ is conveyed as a corrugated lead plateau pitted by undulations, pins and attached embroidery cotton. Here material deployed reminds of the tenacity of the ordering impulse of the mind (pins, thread, undulations) despite the overwhelming weight of a dysfunctional (dyslexic) reality (lead). Originating in, while at the same imploding notions of assumed and perhaps even desirable order, Streak simultaneously de- and reconstructs a sense of cohesion and direction associated with lived experience, instead plotting a terrain marked by chaos, disconnectedness, the unpredictable and the illogical.   – Professor Juliette Leeb-du Toit 

Abacus for Longing (2009). Mild steel tube, wire ties, steel wire cable, eye hooks. 1800 x 1150 x 180 mm.

Abacus for Longing (2009) is a metaphor for absence; markers of  longing. Approximately 10 000 wire ties are held in place by wire gyres – the abundance ironically a signifier of an emotional vaccum. Each wire marker, like the scratches on a prison wall, an attempt to register and record loss …

Cradle to Hide from the World (1 of 2 parts) 2010

“Greg Streak’s piece, titled Cradle to Hide from the World (1 of 2 parts), is itself contained in the most constrained corner of the gallery: as such it offers an example of how curation affects the meaning of a work. If the piece – a powder-coated white metal cradle that is also reminiscent of a cage – had been hanging from the centre of the gallery, the effect – and meaning – would have been subtly but substantially different. Like much of Streak’s work, it is both beautiful and sinister, balancing the cold and hard with the warm and protective”. (Machen 2009: n.p.)

                                                                          Flash Dreams (2014) , carved Jacaranda, 600mm x 150mm x 200mm.

The traditional Zulu headrest is designed in a way that the pituitary gland at the back of the neck is compressed. The idea being that this induces a dream-state and a connection to the ancestors. Our contemporary obsession with technology has us literally “plugged-in” even when we go to sleep and want to switch off. Flash Dreams is a conscious attempt at a cross-pollination or collision between the traditional and the technological in which the two become synthesised into a ‘cyborg dream pillow’.