Sunny Side Up Summer Group Exhibition

Sunny Side Up Summer Group Exhibition

Upcoming
Sunny Side Up Summer Group Exhibition
3 November 2022 – 22 January 2023
Overview

The sun comes up like a big bald head’. Laurie Anderson’s charmingly simple line sets the tone for a show brimming with gentle optimism. In the southern hemisphere it is summer, Johannesburg is hard at work, with a zest not only for money, but life. This is often forgotten – that the will and drive that defines the city also defines its boundless generosity, keen attention to others, readiness to overcome each and every obstacle – to succeed. This is the mantra of Graham Contemporary, a dealership that has tapped the zeitgeist – why art matters now, in an otherwise cynical arena. SUNNY SIDE UP defines this energy field. The art is uplifting, though never glib. Riotous, though never nasty. Splendid, though never arrogant. A sunbeam or fragile state are equally promising, because, after Nietzsche,  SUNNY SIDE UP aspires to thrive in a permanent midday, or high noon, in which an African light strips away all shadow,  where ghosts no longer prowl and all is wholly minted anew. The sun is perpetually inspiring, always novel. Art which draws from its energy is the greater balm.

Featured Artwork

Alexander Opper 

My work has focused primarily on the spatially and socially fraught city of Johannesburg, in a sense the perfect locus for my work, precisely because it is such an imperfect city (inscribed with division even 25+ years after the political dismantling of apartheid). Locating my research in this fraught context adds further credence to my work, particularly in current times of dissonance linked to the complex layers of a ‘nation’ grappling with an emergent and unpredictable state of becoming or, as it feels to many now – considering this city and country’s multiple structural failings – a relentless state of un-becoming. Adding to these local tensions the world at large appears to have reached a simultaneity of breaking points, hinging on current widespread social unrest, political uncertainty, economic precariousness, creeping fascism and an apparently permanent state of othering and shifting of blame. These conditions play out in architectural space and place. In Johannesburg, such instances also unfold in many if not invisible then at least overlooked zones that exist in this sprawlingly uneven urban conurbation. These zones, what one might refer to as non-spaces and non-places, lend themselves to and deserve closer consideration in their essential yet elusive states of in-betweenness. 

  • Alexander Opper

    Epson Ultrachrome pigment inks on Felix Schoeller True Fibre Matt, 200gsm, photo matt paper
    Paper size: 26.5 x 35.8 cm
    Image size: 25.3 x 34 cm
    2010/2023

Andrew Kayser 

I am often asked, “What is your work about? What are you trying to say?” This is difficult to answer, as, in truth, I’m not trying to say ‘anything’. My greatest hope is to offer the viewer an experience, rather than just an idea or a takeaway message presented in a nice, clean package.

I enjoy peculiar juxtapositions. My work is meant to be jarring, unsettling and create a sense of dissonance. These attributes draw you in, hold your attention, and give you space to create your own narrative. I’ve set up some parameters, but once it’s out there, the viewer takes over. I see the world as dark and ambiguous. Meaning is fleeting and intangible. We make up fiction, myths, religions, and narratives to create meaning and assume a sense of order and stability in our lives and societies. However, to hold onto any of these as absolute is pure folly.

Much consideration goes into the work to investigate the perplexity of our modern condition, bereft of traditional consolations, such as belief in a providential plan and the hopes for civilization and progress that have been shattered by the fragile, mutable realities we inhabit individually and collectively. This is my intention in creating the work, but what you take away is your own. I hope to create something dark, beautiful, and humane. A momentary respite from news, media, entertainment, smartphones, porn, and gaming all inadvertently designed to distract us from acknowledging that we are deeply flawed, muddled creatures aspiring to idealized notions and perfect lives. But that’s okay. If we recognize this, we may experience a fragile, necessary grace.

