“Art freed me from imprisonment.” An unexpected brush with destiny

September 6, 2019 - Beautiful News


This artist freed himself from imprisonment in the most unexpected way.

Was it luck, or destiny? Blessing Ngobeni could never have predicted his path to becoming a revered artist. Raised in an abusive household, Ngobeni ran away as a child and made it to Alexandra, where he joined the wrong crowd. At the age of 15, he was arrested for robbery and spent nearly six years in prison. It could have been rock bottom. Yet it was here that Ngobeni discovered his talents. Out of boredom, he started sketching fellow inmates’ portraits. Realising he could improve his capabilities and make a life for himself, Ngobeni began an astonishing journey to liberation. “Perhaps the universe wanted me to become an artist,” he says.


August 2019 Newsletter

August 19, 2019 - Everard Read Cape Town

Both Turiya Magadlela & nomThunzi Mashalaba were invited to exhibit in Speculative Inquiry #1, the first exhibition focusing solely on living women abstract artists in Africa. Taking place at the Michaelis Galleries from 8-24 August, this exhibition is a speculative inquiry that considers the contributions of living black women artists and the potential their practices and work stand to contribute to studies on abstraction. Curated by Nkule Mabaso.

Turiya Magadlela has also been featured in Phaidon's recent publication Vitamin T: Threads and Textiles in Contemporary Art. 
This publication celebrates tapestry, embroidery, stitching, textiles, knitting, and knotting as used by visual artists worldwide. Vitamin T is the latest in the celebrated 'Vitamin' series in which leading curators, critics, and art professionals nominate living artists for inclusion. As boundaries between art and craft have blurred, artists have increasingly embraced these materials and methods, with the resulting works being coveted by collectors and exhibited in museums worldwide. If you would like to purchase this publication click here



Phillemon Hlungwani is featured festival artist at Hermanus FynArts 2019

February 22, 2019


Date: 8 - 17 June

Time: 09:00 - 17:00

Venue: FynArts Gallery 

In this exhibition Phillemon Hlungwani returns to the etching press which is his first love and whose arcane and ancient skills he has mastered. He also reprises a theme which is seminal to understanding who he is as a person and as an artist.

Raised in a rural African village by a mother widowed young, he grew up watching women work so that they and their families would survive. The unrelenting labour of women is a reality but to Hlungwani it is what nurtured his body and his talents, and he sees in it both love and redemption in their purest sense.

His complex and technically brilliant etchings take everyday subjects and make them clear to us (like purifying murky water) and in some of them he makes delicate use of hand colouring, thus emphasising the femininity of his subjects. These works have been made with the assistance of master printer Pontsho Sikhosana and her team at the Artist Proof Studio.

Exhibition presented in association within Knysna Fine Art and Everard Read Gallery.

The exhibition will be opened by Trent Read on Saturday 8 June at 14:00

Times of walkabouts to be announced.


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Nowhere to hide from Brett Murray’s incisive wit

February 14, 2019 - Melvyn Minnaar | BusinessDay

When Brett Murray, a standout even in a particularly bright lineup of star art students, won the grand Michaelis prize in his graduate year, 1983, his aesthetic route was defined: the court jester with the finest of touches; social consciousness to be articulated in the high precision of the artful object.

His master of fine arts a few years later was a riveting triumph, and the chunky cartoon characters to tread his career stage entered in all their metaphorical glory.

One of those, King — a delicious Ubu, rich of ridicule — is coming up for auction on February 16 at Strauss & Co’s contemporary art sale during the weekend’s Cape Town Art Fair. It’s a vivid marker.


Read the full review here

SA's newest art superstar Nelson Makamo is an optimist

February 10, 2019 - Charl Blignaut | City Press

It shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that South African art’s newest superstar, the 36-year-old Limpopo-born Nelson Makamo, made it to the cover of Time magazine this week. That’s because one of Makamo’s biggest fans is Ava DuVernay, the acclaimed US film director, producer and distributor. And DuVernay was the guest editor of the latest edition of the mag, called “the optimism edition”. She’s posted on her Instagram before about buying paintings from Makamo.

Auction houses show his larger work climbing rapidly above the R250 000 mark but the verdict is out on the value of the gorgeous work featuring a child in red spectacles now that it’s been on the cover of Time. And she’s not the only celeb in love with his bright paintings and famous charcoal portraits, which exude the love and beauty of the innocent African child, marking an upbeat and positive trend in the often dark and conceptual world of contemporary art.


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A living legacy: botanical sculptures by Nic Bladen

September 26, 2018 - Tudor Caradoc-Davies | House and Leisure

‘Somehow the orchid fraternity got hold of me,’ smiles sculptor Nic Bladen. It may sound like a plot twist in a floral conspiracy novel, but this was perhaps the turning point in his career. While making a living creating jewellery, he was asked by the president of the local orchid society to cast a few whole orchids in bronze.

