Investec Cape Town Art Fair honours emerging artists

By CALYN MONERON Time of article published Feb 17, 2019

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CAPE TOWN - A Zimbabwean artist has taken a top honour at the Investec Cape Town Art Fair on at the CTICC, a prize which includes an exhibit at the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art.

Troy Makaza was announced as the winner of the Tomorrows/Today competition on Friday and has won a R50 000 cash prize and a solo exhibit at the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art (Mocaa). 

“It’s awesome. I’ve had a lot of positive feedback,” Makaza said. 

Fair curator Tumelo Mosaka curated the selection of 10 participating local and international artists.

Weekend Argus also spoke to some of the other participants. 

Lansdowne artist Zyma Amien is represented by the London Gallery Art First and has had her showcased in many exhibitions including the Sasol New Signature. 

Her work for the art fair was inspired by the women in her family who worked in the textile factories. Her technique of  printmaking, drawing is often used to highlight the struggles that the women in the textile industry face. It was also during her studies at UNISA and UCT that she did more research about socio-political issues within the industry.

“Art reveals a lot of who you are. It speaks to the trauma of the people. It highlights the difficulties the women face in the industry,” Amien explained. 

 Pretoria resident Azael Langa;s work has been exhibited on recent shows that include the SA Art Collective at the New York Art Expo and the ‘Dual’ exhibition at Trent Art Gallery in Pretoria.

Langa explained that people and the “average joe” inspires him and his work. 

He described his process as a spiritual journey and as a way of providing healing to others. His medium of candle smoke on canvas provides creates a sense of healing. 

“Colour gives life. Smoke allows communication with the other side,” Langa explained. 

Langa said his favourite piece from the collection was a portrait of his late brother, Michael. 

“He died trying to save my mom. It made me realize that life is about doing better for others.”

Chris Soal graduated from the University of Witwatersrand with a Bachelor’s in Fine Art in 2017 and even before he graduated he began showcasing his work as much as he could. 

He described his process as starting with the senses and responding. He uses everyday objects such as toothpicks and bottle caps that we might take for granted in our everyday life without changing the colour or the shape.

“It starts with looking, feeling and touching and responding to everything,” Soal said. 

Soal’s piece called “The Sharp Edge of comfort” featured in the Fair’s Guns & Rain display contained Birchwood toothpicks held together by polyurethane adhesive on ribstop fabric. The result is something that can easily be mistaken for a deceptively soft piece of cloth.   

John-Michael Metelerkamp, from Knysna, had his first showcase in 2014 at the Knysna Art Fair which showed abstract portraits of his family and wildlife paintings. 

“My work involves how I perceive things to be. Drawing from my own experiences and filtered through my subconscious I arrive at the end of a painting surprised by what I see. That moment I enjoy. Sometimes it can be troubling. It challenges me sometimes. But that is why I paint. To challenge my own perceptions and constructs,” Meterlerkamp said.

Angolan artist, Angel Ihosvanny had his first visit to South Africa thanks to the competition. 

Ihosvanny described his process as very intimate and his finds his inspiration from little things. He began his artistic career in Cuba and has since had his work showcased in his home country of Angola as well as Portugal, Spain, Brazil, Italy, Uganda, USA and France. 

Armand Boua, from the Ivory Coast, studied at Abidjan’s National School of Fine Arts and the  Technical Center of Applied Arts. Boua’s work has been showcased in Pangaea II, New Art From Africa and Latin America at Saatchi Gallery in London. 

Living and working in Abidjan, Boua’s artwork focuses on the lives of the street children but his subject could be anyone who is a victim of exploitation in West Africa.

Among the many issues in the Ivory Coast, child abduction still remains a chilling reality for many. Boua’s focus on street scenes and process involves taking photos of the children and then transferring them onto cardboard or canvas that is found in the street. This is the artist’s attempt to connect with the children he features. 

“I wanted to show their suffering, their way of life, so that people are finally aware of this painful reality they pretend not to see,” Boua said

Australian Michael Cook’s work has been featured in the British Museum and the National Gallery of Australia. 

Cook got his first camera when he was 14 years as a present and has spent some working as a commercial photographer. 

At the fair, his collection called “Undiscovered” was a collection of ten photographic works featuring an Aboriginal man standing on the Australian shore clad in British colonial military wear alongside native animals. 

Cook described his collection as, “Soft, beautiful way to shed light on the colonization of Australia and how it had been represented in history.” 

This collection came from Cook’s own questions about his Aboriginal ancestry. 

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