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26.6.2020   |  Art And About Africa

ON-LINE-OFF | Hopping art events in South Africa

In this still stand-by world, we are all looking for our new normal.
Between the search for new routines and social distances, the world of cultural spaces has had to reinvent itself.

We will always be grateful to all the Happenings, talks and online exhibition that have allowed us to access worlds otherwise far from us but the time has come for a gradual return to physicality.

We’ve been contacting the art spaces in South Africa to see how they are handling the post-pandemic art life and what they are organizing for the art lovers.

Below a selection of exhibition currently taking place in South Africa:

Eclectica Contemporary
Kwaai vol.3 | 4 June – 31 July 2020

Artists: Al Luke, Faatimah Mohamed Luke, Sara Jardine, Danielle Alexander, Dion Cupido, Jared Leite, Kelly Johnson, Gary Frier, Scott Eric Williams, Ulriche Jantjes, Jabu Nadia Newman, Robyn Pretorius, Urban Khoi Soldier
KWAAI Vol.3, is the third instalment of an annual exhibition hosted by Eclectica Contemporary – now in its third year. Each year the project is conceived and developed by the Eclectica team alongside the participating artists and is curated by Christina Fortune and Kirstin Warries. It sets out to provide a platform where ‘Coloured’/ POC artists and those who identify as such can exhibit together in a considered space. It also serves as a celebration of the multifaceted Coloured identity. Kwaai aims to generate positive reinforcement while reclaiming the term “Coloured” both within and beyond gallery walls. Representation of POCs in creative fields is important, contributing to society through creative outlets and abandoning negative perpetuated stereotypes. With hopes to ‘flip the script’, inspire and be evidence that it is possible to be so much more than society expects and to reaffirm our innate gifts, potential and culture. We are Kwaai!

Guns & Rain
Fresh Voices | 10th June – 2nd July
Artists: Angelique Bougaard, Sanelisiwe Nkonyane, Thebe Phetogo, Sizwe Sibisi
Our annual “Fresh Voices” exhibition showcases brand new emerging African artists and is often their first gallery exhibition. This year we feature the work of 4 talented artists from 3 countries which is now live on Artsy for the world to enjoy.

The Melrose Gallery
Azibuyele Emasisweni’ (Return to the Source)
Pitika Ntuli 
Open online from 25 June 2020

The exhibition features 45 bone sculptures, poetry, songs, thought notes, essays and a talks programme with engagements by 33 African thought and creative leaders including the likes of Ela Gandhi, Albie Sachs, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Simphiwe Dana, Zolani Mahola, Sibongile Khumalo, Shado Twala, Gcina Mhlope, Eugene Skeef, Kwesi Owusu, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Homi Bhaba and Ari Sitas amongst others.
It engages around African spirituality, indigenous knowledge systems and healing at a time in which this is sorely needed considering the pandemic and protests against injustice and inequalities experienced by minority groups. Professor Pitika Ntuli uses bones to ‘divine the state of the nation’ in current times which opens up an interesting discourse around the definitions of ‘primitive’ and ‘contemporary’ art.

TRIUMPH | 8th July – 31st August 2020
Solo exhibition by Lwando Dlamini.
In his debut solo exhibition, Lwando Dlamini explores themes surrounding the ability of individuals to emerge triumphantly from adversity.

StateoftheART Gallery
What It Feels Like To Be In Water | 18 June – 4 July 2020
Solo exhibition by Balekane Legoabe
Balekane Legoabe was the 2019 Winner of the StateoftheART Gallery Award and now presents her prize solo exhibition titled ‘What It Feels Like To Be In Water’ between 18.06.2020 – 04.07.2020 in an online virtual space with StateoftheART. Using digital collage, sound art and animation, Legoabe explores issues of mental health, the relationship between hope and despondence, and creates an audio-visual immersive experience to communicate these difficult emotions.

Berman Contemporary
See the World | Tanya Bonello
Curated by Els van Mourik

Tanya is a mixed media abstract artist who works primarily with gypsum, oil paint and found objects.
She gathers inspiration from History, Geology, Astronomy, Physics, Botany, Literature, Music, Philosophy, Art and daily life experiences

