Quiet, reflective, wild, amusing and mysterious paintings by a group of artists, continue an intuitive approach to art making, where the world we inhabit is filtered through the artist’s own psychological landscape.
In NEW HORIZONS, 2020, rumba dancers make us dream of past or future happiness, mysterious symbols and colours invite us to rest our eyes, relax, and walk towards the horizon – maybe a new one? Horses storming into the future, creatures in ecstatic dance – where will the journey go? Everywhere, dreamlike scenes and unusual shapes create a sense of curiosity and magic. There is an unsettling atmosphere to some of these paintings, suggestive of a world in flux. Yet, undeniable too, is a sense of optimism, a persistence of spirit, or a suggestion of how things might be different – with a collective leap of imagination.
How these paintings relate to the current social moment, and specifically to the dynamics of contemporary Africa, is left deliberately ambiguous.
Always rich in colour and technique, the works by 12 artists are a bountiful confluence of reality and fantasy, where references to life around us, are never less than equaled by free association and painterly invention. Shaped by intuition, imagination and memory, imagery – sometimes recurring, such as congregations of people – emerges through an intuitive dance. This is painting as open ground, a point of departure for artist and viewer alike, one through which we might attempt to process the chaos of contemporary life and emerge as more vibrant and emotional beings.
VIEWING INSTRUCTIONS: Pay attention so that your face is relaxed and your jaw is not clenched. Release and rest your eyes.
The exhibition features works by:
Thonton Kabeya (Congo), Johannes du Plessis (South Africa), Layziehound Coka (South Africa), Samson Mnisi (Lesotho), Mbali Tshabalala (South Africa), Kamogelo Ami Masemola (South Africa), Gerald Chukwuma (Nigeria), Karin Daymond (South Africa), Edward Selematsela (South Africa), Mohamed Diabagate (Mali), Zie Jean-Laurent Kone (Ivory Coast), Paul Blomkamp (South Africa)
Karin Daymond | South Africa
Believe it or not, there are people who have never noticed lichens. This is almost as fascinating as the lichens themselves. Lichens fly under the radar, blending into the background of life. Painting ‘portraits’ of these creatures feels like making the unseen, seen. This is essentially the work of an artist, whatever the subject. I began painting lichens in 2017 and it has developed into an ongoing project. Wherever I go, I fall a little in love with lichens that I meet. Interestingly, they are usually a combination of fungi and bacteria, producing their own nutrients through photosynthesis. They don’t have roots and can grow in the most extreme of environments, on surfaces, ranging from granite rock to bark, from which they hang. They are simultaneously adaptable and particular. They thrive as pioneers in rapidly changing environments and are also some of the oldest creatures on earth. They are effective indicators of environmental health, particularly of air pollution.
Koné, Jean-Laurent, Ivory Coast
Koné’s art is deeply rooted in African culture, his work is characterized by intricately structured compositions that combine linear figurative elements with bursts of colour abstraction. Working across figuration, abstraction and conceptualism, Koné has examined a wide range of subject matter, from the personal to the social and historical. His is a complex and nuanced body of work, a fusion of modernity and a visual enquiry into Africa in which texture, colour, structure and process are employed to mine history.
Mnisi, Samson | Lesotho
I call it abstract because I am breaking form, and the ideas that I am trying to express are abstract too, but my work is actually pure symbolism. My art talks about love, determination, and exuberance. It is a ritual. My grandmothers are sangomas, hence I experienced a lot of rituals as a child and I studied a lot of rituals from different parts of the world at the beginning of my career.
I believe that abstraction actually comes from Africa.I made a point to study more about abstract art to see how I can take abstraction further, deeper. Art is a ritual with a specific purpose. Art can be something that builds people, builds the spirit or it can be something that is critical. My purpose is to built the spirit. My art wants to elevate the spirit onto another level. That is my quest.
Kabeya, Thonton | Congo
I’m trying to push the limit and the boundary that exist between painting and sculpture, I want to change the way people look at Painting, I sculpt the canvas and create my artistic language. I’m not trying to make a sculpture or a painting or mixed media technique, but find my own way to express myself and to connect with myself.
Paul Blomkamp | South Africa
Everything is connected, to call it spirituality or Quantum Physics is not important to me.
My connection to this electrical essence is what is important. That this electrical essence is imbued with qualities of love and compassion was a shock to me.
The universe has an immeasurable intelligence…finding love and compassion that exists in this intricate matrix of vibrant bits of electricity is the most liberating discovery I have made.
When I was ten years old my dear father gave me a book on Paul Klee’s art. He was painting things I could not understand, but felt was right.He was explaining unseen secrets in his painting. 20 years before being thrust into this quantum world, I knew that’s what I wanted to do with my life. To show the beauty of the mysterious.
