All’s Fair at the Art Fair
Room Art Gallery @StLorient is excited to announce that we will be at Turbine
Art Fair (TAF) this year. There is
nothing more exhilarating for art enthusiasts and collectors to visit an art
fair and be gripped by the immense amount of talent that the South African art
market has to offer. And for galleries, it is an enormous privilege to be
afforded the opportunity to showcase at such an event.
Room Gallery @StLorient will be showcasing three artists and we cannot wait to
share these talented artworks with you.
further ado, we would like to give you a bit of background and discuss their
concepts in today's blog. Vivien Kohler, Barry van der Westhuizen, and Joyce Carreira
are, without a doubt, artists with colossal talent and certainly an asset to
any art collection.
Vivien, Barry, and Joyce work within different mediums and lexicons to convey
their concepts, it is within the concepts themselves that a similarity begins
to emerge. All three convey a sense of searching or navigating the difficulties
of modern culture, defining, and redefining their identities, whether it is in
the process of growth or simply justifying their place in this time and space.
Kohler was born in Cape Town in 1976, and lives and works in Johannesburg,
South Africa. He received his National Diploma in Fine Art from the Ruth Prowse
School of Art and Design, Cape Town, in 2000. In 2017 Kohler received the Thami
Mnyele Sculpture Merit Award, in 2013 won the Lovell Gallery Artist Competition,
and in 2012 won the ItWeb/Brainstorm Competition with an entry commissioned by
Vodacom. His work is housed in both private and public collections including
the Nando's Collection, the Hollard Collection, Vodacom Collection,
SAB, Fusion UK, UNISA Gallery Collection, Artbank SA, William Humphreys Art
Gallery Collection, Freedom Park Collection (PTA) and the Contemporary Art
Collection of the Foundation Gandur pour l’Art, based in Geneva, Switzerland.
series “and other white lies”, Vivien looks at symbols of the old South African
political landscape and questions where and how the inhabitants of the country fit
into the landscape post-apartheid. In the modern political landscape, Vivien alludes
to the idea that neither the old apartheid nor the supposed indigenous peoples
appear to belong anymore…nor did they ever. The ongoing search for a sense of
belonging is important for all communities and it is a question that in a sense
becomes an equalizer.
As Vivien states “. We are in a perpetual
process of change, striving to transcend from deficiency to authenticity.” This
is such a poignant statement and one that I feel many of us struggle with in
the modern world, balancing and gauging authenticity. Vivien’s approach is one
of positivity and he wishes to convey a sense of hope and possibility beyond people’s
self-conceived limitations. One cannot discard the cocoons of our making
entirely, nor should we, they are the visible remnants of our ongoing growth
process and showcase our ability to transcend the limitations forced upon us by
Barry van der Westhuizen born in 1990, is a Pretoria-based artist and Printmaker. He completed his BAFA at the University of
Pretoria (2013) and later completed his MTech FA degree at The University of
Johannesburg (2018). He continued to work in several sectors of the art world where he has assisted several artists with their installations, setup, and productions.
Currently, he is working and assisting artists with the production of Fine Art prints.
Barry specializes in Etching, Relief, monotype, silkscreen, and stone lithography.
the world as a journey to navigate. And journeys are made easier with the use
of a map and, like any map, navigation is made even easier if you understand
the markers and keys. Through observation and self-searching, Barry maps his
journey from past to present giving him the ability to mark his progress as a person and artist. Like Vivien, he is not deterred by the obstacles but rather
sees what he has overcome and accomplished. This positive outlook toward past
and present are the starting points for his future, preparing the paving for
the road ahead.
Carreira was born in 1972 and grew up in Pretoria, South Africa where from a
young age it was apparent that her interests and talents lay in the arts. After
matriculating from Pro-Arte High School in 1990, she decided to further her art
studies at the University of Pretoria. Upon completing her degree in Fine Arts
(majored in Sculpture and Print Making), she undertook an extensive tour of
Europe and Africa before being appointed as an Art Teacher at Pro-Arte High
School and later the National School of the Arts. In 2003, she decided to
become a full-time artist.
work, she compares the value of art and artist to the plight of the Rhino. This is a question that most of us ask
ourselves at some point in time, whether you’re an artist or not. Do I have
value? Do I add value? Joyce questions the contribution that art makes in
society and whether something needs to contribute to legitimize its value or
even its mere existence. This concept of contribution and value are ideas that
are constantly, albeit surreptitiously, invading our thoughts and carving away
our self-confidence and thereby stunting our growth.
three concepts may at first appear diverse, the underlying positivity and
approach to growth are undeniably linked and all three offer a sense of hope
and a strong belief in the ability of humankind to transcend obstacles put