I was recently invited to take part in Art Africa, Africa’s first fully-curated international art fair at V&A Waterfront, Cape Town. The show was hosted by Art Africa magazine, the leading art title on the continent. Their mission is to showcase emerging African artists.
To lessen the shipping headaches, we settled on new work that fitted neatly into hand luggage and went up on the wall relatively easily (bar normal hiccups). All in all, I felt privileged to have taken part, as there was some astonishing work there and frankly, after sitting on my damp arse for months in the UK, connecting with artists and curators from around Africa was deeply empowering.
On a broader scale, the trip was good as all the working artists and curators are connected in Cape Town and I re-grew some roots. At one point I found myself at Lionel Smit’s opening after-party, sharing a beer with Anton Karstel and MJ Lourens and other great SA painters; this just would not have happened in London. My buddy Cathy Lazell who studied at Michaelis with me had her opening at Salon 91 when I was there and her work is stunning, check it out.
That night I also bumped into Jeanette Unite who invited me to her studio to check out her new ‘Complicit Geographies’ coffee table book which covers her extensive, deeply beautiful oeuvre. I am hoping that we can collaborate on a project in the UK and maybe catch up at the Venice Biennale. Watch this space.
2016 will be remembered as the year ‘diversity-angst’ came out the closet with a bang!
Gordon Glyn-Jones lives and makes art in London.