THK Gallery
//thread | 18 June – 29 August
Artists: Nonzuzo Gxekwa, Pierre le Riche, Amanda Mushate, Julio Rizhi
Thread is a flexible word. A signifier is a complicated tangle of signified. Straddling definitions like “a filament, a group of filaments twisted together”, it neatly side-steps into “a continuing element”, and leaps boldly through time and space to form “a series of electronic messages following a single topic or in response to a single message.” Limber and elastic, this etymological mash-up spans both the material and immaterial and has at its core the idea of connection: a restless search, the ever-wandering line. The artists in ‘//thread’ are conceptually and formally connected by this wandering line. From connections woven through society to experimental fabric use, they bring objects and concepts into dialogue: forging connections through a layering of concepts, materials and references.
Open by appointment or for online viewing:

Salon Ninety One
Memorial | 01 July – 01 August 2020
Exhibiting artist: Paul Senyol
The artist chooses the title for the idea of a memorial being somewhat permanent in nature, something that is often used to mark a period in time, or a point of departure for looking back, reflection, and historical context. Memorial is also a very interesting word, in that it makes reference to memory, and how each person remembers certain aspects of life in a different manner. As an artist, his attempt is to establish some kind of memorial through the featured collection of works.

VIRTUAL National Arts Festival
25 June – 5 July 2020
For the first time in its 46-year history, the National Arts Festival is held entirely online for the full 11 Days of Amazing.
The National Arts Festival is an important event on the South African cultural calendar and the biggest annual celebration of the arts on the African continent.

Unapologetic | Philip Steele

AVA Association for Visual Arts Gallery
Three online exhibitions | 28 May 2020 – ongoing
Unapologetic | Philip Steele
This exhibition presents three of Philip Steele’s video/performance projections created in Argentina and South Africa. Each of the three works stands alone in their voice of protest, pain, intellectualism, and experience. Together they present a complex personal view on the state of gay identity today and themes which are at the forefront of the LGBTQI+ debate globally.
Imaginarium | Judy Woodborne
An exhibition of paper constructions and works on paper.
In 1993 Judy Woodborne presented her MFA-show at the AVA and now, 27 years later, she returns.
Living in a Box: A Retrospective | Warren Maroon
Warren Maroon’s first solo show, Living in a Box: a Retrospective, is a body of sculptural works that communicate his, and many others’, lived experience of growing up on the Cape Flats. Made up of ordinary, seemingly insignificant objects and household items, and titled strategically, each work contributes to the recreation of an experience that is both individual and shared by a past and present community.

KZNSA Gallery
4 x 4 | Young Artists’ Project

Four solo shows by four young artists | 14 July – 16 August 2020
Artists: Vuyolwethu Ndakisa, Kundai Moyo, Jess Bothma and Lindani Nyandeni.
The exhibition is the second in the Young Artists’ Project this year.
The title, 4 x 4, alludes to the format where four young artists each show a solo exhibition. The exhibitions are separate and yet invite us on a journey of contemporary art by young creators who, like a 4 x 4 vehicle, are going places and taking us into their conceptual territories.
The YAP process provides mentorship to two emerging curators, Yasmien Mackay and Kenneth Shandu who are being led by Carol Brown, an established curator.

David Krut Projects
Another Kind of Blue curated by Ame Bell
Open from Friday 26th 2020 in the gallery and online at the KKNK Online Festival
Artists: Kate Jo Arthur, Lynda Ballen, Gail Behrman, Olivia Botha, Heidi Fourie, Roxy Kaczmarek, David Koloane, Sbongiseni Khulu, Maja Maljević, Robyn Penn, Elizaveta Rukavishnikova, Neville Starling, Johan Stegmann, Zhi Zulu, Claire Zinn.
The showcase comprises works on paper, sculpture, painting, and installation by artists who have collaborated, and are associated with David Krut Projects in Johannesburg. As a follow-up on the group show Kind of Blue (2019) which explored the colour blue and its kaleidoscope of shades and meanings, artists have produced works for this second edition within the same colour spectrum, adding a focus on art and the artists’ connection with the earth and its elements.
The emphasis on blue has predominantly been addressed through the elements of water and air, two key components that are crucial to life on earth. The visual theme in this context is a launchpad for artists to work from, not only to literally represent large bodies of water, or a clear cloudless sky but also as a way to express perspectives and feelings associated with blue.

Barnard Gallery
HOMEWORK | May 28th – July 8th 2020
Artists: Lien Botha, Alexia Vogel, Katherine Spindler.
Jaco van Schalkwyk, Barbara Wildenboer, Maurizio Donzelli and Vanessa Cowling amongst others.
‘Homework’ in its simplest sense considers that work made or carried out at home. Obviously the latter differs widely from one person to another based on a number of contributing factors, but the common denominator is that it is work undertaken in an individual’s private domain whether that be a spacious environment or a one-roomed flat or container space.


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