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Bastiaan van Stenis

van Stenis’ paintings are expressed using a diverse range of tools and mediums, including paint, cloth, encaustic wax, hair, glues, and collage. His other projects include taxidermy and sculpture. van Stenis states, “What drives me is the process, the creating and the creation itself is just another stop on the way”. His art is captivatingly unique.  His style commands the viewer’s attention, and his subject matter absorbs their interest.  The figures that are presented both explode from and dissolve into the creamy peach oranges, mint greens, and Naples yellows that have become a central part of his style. The serenity of these backgrounds contrasts with the figures and scenarios that are depicted upon them.

van Stenis’ art, inspired by the surroundings within which he exists, is saturated with layers of mixed media.  The use of alternative mediums in the works themselves takes the idea that we are a conglomeration of the influences that define us further.  The masterful manner through which he weaves his mediums together becomes significant; it represents the stitching together of the self in a dreamlike portrayal of reality.  The worlds that van Stenis creates develop with time – small details move to the fore in the viewer’s appreciation of the work.

Carolyn Parton

I am often asked, “What is your work about? What are you trying to say?” This is difficult to answer, as, in truth, I’m not trying to say ‘anything’. My greatest hope is to offer the viewer an experience, rather than just an idea or a takeaway message presented in a nice, clean package.

I enjoy peculiar juxtapositions. My work is meant to be jarring, unsettling and create a sense of dissonance. These attributes draw you in, hold your attention, and give you space to create your own narrative. I’ve set up some parameters, but once it’s out there, the viewer takes over. I see the world as dark and ambiguous. Meaning is fleeting and intangible. We make up fiction, myths, religions, and narratives to create meaning and assume a sense of order and stability in our lives and societies. However, to hold onto any of these as absolute is pure folly.

Much consideration goes into the work to investigate the perplexity of our modern condition, bereft of traditional consolations, such as belief in a providential plan and the hopes for civilization and progress that have been shattered by the fragile, mutable realities we inhabit individually and collectively. This is my intention in creating the work, but what you take away is your own. I hope to create something dark, beautiful, and humane. A momentary respite from news, media, entertainment, smartphones, porn, and gaming all inadvertently designed to distract us from acknowledging that we are deeply flawed, muddled creatures aspiring to idealized notions and perfect lives. But that’s okay. If we recognize this, we may experience a fragile, necessary grace.

Christiaan Conradie 

Christiaan Conradie explores the importance of human embodiment and the complexity of aged bodies through his art. He challenges conventional notions of self-perception and portraiture, emphasizing doubt and the liberation from societal constraints. Conradie’s focus on the aging white male body is a deliberate choice that disrupts stereotypes and invites us to reevaluate our understanding of human complexity. He reminds us that love, care, and understanding can still thrive in an age of anger. His aim is not to explain or change the world, but to expand our perspective and break free from limitations.

Connor Cullinan

My work is about visual perception, which began as a contemporary extension of 1960s Op art into the realm of figuration. Op art introduced the notion of the artwork as an experience rather than an inert object, by foregrounding the act of looking. My paintings similarly invite the viewer to engage with them through prolonged gazing. This focused attention on looking aims to make the viewer self-consciously aware of their own sense of sight, to allow for an investigation into visual perception and to reaffirm the visual in visual art.

 The subtle optical illusions that the paintings give rise to illuminate the processes in the brain where perception begins to disintegrate. The sense of transience and dematerialisation is reinforced by the binary line technique used to construct the subject matter: much of the space between the dark lines is the empty ground of the canvas, which effectively makes the subjects only half there. The dark lines read as a screen of parallel filaments through which one peer at the ground and as one does so, the subjects appear to dissolve and move, suggesting the invisible kinetic energy that lies beneath the solid form.

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Coral Bijoux

Coral Bijoux develops her ideas and concepts through an auto-ethnographic visual language that is fecund with metaphor and symbol, textured surfaces echoing layered meanings. Her artwork, curatorial practice, and projects centre on these experiences and observations, predominantly using installation as an overarching practice with sculpture, mixed and multi-media drawings, photography, animation, and painting. 

