New art gallery Eclectica Contemporary opened its doors for a grand opening during this month’s First Thursdays event, on Thursday July 7.
According to information released to the media, Eclectica Contemporary “aims to present a carefully selected and focused collection of art from the continent (of Africa) that interrogates the issues facing us in a globalised world.”
Gallery manager Raynier Matthee said: “You can’t not open an exhibition on First Thursdays… It has changed the industry.”
In its first appearance, Eclectica debuts with an exhibition titled Charting, which features a variety of contemporary artists who are largely not well-known, apart from a few exceptions.
Works include a mix of media – from assorted paints, to differing techniques and the use of non-traditional materials.
“Charting a new course, a new direction,” said guest curator Andrew Lamprecht as he explained the reason for the exhibition’s name.
On Tuesday, the art gallery re-opened with a special press walkabout to give guests the opportunity to be guided through the exhibit alongside Mr Lamprecht for a more intimate experience.
Director Shamiela Tyer said that this softer opening allowed visitors to see and understand the artworks away from the very lively and sometimes hectic setting of First Thursdays.
Mr Lamprecht was able to take guests through the gallery while discussing the messages and meaning behind each one of the paintings on display. He talked about the artists’ backgrounds and inspirations for the pieces, as well as what they are known for in their individual artistic style.
In artist Jeannette Unite’s piece, Marikana Martyrs Xn (2016), she used paints that were derived from mixed mine materials to evoke thought and emotion in response to the gunned-down mineworkers in the aftermath of the 2012 Marikana Massacre.
Artist Benon Lutaaya was able to use scraps of newspaper to shape his painting, Mindful, a technique he developed as a child with limited art supplies.
* The exhibition, Charting, will be on display until Saturday August 27.