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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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MONOCLE July/August issue - New waves

July 9, 2018 - Alexander Matthews

“It does not take a whole lot of convincing to get someone on a plane,” is the droll answer of Joost Bosland, curator at Stevenson, one of Cape Town’s leading commercial art galleries, when asked about the spectacular growth of the city’s art scene.
It’s not hard to see what he’s on about. Cape Town has natural beauty in spades: towering cliffs, golden beaches, and historic vineyards that produce seriously good wines. The city’s centre, wedged between the soaring sandstone of Table Mountain and the glittering Atlantic, is compact and safe enough to explore on foot – a mix of art deco, modernist and Victorian buildings home to restaurants, design shops and entrepreneurs.
And then there are the galleries. You’ll encounter many of these on an amble through the centre, or by heading to Woodstock, a gritty, vibrant nearby suburb, where many of the city’s top commercial spaces are based. “The visual arts sector in South Africa is technically as good as anywhere else. The subject matter is universal. Often examples are very affordable relative to elsewhere,” says Charles Shields, the director of Everard Read Cape Town. The gallery, which has been based in the v&a Waterfront for the past 22 years and recently opened a new satellite space, Circa, sells roughly half of its works to international collectors...

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Anatomy of (Collective) Apathy: Blessing Ngobeni’s ‘Enemy of Foe’

March 2, 2018 - Scott Eric Williams | ARTTHROB

‘Preoccupations’ is a word which arises repeatedly in descriptions of Blessing Ngobeni’s work and throughout the gallery text accompanying his exhibitions. In ‘Enemy of Foe’ –  the artist’s latest exhibition at CIRCA Cape Town – Ngobeni’s preoccupation take the form of a diligent study of political societal decay. A proper viewing of this body of work reflects a near textbook-like study, not just of one particular political structure, but a collection of flawed political strategies; a survey of past and present structures which are presented to us as detailed cross-section diagrams.

This scrutiny gets going straight from the Vinyl Text. ‘Enemy of Foe’ has a correlation with the expression ‘An Enemy of my enemy is my friend’. Through the use of this simple phrase our minds race to recall soured relations caused by succession battles for the South African presidency and similar happenings around the position of Cape Town mayor.

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Angus Taylor wins Helgaard Steyn Award for Sculptural work

December 1, 2017

The internationally renowned sculptor Angus Taylor is the 2017 winner of the Helgaard Steyn Award, one of the most substantial prizes within the South African arts scene dedicated to the promotion of art and culture in South Africa. The award is made in a quadrennial cycle for best performance in literature, musical composition, painting and sculptural works. This year the Award is for approximately R575 000 and any South African born artist is eligible to enter. The prize is awarded for a work of art, in the opinion of the adjudicators, to be the most meritorious in the discipline, provided it was produced in the past four years and that the work is accessible to the South African public.


Floating in time’s fabric in search of self in life’s fire

October 20, 2017 - Mary Corrigall | BusinessDay

The fire that destroyed Shany van den Berg’s home haunts her exhibition, (In)filtration of Time, but it is not immediately apparent.

It is a biographical tidbit that offers a deeper reading of this intriguing exhibition concerned with the evolution of the female identity and existential questions about the passing of time and what it is to be alive.

It is hard to think why these two themes shouldn’t be interlinked. Perhaps we are programmed to believe that any dialogue about the female body has to do with appearances and not deeper universal issues that also pertain to men.

Yet the exhibition is a deeply feminist one. The link between clothing and the female identity lingers. The works in the entrance of the cavernous Circa gallery in Cape Town pivot on silhouettes of ideal-looking female bodies, which are cut out from a coarse linen and allude to pattern pieces of garments or mock traditional couture.

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Ends and Means: Swain Hoogervorst’s ‘Searching Eudaimonia’

June 8, 2017

‘Searching Eudaimonia,’ Swain Hoogervorst’s first solo exhibition with Everard Read, hangs in an even horizon line on charcoal-coloured walls. The dark backdrop and incandescent track-lighting activate the procession of canvases, illuminating splashes of oleander pinks, succulent viridians and ashy greys; a bright panorama of painterly sketches.