Bijoux is concerned with space, how humans engage with the environment and how art can play a vital role in nurturing this relationship. Furthermore, she is interested in the metaphor of material as well as its alchemy, so she juxtaposes various materials against one another, organic with synthetic.  In her installations, she incorporates numerous found materials, including  industrial recycled plastic, wood, raw clay, wire, metal/steel, Perspex, board, and paper, as well as the materials she has grown.

Dale Lawrence

Born in 1988, South African artist Dale Lawrence lives in Cape Town, where he works as a solo artist for the creative studio and artist collective Hoick, which he co-founded. Lawrence works with and merges a vast range of mediums including painting, monotype, linocut, sculpture, installation and performance

Fumani Maluleke

Limpopo-born artist Fumani Maluleke has carried with him the spirit of art for as long as he can remember. From being the unruly child who drew in schoolbooks and on the walls of his family home, to now being an artist who has won several art prizes and further becoming a teacher, sharing his skill set with the next generation. Maluleke’s creativity pays homage to his journey rather than focusing on the uncertainty of an unknown destination. This is evident in his choices regarding subject matter and medium. Traditional grass mats, depictions of sprawling rural landscapes and three-legged pots all speak to symbolic moments in Maluleke’s journey.  It would be expected for Maluleke to have put behind any reminders of his humble beginnings once he reached the big city of Johannesburg. However, it is this rural upbringing, along with the sacrifice and support of his mother and siblings, that become ever-present features in his work.

Jan-Henri Booyens

Born in 1980, Jan-Henri Booyens lives and works in Cape Town, South Africa. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Durban Institute of Technology in 2004. His work is often described in terms of a struggle between the representational and abstract, the rational and the chaotic. His affinity and critical engagement with Modernism are coupled with his relationship to the South African landscape, both physical and social, manifested in an intuitive, texture-rich layering of oil paint on canvas and bold use of colour and line. 

Booyens incorporates his experimentation with street art, photography and digital ‘Glitch Art’ and GIFs into his canvasses, as seen in his solo presentations at blank projects, ‘WHITEOUT’ (2015) and ‘Some Kind of Nature’ (2014). He was one-third of the artist collective Avant Car Guard, who employed paint, photography, and sculpture to offer a satirical critique of South Africa’s art world.

John-Michael Metelerkamp

I believe that my job as an artist is to simplify the complexities of my life. Or at least my experience of it. The sense of overstimulation I feel and a propensity for chaos lingers around every corner of my psyche. That tension between chaos and order is a primary informer of the work I strive to make. 

Translating what I feel and see into a visual language is about focusing on something that I find interesting. And I may not be able to pin down the exactness of my curiosity; but I feel the need to challenge these thoughts and feelings and show myself what it looks like in a visual sense, with paint. 

Experimentation is a huge part of my process. I try not to think until I am standing in front of the canvas, paintbrush in hand. Forcing thought opens up possibilities of a journey through the painting. Colours dictate colours and forms dictate forms. George Condo said “Don’t step back until you think you have something to look at’’. I adopt this practice. I get close to the painting. I want to be in the painting.

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Jo O’Connor

Formally, elements of randomness and repetition have featured significantly in my work. I believe this reflects both nature and industry, and also illustrates the uncertainty as well as the routine that mark our lives. Artworks over the last two decades have found expression in various media: from drawing , sculpting, video, installation and performative work with a return in the last several years to painting. 

My work has explored an interest in ‘urban camouflage’ and consequently pattern. The urban environment has been utilised as a palette for colours, patterns and shapes… but in the studio, the ‘real’ world recedes and the endless possibilities of these formal elements present a look inward. Compositions often times start with a considered shape and evolve intuitively…  so that variable elements come together to form an equilibrium: the sum of the parts equals the whole, in other words.

