A Certain Place: Tokara Wine Estate, Stellenbosch July – end Nov 2023

Julia Meintjes Fine Art is privileged to have been granted access to a special and highly collectable group of works, from a number of private collections, by the multi-generational Everard family of women artists, whose talent is undeniable yet often not appreciated as it should be.

“It is extraordinary for us to be showing these works together and to have been asked by their current owners to sell them. Pieces of this quality by Bertha Everard seldom come onto the market, and in my opinion, she should be as renowned in our art history as JH Pierneef,” says Julia. “Because she was far less prolific, lived on a farm remote from artistic centres, was a woman living in the 1800-1900s, and was not good at promoting her work (her older sister Edith King did so on her behalf), her incredible talent has not been recognised in the manner it should have been. In fact, I would add that the other members of the family are also perhaps not as celebrated as they should be.”

This exhibition celebrates a family of four generations of artists: Bertha Everard (1873-1965) and her sister Edith Louise Mary King (1871-1962), Bertha’s daughters Ruth (1904-1992) and Rosamund (1907-1946), as well as Ruth’s daughter Leonora (born in 1937 and still painting) and her daughter Nicky Leigh (1966-2017). All of these women experienced a deeply soulful attachment to landscape/place, particularly on the family farms in Mpumalanga near Carolina and Badplaas where Bertha and her husband Charles set up home, and which Ruth managed until her death.

So too, the particular of place is vital to contemporary artists Hanien Conradie (born 1973) and Zarah Cassim (born 1992), whose works are hung in conversation with those by the Everards.

A Certain Place focuses on artists interested in landscapes, who depict spatial perceptions and how they relate to a contemporary human condition. The impetus was our specific selection of paintings by the ‘Everard Group’. Frieda Harmsen’s book Women of Bonnefoi was significant for its insights into this family of women (pronounced ‘bonnie-foy’, Bonnefoi was both the farm name, and a lively trading post founded by Charles Everard on the transport wagon route to Lydenburg).

The book includes many letters between family members and other artists of the time that were found in an old wagon chest, ‘Aunt Edie’s box’. They tell the story of these women in very personal terms and reveal the deep and complex connection people have to memory and nostalgia, and to ‘place’.

And so the show became centred around the concept of ‘spirit of place and person’; specifically how one could be spiritually tied to a place, how a place might inform a spiritual human condition and how this might be a catalyst, inspiring someone to create.

The exhibition title, A Certain Place, is eponymous to a work by Zarah Cassim, an artist who is part of this show. Her work moves between suggestions of spatial perceptions and reality using natural forms to interpret her emotions and experiences while travelling and working around the globe. The words ‘certain’ and ‘place’ were important: ‘certain’ denoting something known or to be sure, and ‘place’ as a reference to somewhere or a location to ‘place’ something. When combined, ‘a certain place’ references both a locale, somewhere someone might know, but also perhaps a place that makes one feel sure of oneself, of one’s place in the world. This feeling permeates throughout the exhibition.

Many people experience a deep and complex connection between memory, nostalgia and ‘place’. The inclusion of Hanien Conradie’s work is a reflection of her interest in age-old human-nature connections, with these works focusing on her travels to selected places in Botswana.

Hanien’s titles as well as the paintings by the Everard artists on the exhibition are a clue to the exact place where these works were made, and Zarah’s titles refer to emotions and feelings expressed through her medium. Though one might not have sat in the Bonnefoi courtyard or been to Mogonye or Nthlantle, it is the visual denotation that we are drawn to. We have all felt flustered and we have all stood beneath the moon. And perhaps consider, do you have places which hold particular resonance for you?

[A note: the Everard Group artists are not related in any way to the Everard Read Gallery. This gallery was founded by Mr Everard Read, Mark and Trent Read’s father. The ‘Everard Group’ had the surname Everard, from Charles Everard, Bertha’s husband.]

Candice Cruse

[Installation photographs are by Mike Hall Photography and Candice Cruse]

Exhibition works

To view these works, including our Threads of Africa bowls and bangles, head to the Tasting Room at Tokara Wine Estate, Helshoogte Road, Stellenbosch. Open 7 days a week from 10:00 to 17:30.

https://www.tokara.com/

R 16000.00

Paintings

A way

R 38000.00

Paintings

Blue furrow

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R 28000.00

Drawings

Cherry trees

R 38000.00

Paintings

City night scene

R 39000.00
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Mixed media on paper

Dusk at Mogonye

R 5500.00
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Paintings

Fever III

R 3500.00

Paintings

Fire fire

R 35000.00

Paintings

Fluster

R 35000.00

Paintings

Hilltops

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Paintings

Lights

R 20000.00

Paintings

Lugspieëling

R 11400.00
R 30000.00

Mixed media on paper

Mogonye, the moon, me

R 6800.00

Mixed media on paper

Ntlanthle III

R 6800.00

Mixed media on paper

Ntlhantle II

R 6800.00

Mixed media on paper

Ntlhantle IV

R 6800.00

Mixed media on paper

Ntlhantle VIII

R 6800.00

Mixed media on paper

Ntlhantle XI

R 5500.00

Paintings

Pale hillside

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Paintings

Scroll I

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Paintings

Setting

R 10000.00

Paintings

Sleep I

R 18500.00

Mixed media on paper

The hill at Mogonye

R 5500.00
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Paintings

Wind II

R 7000.00