(1980 – )

Gaelen Pinnock

Gaelen Pinnock, born in 1980, is an architect and artist based in Cape Town, South Africa. He graduated in 2001 from the University of Cape Town with a degree in architecture and later completed his postgraduate studies in 2005.  His creative process involves collage work, photography, and sculpture to investigate and document the dynamics of power in the urban landscape. His work analyses the legacies of failed utopian visions and the shadows cast by laws, societal structures, and urban development trends. Having previously worked as an architect, there is both strong theoretical and artistic engagement with the built world in his work. In his own words,

 “I am preoccupied with the patterns that underlay our cities, obscured by the myopia of day-to-day existence: masked by the glitz of developments and the creep of securitised precincts; ignored by the clustering of suburbs and the ebb and flow of traffic; pushed aside by our own fears and prejudices”

Much of Pinnock’s creations look at how modern developments and policies in South Africa are entrenching class separation in an urban landscape that is already shaped by the legacy of colonial rule, apartheid legislation, and divisive spatial planning. He dissects the patterns hidden behind the myopia of the day-to-day, behind the agglomeration of suburbs, behind the ebb and flow of highways, and all too often behind our own prejudice. He creates valuable snapshots of a city and society.

During the Covid lockdown, Pinnock found escape from the “political” by exploring raw geometry and colour. The sculptures he produced during this period played around with space, form, and illusion.


Photojournalism masterclass with
Saša Kralj 2012 – World Press Photo masterclass with Jodi   Bieber

Italian Language: Level B2,
L’Universita per Stranieri di Siena

Architecture postgraduate degree, University of Cape Town

Italian Language: Level A2 & B1,
L’Universita per Stranieri di Siena

Architecture undergraduate degree, University of Cape Town  



Optimal Vibration, Group Exhibition, Graham Contemporary, Johannesburg , South Africa

Sunny Side Up, Group exhibition, Graham Contemporary, Johannesburg, South Africa

Art of the Space Age group show at the Jan Rupert Art Centre, Graaff-Reinet.
New Day group show at Graham Contemporary, Johannesburg.
A Good Time group show at Aspire Art, Cape Town.
Turbine Art Fair: Various sculptures shown at the Asisebenze booth.
in security at A4 Arts Foundation, Cape Town.
Decorex Africa: Sculpture shown in the “100% Weave” collection in collaboration with House   and Leisure.
Cape Town Art Fair: Sculpture shown at the 99 Loop Gallery booth.

X Y Z, at 99 Loop Gallery, Cape Town.

Rapid Response Restitution: Home Museum, at LagosPhoto Festival.
Il giardino delle sculture volanti, at PAM – Parete Art Museum, in association with Antilia   Gallery, Parete, Italy
Cape Town Art Fair: Sculpture shown at the Smith Gallery booth.

Something to Declare temporary sculpture shown at Falomo bridge in Lagos, Nigeria, commissioned by the LagosPhoto Festival in 2019
Right of Admission Reserved, Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town, exhibited in “The Main Complaint.”

MIRABILIA group show, Antilia Gallery, Torrione Angioino, Bitonto, Italy.

Closer than Ever group show at Gallery MOMO, Cape Town.

L’Atelier regional entries. Rust en Vrede Gallery, Cape Town.

Barclays L’Atelier Top 100 exhibition, Absa Gallery, Johannesburg.
On Site pop-up exhibition with Art Meets Camera
Load Shedding group show at Commune.1 Gallery, Cape Town.
Barclays L’Atelier regional finalists exhibition, Rust en Vrede Gallery
GRID International Photography Biennial
Salon selection at Commune.1 Gallery, Cape Town

Scintilla group show at Commune.1 Gallery, Cape Town
Urban Wonderland. Kalk Bay Modern. Cape Town
Citadels #5, #6 and #13 shown at Young Blood Gallery, Cape Town
New Thoughts: After Time. Spin Street. MOP6
Colossus. Young Blood Gallery. Cape Town
Terraforma. New Heritage Gallery. Cape Town
Makers + Thinkers at the World Design Capital Design Policy Conference
Absa L’Atelier Top 100. Absa Gallery. Johannesburg
Absa L’Atelier Regional Selection. Rust en Vrede Gallery. Cape Town
Future Foreshore Exhibition. City Hall. Cape Town
Art Meets Camera. Launch at the Rockwell. Cape Town

Heritage: Constructions & Abstractions. Young Blood Gallery. Cape Town

Dystopias. New Heritage Gallery. Cape Town

Werdmuller Exhibition. Cape Institute for Architecture. Cape Town  


Article in Daily Maverick reviewing “XYZ” exhibition [Link]
Sculpture shown in Business Day’s “Wanted Online” magazine. [Link: 6th image]

Two articles on
DesignIndaba.com. Links: [Article 1] [Article 2]
Included in the Barclays L’Atelier 2015 catalogue, Art Needs You: [Link]
Four page feature in Snapped Photography Quartery (Issue 5)

Q&A published on 10and5.com. Link: [10and5 Q&A]
Included in the ABSA L’Atelier 2014 catalogue, Blood, Sweat and Tears: [Link]
Photo’s published in the Mail & Guardian and on The Daily Maverick

Work published in Modern Architecture: The Rise of a Heritage. Edited by 
D’orgeix   Cascia. Éditions MardagaBruxelles

Seven page feature in Africa Geographic Magazine, South Africa
Photo’s published in Mercedes Benz Magazine

Photography and profile published in a
four page feature in Classic Feel Magazine, South Africa

Shot two features for One Small Seed Magazine. South Africa  

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