My process of painting is one of discovery, as if I was to build and solve a puzzle at the same time. At times the correlation of repetition and  ‘considered randomness’ bring to mind the abstract aspect of rhythm, composition and pattern. Other times the composition will move elsewhere – choices in the work arise from the work itself and I strive to be attuned and responsive to them. Currently my exploration into the formal aspects of abstraction and my practice of progressing its elements  intuitively continues.

Katherine Spindler

 Looking at her creative works, Spindler unites the kinetic with the calm; she evokes both a sense of commotion and stillness. When viewing her paintings, there is a feeling of movement beneath the surface, inspiring a vast ambiguity. Light and shadow are perceived in a flicker; it dwindles and regresses, flashes, and swirls. The surface of the canvas mimics the instability and unpredictability of water, all while maintaining a captivating and introspective stillness. Importantly, Spindler intends to suggest, rather than explain, to arouse more than to impose.

Kobus La Grange

Kobus can be understood as a prolific and versatile sculptural creator. He explores the poetry of the human form and expresses a deep curiosity for the narratives the body bears within it. Although he is most strongly connected to the tradition of woodcarving, he has also turned to cast bronze, welded steel, ceramics, and fire sculpture as additional avenues of creative output. Kobus’s work reminisces on the whimsy of folktales and the storytelling that takes place around campfires. His sculptural expressions are raw and authentic; the slashes and tears in his work create texture and embody the unfiltered nature of traditional story-sharing. Whilst there is an impulsiveness and spontaneity in his work, he still displays decisive and intentional deliberation which can be credited to his meticulous training in the craft.

Kristin NG-Yang

Kristin has traveled extensively through Southern Africa, Europe, and America; visiting many museums and galleries during her travels. She has held numerous solo exhibitions in South Africa, Italy and China. Her artworks have been exhibited in South Africa, France, Germany, Sweden, the UK, Portugal, Italy, Australia and China, and have been collected by art galleries, art institutions and private collectors.

Both Kristin’s grandfather, a traditional Chinese literati artist, and father, who practiced oil paintings in a more Western style, had a deep love for the arts. And so, having grown up around artists, Kristin’s creativity was nurtured from a young age. She moved to South Africa having been offered the opportunity to learn English, she had only intended to stay for two years- this of course was not the case. Kristin’s work traverses the experience of a Chinese-born artist living in South Africa. She talks about how she used to sit in her car and simply observe the movement around her little enclosed space. She discusses a quietness in her work, which ultimately in part stems from the separation she felt as a foreigner- entranced by the beauty of the country yet feeling somewhat outside of it. 

Margot Muir

Like Judith Joy Ross, the photographer whose work, among many others, stretches me, influences me profoundly, I have a radical belief in the individual. There is a perfect space between (and within) the potential strength of the collective and the talent, character and thrust of each of us. It seems to me there is an exquisite space between the spectacle of Western individualism and the intelligence of collective humanism and its profound power. The coalescing of the Individual being (and individual presence, voice and affirmation in the world) and ‘I am because of others’. The assumption that Ubuntu necessarily informs an absence of individuality is a distortion, not so? In parallel, I reflect with clarity that we will lose something deep inside of ourselves, if we allow wilderness to be destroyed. 

I refer to W Eugene Smith’s quote “…and each time I pressed the shutter release it was a shouted condemnation hurled with the hope that the picture might survive through the years, with the hope that they might echo through the minds of men in the future – causing them caution and remembrance and realization.”

Mary Visser

I see the painting not as a window looking out, but rather as a container in which I can freely arrange and rearrange things.

 Painting is entertainment for me, so it’s got to be fun! I start with one mark or a set of delicious colours. This begins a conversation of sorts between myself and the canvas. This is super exciting and I’m thrilled by the possibilities. As I make decisions to keep this mark or obscure this shape, problems start to emerge. I try to keep a cheerful attitude even when the painting starts looking terrible. At some point I think ‘oooh yuck, ok great, nothing to lose now’. This gets me excited to try something completely different and risky in order to salvage the painting.

