Curator and artist Jane Digby shares some fun with fellow artist and musician Winnow Myeki at the new pop up The Gallery in Ballito at the Lifestyle Centre.
Curator and artist Jane Digby shares some fun with fellow artist and musician Winnow Myeki at the new pop up The Gallery in Ballito at the Lifestyle Centre.

Ballito art collective call-out for creatives

By Tanya Waterworth Time of article published Jan 16, 2021

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Durban - A new art collective in Ballito is not only offering opportunities to KZN artists and creatives, but providing a safe space to unwind and relax for the public.

This week, local artist Jane Digby, who organised the first exhibition in December at The Gallery, a new pop up art gallery and exhibition space at the Lifestyle Centre, said the exhibition had proved highly popular over the holiday season and planning for the second exhibition was under way.

"We didn't have anything like this on the North Coast and so we looked to fill that gap. It has been incredibly well received, it has been unbelievable" said Digby, adding that over the holiday period they made good sales, especially to overseas buyers.

"These were largely visitors who were visiting family, as well as buyers from Gauteng here on holiday. A visitor from the UK said the exhibition was as good as anything she would see in London," said Digby.

She added that with the lockdown, people were "hungry to see art".

"The Gallery has been set up like a modern art museum with some of it being interactive. It's never packed with people but rather a stream of visitors, so you never feel overcrowded and you don't have to touch anything," she said.

Set to run until January 27, the current exhibition attracted art works from artists in the Dolphin Coast area, but Digby said that the second exhibition would include work from creatives from around the province.

And anything goes in the name of art for the second exhibition – from 2D and 3D art, sculpture and ceramics, to fashion, jewellery design, music, writing, even upholstery, as well as upcycling or recycling art projects.

"We want to showcase the talent out there. We are connecting the dots with all art and we have some exciting plans ahead. We want this to be a community space and an artists' collective, with profits going to help emerging artists.

"I think the community needs hope and a place to meet and voice opinions, especially for like-minded young people who can get together, do interactive art and exchange ideas. We want to create something much bigger than just a gallery," said Digby.

She has already received submissions for the new exhibition, titled "Contagious Art", which opens on February 5. Submissions close on January 17 at midnight.

"We want to change the use of the word 'contagious' to be about spreading positivity, not the virus. I think the coronavirus has pushed us all to be more creative, and times of adversity can create new hope and push us to think beyond.

"Submissions can be anything beautiful. We want to select work that is as original as possible. It's about showcasing a visual experience the people will never forget," said Digby.

Submissions will be digital and a panel, which includes Digby, will choose participating artists and creatives for the new exhibition.

Visitors can also treat themselves to a coffee from the Coffee Lab and Digby said they were waiting to hear about a possible outdoor space for use to expand interactive art sessions.

"In these times, when we are chopping and changing with regulations, the outside space is in the shade with a breeze. We are very aware of creating a safe environment," she said.

Owner of the Lifestyle Centre, Bruce Rencken, offered the 600m² space to Digby towards the end of last year, with the goal "to provide a platform for local artists to showcase their talent and expand their careers via an expansive and professional exhibition space“, said Rencken.

For further information, go to or email [email protected]

Four artworks are required with each submission.

Independent on Saturday

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