Curated 8 – Week One of Eight (19 – 25 October)

Group curated by Julia Meintjes
Image by Corné du Plessis

Silent conversations.
All the people represented in these 8 works are in some way looking out at us. When I put the 8 together and stood as if I was being interviewed by them all, I’d made a layered, group conversation. The artists have used one of the most direct methods of making contact with us when we stand in front of their works – the sitter’s gaze. Even though each depicts an arrested moment in a person’s life, they are glancing in silence and ‘talking’ through time, as if making comments to each other. Sue Williamson’s Cape Colonial gentleman, labelled as a piece of evidence from our country’s complicated history, is paused as if he assesses the effects of his actions on the contemporary young man’s reverie outside the Market Theatre in Johannesburg. The pathos in the resigned face of Nhlandla Xaba’s miner is in such contrast to the deep, questioning stare of Velaphi Mzimba’s expertly-painted early portrait. Japhter Luvhimbi’s leadwood dancer, carved with delicate, observed detail, drums at her Venda celebration. The artists’ decision to engage us through eye contact is thought-provoking…

There was February… and then, October! At JMFA we have missed our usual (pre–COVID) pace of putting works together to rub shoulders with one another. One of the most fulfilling aspects of our consultancy is telling stories and encouraging conversations by looking at art. We choose works which relate to the people who live with them, and support artists in whom we believe.

And so, in our bid to put us all in a positive place in the surreal year that is 2020 and bring you some stories, we have made our own groups:

  • 8 groups of 8 works which we will release on our website, week by week, every Monday, for 8 weeks
  • hung and photographed in friendly spaces to give you a sense of scale
  • for the release week only, if you buy 2 or more, you will pay 8% less on the total cost of the works. You can, of course, purchase only one but you will be missing out on the discount.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to enquire about the condition or to arrange to view the works at either our Cape Town or Johannesburg studio, depending on where they (and you!) are.