Mashir Kresenshun

For the longest time I asked myself “What does it mean to be Indian?”. In my artistic practice, I grapple with this question. 

My work explores aspects of “what constitutes Indian-ness” both in contemporary South Africa and across the world. In my theoretical exploration, I discovered more about my multicultural identity and gained a sense of self-authenticity. Growing up, I lived on my grandparent’s farm in rural Kwa-Zulu Natal. I spent time in their tavern and encountered people from different cultures and races. These experiences influenced my practice tremendously.

 I find racial constructs, particularly in the South African context problematic. I strive for humanity and unity. However, I try not to abandon my cultural acquisition of Indianness in my practice. As themes, I explore the duality between life and death; unpack aspects of spirituality, nature and architecture; examine the associations to the subconscious mind; and lastly, explore concepts of love and beauty. The ideologies of theosophy, modern culture, race, and religion coupled alongside my Indian heritage,  informs my subject matter. 

Michael Pettit

Pettit’s paintings are bold, incorporating both lightness and darkness. He aims to knit together perceptions and concepts into energetic pieces that appeal to the personal and the collective. Michael Pettit’s work challenges classification; his work embraces the multifarious and is ever-changing. He states, “People have often remarked that I seem to be able to fully assimilate very contrasting styles and idioms, make each my own, and produce a work that is its own distinct integrated world. I am beguiled by the “game” that’s set and which evolves for each picture, and the challenge is to play it out with thoroughness”. 

Mncedi Madolo

Born in 1988, South African artist Mncedi Madolo completed a diploma in Fine Arts at Walter Sisulu University in 2014, majoring in painting. While studying he founded Smoked Beef Studios in East London in 2013 inorder to pursue graphic design work. In 2017 he moved to Johannesburg to embark on a career as a full-time artist. 

The multimedia collage works on show demonstrate the artist’s background in graffiti and graphic art while foregrounding the black female body in the context of common urban detritus recognisable from Johannesburg’s streets.

Ndikhumbule Ngqinambi

Artist Ndikhumbule Ngqinambi, born in 1977, is a South African painter based in Cape Town. Though he studied at Community Arts Project in Cape Town, he is mostly a self-taught visual artist. Ngqinambi’s work is inspired by sound, films, body movement and dance. He describes his work as “extreme figurative expression”. His paintings reflect South African and international political landscapes and their social dynamics. 

Sal Price

I created this collection of work during a period of global uncertainty and change. As the artist, the meaning was created within the moment’s creativity and represents a flow of global, local and personal consciousness. The impressions made over these moments shift over time, allowing myself and the viewer to develop a playful dialogue with the images. The works begin with fast and loose marks that lead to the opening of a dance of sorts that begins to forge their unintentional path. Gradually, as we become familiar with each other, the narrative begins. Without knowing which next steps we take, we start to make sense of the possibilities of direction as an improvised theme develops and matures. The stories that emerge weave subtle commentaries that may mean something different to each person who observes them. Although the content and subject matter for my paintings and drawings are not always exceptionally light, the works are bright and colourful. They offer the viewer a way to engage in the images in a very personal and imaginative way.

Sitaara Stodel

South African contemporary artist Sitaara Stodel, born in 1991 in Cape Town, graduated from Michaelis School of Fine Art with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, majoring in photography.  Stodel works across various mediums, ranging from photography, collage, video, and printmaking. 

For Stodel, moving house was a constant event throughout her life. Stodel recalls moving houses forty times in her lifetime. During childhood, the artist, her sister, and her mother moved into properties that they could not afford, resulting in regular evictions. Since Stodel moved out of her familial home, the habit of constantly changing addresses has continued into her adult life.