Paul Blomkamp | Highveld Rainveld1R 29,900
Paul Blomkamp | Highveld Rainveld 2R 29,900
Quantum Physics describe how everything is held together by this ‘Electric Essence’, countless billions of electrical transactions are taking place at breakneck speed every second. Not only within us, but through every thing that exists everywhere. When one is given a glimpse of this activity choreographed by some all encompassing intelligence. My compulsion to paint it and share it is overwhelming. The mystery and fascination for me as an Artist is to explore this interaction on canvas. How does one paint a single protea petal…knowing that within it lies a treasure chest of electrical information and intelligence. This is where I need to make the invisible visible. I know it is there…I know I must access it and make it seen.
Kamogelo Masemola | South Africa
His paintings combine representation, abstraction and colouration, minimalism and gesturalism. His unique technique of manipulating layers and layers of oil paint, using a heat gun instead of a paintbrush evoke the idea of action painting.
The viewer is captured by the bold beauty of his work, the movement, creation and destruction of shapes and exquisite combination of colours, a deeper exploration reveals the underlying tension between abstracted, natural beauty and geometric exactness, an inconsistency that characterizes present day human existence. His uses a meticulous and process-oriented approach, and his paintings realize the triumphs and struggles of the artist’s practice, control and chaos, making and unmaking, beauty and destruction.
The resulting paintings have a dramatic, exuberant quality.
Chukwuma, Gerald | Nigeria
Gerald Chukwuma is a celebrated Nigerian artist with an increasingly international presence and following. His parents were not enthusiastic to see their son follow a creative career, but Gerald could not be stopped and managed to finance his livelihood and university fees in order to study fine art. He graduated from the prestigious Nsukka Art School , University of Nigeria, with first class degree specializing in painting. Chukwuma enjoys working on a bigger scale than many other artists, presenting bold statements with his works created from wood and mostly recycled objects.
Diabagaté, Mohamed | Mali
Mohamed Diabagate was born in 1987 in Bamako. “After high school, it was obvious for me that I should become an artist! So I integrated the National institute of Arts of Bamako. After graduating as first of class I continued my visual arts studies in the academy of arts and crafts Balla Fasseke Kouyate of Bamako. After my graduation I got the opportunity to be invited by the Beninese artist Ludovic Fadairo in his Bamako’s residence workshop to reinforce my skills. I consider myself as a free thinker curious to understand the a very vast and complex world I am living in.
Coka, Layziehound | South Africa
My art makes bold statements, which offer the necessary reflective healing for human elevation. My intense connection to my own spirituality allows me to unapologetically share.
In Zululand we’re widely known as the originals, because we speak the original Zulu language, just as jazz, it’s not the first sound but it’s got that basic original sound. I stem from a place where there’s nothing but hope. Music is rather a soothing element and a solace of some kind. It makes people feel one with the world that has economically segregated them. Nobody is bitter about that, instead they do like birds do, they fly away to places to acquire a bit of money. Bread winners are tourists in their own
homes, they keep the economy awake, it has never been alive except for when I visually speak of it. I don’t only see the good in my place and people, I metaphorically and metaphysically see who we can be, without depending on big towns and cities as our gateway to a better life or the world.
I’m creating this virtual reality world called Bilanyoni, which blossoms for the whole world to know about the bunch of hopefuls with their unique mindset and undefeatable spirit of hope and resilience. We’re obsessed with happiness. Our ancestors are with us and our gods are guiding us. We can and will be better people after all. We stay true to the sound of our echoing hills and trenches and dance for our ancestors in the rhythm of stomping buffalos and elephants, because we invest in self discovery and preserve the way of life as our parents revealed it to us.
Edward Selematsela | South Africa
Mbongeni Fakudze | Swaziland
du Plessis, Johannes | South Africa
“I PAINT WHAT I FEEL AND WHAT I WANT!”
To paint is a passion. By being honest towards my mind experiences and heart is how I attempt
to find a new level in artistic realization.
Painting is a process of getting to know myself better, a way of finding new inspiration and
understanding of life in various forms.
In the end, it is an introduction to self-enlightenment.
I prefer to call my paintings emotional statements. My wish is that the audience could feel
these statements deep within themselves.
Johannes has held over 40 successful exhibitions since 1982. He staged many solo, two man and attended group exhibitions, locally and internationally. He participated in international exhibitions: France, Switzerland, Netherlands, Germany and UK – London between 1994 and 2007. Johannes uses a distinct abstract expressionistic cubist style in acrylics on canvas to express his love of form inspired by nature.
Johannes du Plessis | AdorationR 19,500
Johannes du Plessis | Lockdown 2020R 39,000