The Eclectica Print Gallery aims to provide a platform for pushing the narrative tradition in printmaking through the work of artists challenging such notions in the contemporary landscape. The themes explored by the artists consider challenges of identity and self-hood within the South African context.
Often, there is an interrogation of memory and associations as a means of navigating space, experiences and interaction – and this is done through prints, editions and the multiple, speaking back to the printmaking process. The Eclectica Print Gallery artists confront heritage, history and self-identification through the work exhibited.
Eclectica Print has a large collection of master prints and works on paper and aims to provide a space for a renewed awareness of the versatility of printmaking and works on paper. The gallery’s first considered exhibition opened in Claremont in April 2016, before the gallery relocated to Town. This exhibition was titled Of Movement and Experience and looked at the way travel and migration has been narrated through printmaking and how artists from very oppositional and varied backgrounds have shared the medium. The gallery in town was opened in July 2016 with a large selection of local print artists as well as Old Master prints and continued a re-curated exhibition Of Movement and Experience, with new works and the new space. The gallery is often host to a wide variety of styles and techniques and is curated according to use of colour and tone as well as messages and themes within the work.
The collection of works within the space has largely come from private collections and auctions and often therefore is host to some very rare work. In November 2016, the first official group show was curated and put together by Clare Patrick and was titled Unpacking, featuring only young, up and coming local South African Artists. The show tackled the climate of upheaval through artwork made throughout the past year, and was featured on First Thursdays, Art Times and Cape Talk as an exhibition highlight in Cape Town.
The Print Gallery is still very new and as such is in a phase of exciting possibilities and experimentation.
Clare Patrick – 2017