Apr 10 – Apr 30, 2020

The exhibition Us takes its title from Brett Murray’s artwork by the same name. The sculpture was conceived at the time of state capture and the Gupta leaks, when we were bombarded daily by outrageous revelations of rapacious greed and theft from our state coffers, the corresponding effective collapse of our economy, and the ensuing fake news and social media wars by the culprits to divert attention from the crime. In Us, the two nagapies (bushbabies) clinging to each other, with eyes like saucers staring in bewilderment, were an apt metaphor for the artist and his wife as parents and indeed most of us then.

If the premise for the first edition of this digital COVID-19 exhibition, Staring Straight to the Future, attempted to demonstrate that new contexts can amplify or give renewed life and meaning to artworks, this second iteration hopes to do the same. How much more are we all “Us” now?

Similarly, Caryn Scrimgeour’s apparently prescient table setting Silent Scream might resonate with many in enforced domestic confinement. The sanctuary has become the prison. Nigel Mullins’s Pale Liberty, originally painted as a riposte to the dwindling American Dream, with the talismanic Statue of Liberty fading, now becomes repurposed as an ode to a city that has lost more lives to the virus than to 9/11 – an event which saw the beginning of the very same erosion of liberty and America’s apparent withdrawal into myopia.

Our hopes are that you will see and feel many things we haven’t yet – perhaps Deborah Bell’s Life as a Boat as a metaphor for all of us – society at sea in a crowded boat, or the longing for an Ark - a sanctuary in troubled times. Are Nelson Makamo’s protagonists presenting the promise of technology for the youth of South Africa or are they huddling in fear, the youngest replete with a helmet for protection?

At the very least we hope this collection will bring you some relief from lockdown, and food for thought. Enjoy, be safe and thanks again to all participating artists!

Participating artists include: Brett Murray, Nelson Makamo, Sanell Aggenbach, Caryn Scrimgeour, Neill Wright, Norman Catherine, Elize Vossgatter, Deborah Bell, Andrzej Urbanski, Michael MacGarry, Tanya Poole, Dylan Lewis, Ignatius Mokone, Beezy Bailey, Nic Bladen, Nigel Mullins, Jop Kunneke, Colbert Mashile, Barbara Wildenboer, Ricky Dyaloyi, Vusi Khumalo, Speelman Mahlangu, Io Makandal, Richard Penn, Paula Louw, Lionel Smit, Setlamorago Mashilo

For more information please contact

CAPE TOWN Charles Shields / +27 83 450 0915

JOHANNESBURG Mark Read / +27 83 441 8064

LONDON Georgie Shields / +44 (0) 7785 227581

FRANSCHHOEK Tayla Hoepfl / +27 79 313 0561

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