This unusual state of being finds expression within the artist’s work. Her pieces are created using other people’s family photographs that she collects at antique stores and markets. Through her work, Stodel curates her own memories of childhood and beyond, using scenes of interiors and exteriors of houses, pets, prized home possessions, and landscapes. 

 

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Talia Goldsmith

“Art for me is stepping into the unknown. Sometimes the materials lead me, trying to dictate, and sometimes I am the leader. It’s like a dance that creates something out of nothing. When the work sings to me I know it’s done.  ​My work focuses on recycling and the transformation of materials that have been discarded. I am drawn to the textured, dilapidated, rusted, weathered and decayed materials affected by the interaction of time and history. Through the materials that I use: cardboard, metal, glass, wire mesh, rubber, plastic, hessian, mud, ash, pigments, building materials and other treasures I am stepping into the unknown in order to reconstruct by pulling apart, dismantling, manipulating and weaving a new story using the material as a metaphor. Sometimes the materials lead me, trying to dictate and sometimes I take the lead. It is a dance that creates something out of nothing.”

  • Talia Goldsmith

    Cardboard, metal, plaster and cement
    190 x 50 x 25 cm
    2014

  • Talia Goldsmith

    Cardboard, metal, plaster and cement
    230 x 62 x 30 cm
    2014

  • Talia Goldsmith

    Concrete, steel, polyurethane foam, cement mix & plaster with acrylic pigment, and UV water-resistant sealer

    65 x 47cm

    2023

  • Talia Goldsmith

    Concrete, steel, polyurethane foam, cement mix & plaster with acrylic pigment, and UV water-resistant sealer

    65 x 47cm

    2023

Tamara Osso

“My work is about an awareness of the body in space. Movement is a central theme in my process and is ever-present. The tactile act of painting allows this awareness to become actualized. I find dynamic form through painting derived from my daily rituals and movements. Painting is both a distancing mechanism as well as a proprioceptive experience. It assists me in reorganising the structure of things and helps me position myself in the world. The dancer in me revels in such an adaptive process like painting and my work seeks to translate moments of physical interaction, be they joyous, difficult, or mundane. I like how these moments can be suspended, extended, or revisited. They therefore subscribe to the notion that personal physical intimacy is valuable”.

Tanya Bonello

Bonello practices with and mixes various mediums, primarily that of gypsum, oil paint and found objects, also incorporating synthetic silver and gold leaf into her creative process. Bonello explains: “The gypsum and synthetic gold and silver leaf, by virtue of their nature, will continue to transform or change – they are representative of the maxim ‘all is in a state of flux’. The geometry signifies that which we know – the fathomable – whilst the writing appears to be unfathomable as a known language, and as such is representative of that which we do not know or that which we cannot describe in words.”

Inspired by astronomy, history, physics, geology and astronomy, Bonello’s thematic concerns investigate memory and a universal consciousness. She writes, “In my work, I try to bring to the fore a memory of our collective consciousness through the use of a universal language that is ancient and true and understood by everyone. A language that is beyond words and cultural differences. The geometrical forms of the circle, square, triangle and grid are vehicles towards this universal understanding and as such these timeless shapes operate as a unifying force reminding us that we are all One. Everything is interconnected”.

Tracy Payne

Tracy Payne is a visual artist and teacher working from her studio in Woodstock, Cape Town. She is also an avid gardener and anthophile, foraging endemic wildflower seed to re-wild her garden and the suburban surrounds.  Her interest in Eastern spirituality, sexuality and the dual nature of being are consistent threads in her work. Through her investigative tools, painting and drawing, Payne merges and blurs the divide between figuration and abstraction, freedom and bondage, sacred and profane.

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Vanessa Berlein

Berlein works across a broad spectrum of subjects, from portraiture to landscapes, abstraction to botanical study. Now in her 50’s, having worked consistently as an artist for over 30 years, subjects, mediums, and techniques are beginning to merge in her work. Where her botanical paintings were mostly small in scale, they are now as oversized as her portraits have always been. Landscapes have merged with abstraction, and the use of thread, metal leafing, and industrial products have begun to be incorporated in all of her works.

