The art of storytelling is always, to some extent, an inquiry into human nature and covers a myriad of questions. What distinguishes Stories, an exhibition currently showing at The Gallery, Glen Carlou wine estate, is its interpretation of ‘storytelling’ as a concept that incorporates the psychological, the cultural and often the surreal. ‘Why are they told, who tells them, how are they told and when – are all aspects that determine the power of a story’ explained Gallery, Glen Carlou curator Christa Swart.
Swart has selected 8 local artists working across medium ranging from waste plastic bags repurposed for art (Amy Rusch) to printmaking (Elize de Beer) to miscellaneous found objects (Marinda Du Toit).
Several works in Stories express some intensely contemporary talking points. Nicola Bailey’s ink wash paintings explore the complex hierarchy and dependency between humans and their four-legged friends.
For Ingrid Winterbach, Illustrations and oil on canvas serve as a platform to encourage dual interpretation with her approach to various stages of mental health and fears.
But, at the same time, the exhibition also makes room for the playful. A cross-collaboration between sculpturist Guy Du Toit and photographer Carla Crafford, although exhibited separately, centres around an abstract telling of modern life.
Du Toit’s bronze sculptures depict his light and faintly comical collection of elegant hares in a series of smooth and familiar poses. And in stark contrast, Crafford photographed the sculptures against the earthy, almost barren landscape backdrop of Namibia adding a sense of seriousness to the collaboration.
Stories is attuned to the times through the weaving of works reflecting the personal and familiar. Especially in an era where we are seeing a slow cultural shift moving away from the aspirational and towards a more accurate and accessible reflection of our own lives.
Benn van der Westhuizen
Venue: The Gallery, Glen Carlou wine estate, Klapmuts – Simondium Road, Simondium, Klapmuts