More than six thousand art lovers attended this year’s American Express Winter Sculpture Fair to see thought provoking works by the likes of Zanele Muholi, Sophia van Wyk, Nandipha Mntambo and Frances Goodman.
“NOT A SINGLE STORY” was the theme for this year. A line inspired by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s The Dangers Of A Single Story.
Held at NIROX Foundation Sculpture Park in Krugerdorp, North West of Johannesburg, the artworks addressed issues around the deep sense of entrenched patriarchy in the South Africa. Through the installations it became clear that the remnants of the turbulent history of South Africa has left women with severe challenges to overcome; many of which are linked to gender-based violence, exploitation, underrepresentation, as well as minimal economic empowerment.
Goodman’s Siren art piece was an image of a scantily clothed woman dangling seductively from a pole. This epitomised the exploitation of the female body for male pleasure, and yet symbolised ownership of one’s own body and sexuality. While Muholi showcased Koze Kubenini, which highlighted the reality of black queers, lesbians and the trans community, a group that remains one of South Africa’s most marginalized, van Wyk’s A Foot In The Door sculpture evoked a transgressive cake topper as a starting point to create unsettling and fantastical objects which reflect gender complexity.
Seasonally curated larger-than-life sculptures stood tall on the well manicured lawns of the park. It was an art feast combined with good cuisine and the best wines from the Franschhoek Valley curtesy of Franschhoek Tourism.
“What we witnessed here today was impressive body of artwork which sought to shift people’s perspectives and subsequently transform societies,” said Mandla Sibeko, Director of Winter Sculpture Fair. “If there is one key lesson to take away from today’s exhibitions, it is the fact that art can take the edge off the numbing effect borne by country’s history and motivate people to turn thinking into doing.”
Other artists artists who exhibited at the 2018 American Express Winter Sculpture Fair included the Berlin and Nairobi-based Mwangi Hutter, South Africa’s Mary Sibande, Sethembile Msezane as well as the Japanese multimedia artist Yoko Ono.
The 2018 American Express Winter Sculpture Fair was a partnership between American Express® and Artlogic a sponsorship and events company that specialises in high-end, boutique Fairs. The company is credited with bringing world-class events to South Africa and providing platforms for hundreds of artists, craftsmen and handmade producers from South Africa and the continent to promote and sell their work to both a local and international audience
“American Express South Africa is synonymous with quality, lifestyle and unlocking access to the creation of amazing memories. More so, partnering with a pioneering company like Artlogic, as a result, ensures that we continuously bring our Cardmembers memorable and informative experiences like the Winter Sculpture Fair.” said Chris Wood, Executive Head: American Express South Africa.