Yedidya Falkson

Born in 1996 in Johannesburg, South Africa, Yedidya began painting at age 14 at the Ricky Burnett Art School. In 2014, he matriculated from the Torah Academy High School. The following year, he participated in the “Art Jerusalem” gap year program, studying at the Betzalel School of Art (painting, sculpture, drawing.) and, at the same time, studying Philosophy Through Film at the Hebrew University.

Current Exhibitions
Optimal Vibration Group Exhibition

04 March2023 -

Past Exhibitions
Taher Jaoui – “Genie in a Bottle”
Taher Jaoui – “Genie in a Bottle”

16 May – 13 June 2019

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Optimal Vibration Group Exhibition

Optimal Vibration Group Exhibition

CURRENT EXHIBITION

Optimal Vibration Group Exhibition

4 May 2023 – 

Overview

‘We live in a radioactive and toxic time, which some call the ‘end times’. It is a time as apocalyptic as it is weirdly and wildly filled with promise. The key is never to succumb to fatality, always realise that options are open. As Shakespeare says – ‘Ripeness is All’. It is with this full embrace that we push ahead, refuse despair, hold fast to an optimal vibration – a vibration that is only possible when we stretch the bandwidth, tighten a flex so it thrums and soars with a dizzying grace. An optimal vibration is transcendence now, a miraculous connection, a bizarrely accurate bouncing ball that hits the spot from a weird angle. It is art that lights up a room, puts a spring in the step of tired feet, that scoops up sorrow and flings it over the moon. The optimal vibration can be loud, or gentle, easy on the eye, or leave one agog and aghast with a bellyful of laughter or a tickling titter. Matisse was right when he said that he made caring art for tired men and women to look at, once they’ve kicked off their shoes, and settled into a cozy couch with a comforting broth. Art need not hurt. Art can plunder canyons of joy. All can be illumined, even a bucket of shit by dazzling sunlight, as James Joyce reminds us. To dazzle, bedazzle, vibrate from the innards outward, is to adopt ‘a style that’s truly alive: meaning, it’s in the veins: meaning, it’s of the most ancient culture of immediate creation. Federico Garcia Lorca had a name for this optimal vibration – Duende… Something primitive yet modern, immemorial yet radically current. Not now now, but now!

Featured Artists

Andrew Kayser

Bastiaan van Stenis

Carolyn Parton 

Cathy Abraham

Connor Cullinan 

Doreen Southwood 

Gabrielle Raaff

Gaelen Pinnock

Gail Behrmann 

Geena Wilkinson

Gillian Rosselli

Jacob Van Schalkwyk

John-Michael Metelerkamp

Jo O’Connor

Karel Nel 

Katherine Spindler 

Kobus La Grange

Laurinda Belcher

Mary Visser 

Michael Pettit 

Moohko Ntho

Mustafa Maluka

Ndikhumbule Ngqinambi 

Olivia Botha

Paul Senyol

Patricia Driscoll

Robert Slingsby 

Robyn Denny 

Stephen Allwright

Talia Goldsmith 

Tanya Bonello 

Tracy Payne 

Vanessa Berlein

Featured Artwork

Andrew Kayser

I am often asked, “What is your work about? What are you trying to say?” This is difficult to answer, as, in truth, I’m not trying to say ‘anything’. My greatest hope is to offer the viewer an experience, rather than just an idea or a takeaway message presented in a nice, clean package.

I enjoy peculiar juxtapositions. My work is meant to be jarring, unsettling and create a sense of dissonance. These attributes draw you in, hold your attention, and give you space to create your own narrative. I’ve set up some parameters, but once it’s out there, the viewer takes over. I see the world as dark and ambiguous. Meaning is fleeting and intangible. We make up fiction, myths, religions, and narratives to create meaning and assume a sense of order and stability in our lives and societies. However, to hold onto any of these as absolute is pure folly.