A former dental technician, Bladen learned about bronze sculpture under the watchful eye of Otto du Plessis at Bronze Age before going out on his own. He’d been loping along when the orchid request came. ‘I cast a flower one day and that was it. Lightbulb moment.’


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Swirling Networks of Sliced Paper Emerge From Altered Secondhand Books by Barbara Wildenboer

September 18, 2018 - Kate Sierzputowski | COLOSSAL

Barbara Wildenboer delicately cuts and extracts the pages of old books to produce sculptural explorations of the contents inside. Thinly sliced paper fragments frame world maps found in old atlases or appear like a nervous system in an altered copy of Functional Neuroanatomy. The works are part of an ongoing project titled the Library of the Infinitesimally Small and Unimaginable Large, to which she has been contributing altered books since 2011. The series uses the site of the library as a metaphor for the larger universe, while also focusing on the decrease of printed materials as a result of the digital age.


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15 Best Museums in Cape Town

September 13, 2018 - Mary Holland | Condé Nast traveler

Recognized as the World Design Capital in 2014, the art and design scene in Cape Town is flourishing. There are big museums (Zeitz MOCAA) and small galleries (Southern Guild); old ones (Everard Read) and new ones (SMITH Studio). But in Cape Town, it’s not all about the art. The city has a number of unmissable historic and cultural museums that showcase the country’s deep and complex cultural history—from sites such as Nelson Mandela’s former cell to a less-expected museum that showcases the country’s Jewish heritage. Here, our picks of Cape Town's best museums to help you experience a bit of it all.

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Sunday Times - Meet The Makers August 2018

August 29, 2018 - Graham Wood | Sunday Times

Angus Taylor and Rina Stutzer are a force in the South African art world. Not only are they both respected artists in their own right, they also run one of S A’s most advanced sculpture studios and foundries, Dionysus Sculpture Works (DSW), which casts many of our most renowned local fine artists, including Deborah Bell, Joni Brenner and Norman Catherine.

Angus has created some of SA’s most recognisable large sculptures, often combining materials such as bronze, steel and stone, although he also works with more ephemeral materials like rammed earth and packed thatching grass. H is stacked stones in the form of reclining giants evoke some of man’s most ancient interactions with Earth. Angus is probably still associated foremost with his figural work — usual ly male figures, hard to define when it comes to age or race — that engage profoundly with the tension between permanence and the transitory nature of human life. At first glance they might even appear to be made after quite a traditional idiom, but he has always subverted any notion of the monumental bronze statue by putting them in the context of ancient and, beyond that, geological timescales embodied in varieties of carefully selected stone.

Rina ’s role at DSW involves c reative input and implementing core changes on various projects, as well as work on her own large-scale public sculptural works. But she is perhaps best known as a painter. As a counterpoint to the fire, noise, h eat and primal energy at DSW, Angus and Rina ’s studio at home represents a more private, reflective space where a sense of tranquillity and connection to nature allows ideas to germinate. Their home studio is an extension of their house just outside Pretoria, designed for them by local architect Pieter Mathews (Mathews & Associates Architects) and built by Angus. The house is almost a sculpture itself, clad in granite offcuts from one of the stonemasons Angus works with. In fact, Pieter said he drew inspiration from Angus ’s sculptural works, incorporating materials that are bold, raw and honest, so that his plan and Angus’s interventions.

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The Shape Of Nature - Arabella Caccia

July 17, 2018 - Maretha Lubbe | SLOW Magazine

As soon as Arabella Caccia explains where her art comes from, and having seen her work, it all makes sense to me. It just seems to fit perfectly. Looking at her work evokes a wave of emotion, much like the actual waves that you might spot woven into her work multi-layered work. Born in London to an Italian father and a South African mother, Caccia grew up in Tuscany, central Italy, and lived her teenage years in Johannesburg. After spending time in SA’s biggest city, she found herself living and studying in some of the biggest international cities – New York, London and Florence. She now has four daughters – of whom none went into the world of art. Caccia laughs at this fact, saying that they have definitely seen enough of that “crazy” world and decided it wasn’t for them. The origin of her newest exhibition, Without Words – which was hosted at Everard Read in the Boland town of Franschhoek – consists of work she had previously done on baobab trees in Botswana. She visited the Southern African country to do a series of drawings on their indigenous giant baobab trees. One day, she was lying in a hammock strung from one of the trees, when she noticed the texture of the tree’s bark and all the intricate patterns that it created. She became captivated with those delicate patterns and started sketching. She even made silicone casts to make multiplemprints with. This was where it all started.

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