Turbine Art Fair

Published 10 July 2023 in The Viewing Room Art Gallery


All’s Fair at the Art Fair

Exciting News:

The Viewing 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.

The Viewing Room Gallery @StLorient will be showcasing three artists and we cannot wait to share these talented artworks with you.

So, without 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. 

Although 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.

Vivien 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.

In the 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 society.                                                                                                                                                                                          

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.

Barry sees 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.

Joyce 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.

In Joyce’s 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.

While these 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 before us. 

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