Much consideration goes into the work to investigate the perplexity of our modern condition, bereft of traditional consolations, such as belief in a providential plan and the hopes for civilization and progress that have been shattered by the fragile, mutable realities we inhabit individually and collectively. This is my intention in creating the work, but what you take away is your own. I hope to create something dark, beautiful, and humane. A momentary respite from news, media, entertainment, smartphones, porn, and gaming all inadvertently designed to distract us from acknowledging that we are deeply flawed, muddled creatures aspiring to idealized notions and perfect lives. But that’s okay. If we recognize this, we may experience a fragile, necessary grace.

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Bastiaan van Stenis

Bastiaan van Stenis is a self-taught artist born in Cape Town in 1981, with Dutch and South African heritage. His artwork encompasses a diverse range of mediums, including paint, cloth, wax, and collage. Van Stenis’s unique style combines captivating figures with serene backgrounds, exploring personal narratives and societal complexities. Through layers of mixed media, he weaves together influences and memories, shaping identities. Van Stenis’s art embraces classicism, modern texture, neo-expressionism, and defies easy definition.

Carolyn Parton

Carolyn Parton is primarily a sculptural painter; she extends the medium through her investigation of paint as a physical matter embedded with memory. Parton’s deep interest in the human potential to transform energy and matter has resulted in her primary focus being the impact of it on living beings and the natural environment. In particular, there are accumulative traces left by human behaviour on earth. Parton views the creative act as holding the potential to transform destruction. 

Cathy Abraham

Abraham’s practice revolves around numbers like 9, 18, and 36, using systematic repetition and specific number combinations. She explore the purpose of everyday life, seeking a deeper understanding through the links between art, science, spirituality, and reincarnation. Brush marks are counted and considered a meditative process, leaving visual traces like ghosts. 

Her work exists in both time and space, lamenting past traumas while occupying tangible emotional and physical spaces. Repetitive processes and specific numbers shape the ongoing series: scales, ripple-effects, and ghostings. These series delve into ecological concerns, cause and effect, and the impact of haunting experiences. Abraham uses drawing techniques and aims to express the intangible, bringing to life that which is felt but difficult to express.

Connor Cullinan

The inspiration for this painting was an image of the Venus de Milo I found in an anatomy drawing manual. The photograph depicts the head of the famous sculpture in cross-section contours that convert the three-dimensional form into a series of lines. This paradox interested me as a painter because this describes what a painter must do to form: reduce it to the two-dimensional. 

The Venus head is shown in three-quarter view, but whenever I look at it, I also see a profile superimposed on the lefthand side of the face. Once again, the shift from form to shape is implied.

As the painting progressed, I became increasingly interested in schematising the face because the more reduced it became, the more it hovered between the visible and the invisible. I find the boundary where perception falters intriguing. The face is merely hinted at in places: former contours are reduced to points suggested by shifts of tone within the white lines. I used black and white paint only, so it was pleasing to see illusory colours appearing: grey becomes blue, which induces a muted orange. The strong black-white contrast also produces phantom colours that come and go. This contrast gives the impression of movement, another illusion that signals faltering perception.

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Gabrielle Raaff

Raaff’s work often explores the relationship between individuals and crowds in urban landscapes, utilizing ink, watercolor, and oil to create delicate conceptual spaces. In her latest series, Raaff places emphasis on the emotive quality of brushstrokes laden with watery paint. Some paintings merge form and landscape, while others isolate subjects from their surroundings, leaving them adrift in white space.

Raaff draws visual inspiration from sources such as local newspapers and family photos, both impersonal and nostalgic. Her paintings merge these two states to create a recognizable image that dissolves back into the terrain of the canvas. With minimal description and paint, Raaff leaves just enough visual evidence to suggest an idea, enticing the viewer with the seductive power of her work.