We have been up and down the country, out and about, these past few weeks – Joburg and Cape Town, art fairs and high teas – so time for a little catch up.
On Sunday last week we were at the Turbine Hall Art Fair in downtown Johannesburg. Last year, you might remember, we saw the amazing psychedelic beaded Casspir, an armoured riot control vehicle from the apartheid days, decked out in peace signs and in brilliant colours. Everything about the event – the cool venue, the ceramics, the prints, the paintings and sculptures, the whole vibe of the place – rocked our boat, so this year when it showed up again on the calendar, we were booked in a flash (thanks Rob 🙂 )
We weren’t quite as taken, this year, with the overall quality of the show, though the Irma Sterns as always were gorgeous – thickly painted, sinuous, vital – and there were some ceramics we could have sold our house for. We looked at a lovely print of a pine tree – finely hatched crosslines, beautifully detailed – but found ourselves going back (thanks Rob, again) to a series of reductive linocuts by Prince Albert artist Joshua Miles.
From a distance, the prints look like hand-coloured photographs, but up close, you see the detailed work of the artist-printmaker. One print, in particular – ‘The Square Dam’ – we thought was both lovely in itself, and quintessentially South African, and so we bought it.
Here it is, being lifted down from its place in the exhibit.