Cape Town Art Fair 2017| Editions
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
Born in Uganda, Benon Lutaaya is a Johannesburg-based visual artist. He holds a BFA with Education from Kyambogo University, Kampala. Although known for his contemporary paper collage portraiture work, he’s equally adept dealing with other subjects and mediums. Unable to afford proper art supplies when he started out professionally in 2010, Benon improvised with recycled, found paper material gathered from streets to pursue his purpose as an artist.
His work offers some approach of his own personal space and identity in the world and how the latter has been formed, shaped and manipulated, sometimes torn, sometimes glued as intensely chiseled by his creative process. His technique reveals layers of constant manipulation, exploration and approximations in the application of the medium he opts to use to construct his forms. These layers are purposefully interspersed with elements of intervention and disturbance, which acts as a blur to fixed ideas and questions the way identity gets constructed.
Combining both abstract and realistic elements, benon manipulates his medium to allow for infinite searching, reconfiguration, and rediscovery – releasing energy that imbues his work with rawness and simplicity. He’s competent working with acrylics, collage, or mixed media.
Inga Somdyala is a Cape Town based artist, born in Queenstown in 1994. His work considers the complexities of politics, literature and identity through his graphic and evocative imagery. The intersections of popular culture with academic and then traditional values often seem to overlap and interact in through Somdyala’s artwork. Visually concerned with structure, differentiation, hierarchical and heraldic systems; his work critically discusses the liminality of the rainbow nation while drawing heavily from the intersections in the personal and collective history. Working in print and installation, Somdyala engages in image making as knowledge systems; forming material from history and experience as a kind of cultural currency.
Inga Somdyala has taken part in numerous group exhibitions locally, recently in Unpacking at Eclectia Print Gallery (2016) and previously on Collective Noun at the Michaelis Galleries (2015). Other creative involvements include iGolide; a transit space connecting emerging creatives to art, performance and critical thought centering the African continent. In 2017, Somdyala will complete his final year of undergraduate studies at UCT’s Michaelis School of Fine Art.
Somdyala hopes to further his studies in art within Africa, perhaps expanding this process through residencies on the continent and later abroad.
Amy Ayanda graduated from the Michaelis School of Fine Art in 2014 and has since travelled in Europe and continued her studies through various workshops and short courses. Her work spans across abstract paintings and installation work, and more recently into printmaking and illustration. Ayanda’s interest in creativity expresses itself through her artwork but also through poetry and music, the influences of which are present in the vibrancy and lyricism of her work.
Ayanda’s work draws inspiration from female South African artists namely Berni Searle and Penny Siopis while also being very influenced daily experiences, particularly interactions or gestures with people. The work thus becomes a process of grappling with notions of being human and all the complexities that lie therein.
Katlego Tlabela is a Cape Town based artist who focuses on printmaking and works on paper, while sometimes exploring
installation. His work grapples with contemporary struggles of idenitity and often references music and other
art mediums to inform his print making which arises through text based works and musical installation. Tlabela recently
has looked specifically at the way that history can repeat itself through trends and ways of interaction and has unpacked
these ideas through his prints, often placing himself into historically styled works or in the place of formal portraits of
The political and the personal merges and mingles through Tlabela’s work, with pride and defiance.
Difficult questions are confronted and raised through the history of printmaking and Tlabela looks at reconstituting the
structures of art making and the narratives displayed and prioritized.
Tlabela’s work has taken part in numerous group exhibitions locally and internationally from Michaelis Galleries, in Cape
Town to Brazil, Poland and Portugal and art fairs locally, recently the Turbine Art Fair 2015. In 2016 Tlabela has taken part
in two group shows at Muller’s Gallery (Cape Town) and SMAC Gallery (Stellenbosch). Tlabela has recently exhibited
at the 2016 Turbine Art Fair in Johannesburg alongside South Africa’s emerging fine artists represented by Blaque Inq
Contemporaries. He is also completing a body of work titled Negro Sunshine as part of his Graduate Show at Michaelis
School of Fine Art. Katlego wishes to complete his Masters in Fine Art either at Michaelis or abroad.
Marna Hattingh’s work travels between a hybrid of fine art, literature and the complexities or contemporary life.
She interrogates and articulates its collective emotions and has developed a highly unique and sought-after style,
strongly influenced by an Asian sensibility and her experience as an illustrator, blending wry humour and social
comment into playful palettes with a serious undertone. Drawing inspiration from an eclectic range including media,
fashion, history and fictional novels, her finely drawn characters jump, dance and spin across timeless, patterned
backgrounds. Each painting is extensively worked and contains its own complex narrative.Her distinctive graphic
style is deeply layered and functions as a hyper-textual visual language, which allows the viewer to be rewarded with
an awareness of the poetic and lyrical within his/her own wilderness.
Hattingh graduated from the University of Stellenbosch in 2000 with a BA Fine Arts degree, and a post-graduate
Honours degree in Illustration. Her work is held in collections across South Africa and England.