Tones brings together ideas that have germinated, growing silently and carefully, over the past few months. Since the beginning of 2020, or perhaps long before, the world has been in various states of flux, requiring a change of pace, a different dynamic and altered means of interaction. Thus, as we shift in tone to new possibilities, acknowledging the tensions and sounds of strain, and as the seasons are changing colours to different shades, this exhibition presents a play of form, shape, colour and tone. By gathering together works that engage with gentle and sometimes unexpected representations, the exhibition hopes to offer solace and a space for reconnecting, in spite of the precariousness that we have recently experienced of our worlds. The idea of tone as incremental, something steady and gradual, resonates with our current experiences as we begin to assume new normals, slowly adjusting and shifting as our world as we knew it changes its tune.
The exhibition theme draws on colour tones as we shift into a different season, but also reflects on ways to look at familiar sights, which we are all experiencing as we’re confined to our home spaces. The artists approached have each been working through their own various shifts: of colour, theme, space and environment. Their works come together in this exhibition to create a set of different tones, reverberating through, as we imagine new ways of showing and working. As the gallery’s first online exhibition, we are experimenting and learning, specifically to imagine and work through new possibilities of exhibition practices and ways to engage with art. Predominant throughout the works is a focus on interrogating home-like spaces, familiar environments and ideological recurrences. The artists in this exhibition are connected through their use of colour, and by a sense of groundedness evoked through their work. There is also a lightness that can be felt when looking at each piece, through spots of brightness, pops of contrasting colours and juxtaposed shapes.
Anico Mostert’s paintings upend familiarity, reminiscent of home spaces, yet offering a surreal swing of imagery, where rooms are unpeopled and yet full of life and pictures of people are empty of objects. Kino Hogan’s sculptural pieces similarly link a sense of recognisable scenes and objects with a questioning, suggesting a different framing of space through the lens of faith, and perhaps most notably: faith as it intersects with the patterns of routine, through surprising and yet uncomplicated juxtapositions through clean lines and angles. Ben Coutouvidis’s paintings are puzzle pieces to be configured and reconfigured through recognized shapes and remembered sights. Kyu Sang Lee’s musical images trace shapes as though they are scores and space as if it’s waiting to be filled with sounds swirling. As Loraine Boyle’s paintings lean towards light and impressionist understandings of colour and shade, so too does Nina Holmes explore the possibilities of paint through contrast, abstraction and working en plein air as the impressionists did. Khalid Rahman explores cityscapes through blocks of colour that establish the block-like shapes of the scenery, tracing a landscape that is shifting as days pass.
Some of the works feel like film stills, things in motion caught and frozen by the artists’ eye. Other works are like windows into private spaces, or of a moment. Through the lens of our current moment, the works can be easily reimagined through the devices we now interact with readily, like gazing into someone else’s room through their laptop cameras via video call or walking through virtual doorways. Sculptural objects are rendered differently, as placeholders and as substance that is yet to be felt and experienced. Similarly, textures and shine and crinkles of paint are sights yet to be relished as we make do with digital transmissions. For now. Perhaps the most exciting part of the exhibition is the delayed gratification, the suspenseful build up, the light at the end of the tunnel and the treat to look forward to. The works hold the meanings of their makers, the interpretations of our current perspectives and the possibilities of the experience in future times.
– Clare Patrick
Anico Mostert grew up in Fish Hoek and graduated from the Michaelis School of Fine Art in 2017 with BAFA (Hons). Growing up in a family full of intuitive thinkers, creativity was always encouraged and played a big role in how she learnt to look at life and the environment around her. Her approach to making is versatile, seeing her producing across ceramics, textile design, animation and painting. Her works exude a calm quietness, illustrating unexpected details and unassuming scenarious that verge on the mundane but are illuminated through her attention and careful colour choices. Using reference images from social media, Mostert’s imagined and created worlds depict still lifes, interactions and scenes that feel familiar and comforting but are also somewhat inverted and distorted to feel fresh and unexpected.
Mostert has been featured in various publications and online platforms. She has also exhibited in various group shows in Cape Town.
“I tend to pay attention to details that might come across as mundane or insignificant in the bigger picture but when isolated are given the opportunity to tell a story.”
In 1993, Ben Coutouvidis graduated from Rhodes University with a distinction. He has exhibited at the National Arts Festival in Makhanda, as well as in group shows throughout Cape Town and Johannesburg. Well known for his atmospheric distilling paintings depicting the everyday and mundane through painting and illustration he also explores sculptural mediums using found materials such as wood and metal. In 2018, Ben Coutouvidis exhibited his solo exhibition at Eclectica Contemporary titled Limb. Since then he has featured on various group shows and continues to develop his studio practice.
Extending through his work is a motif of earth and finding ones’ place within and around landscapes. Consistent in Coutouvidis’s exploration is a consideration of how human interaction shapes and marks land, with an interest in textures and environments for habitation and adventure.
Chimerical Beings (series)
Ebony, yellow wood, stone pine
Kino Hogan is a young artist working out of Cape Town. He graduated from the Michaelis School of Fine Art in 2019 with a focus on sculpture. Currently working as an artist assistant and independent sculptor, he explores challenging and familiar themes and topics through his work.
Confronting the manifestation of religion, particularly Christianity and Catholicism, his work illustrates details of its impact around the world as a result of colonialism and European imperialism. The sculptures created are influenced by the architectural designs of cathedrals and the various symbols and aethetics of religious visual language. Through his creations, Hogan places particular focus on small details, displaying a meticulous attention towards representation and playing with the contexts of understanding. Research is layered into his practice and is integral to the physical objects he presents. Through his works he has looked towards the solidification of religion in communities, especially the local communities in Cape Town. In creating his pieces, he has asked a key question: What do we find in the spaces where the church has been solidified? Beyond the thematic and ideological influences that can be drawn from his work, the aesthetic references establish a sense of familiarity that is upended through their reinterpretation as art objects. By asking the viewer to appreciate form, skill and concept, Hogan flips and complicates an interaction with history, iconography and influence.
“I grew up around both denominations of the church and have always been drawn to its particular growth in South Africa and how the church was able to solidify itself around the world to become what we know it as today. The four pieces on show in particular were brought about through architectural religious influence as well as how cathedrals and churches could have fit into the agendas of the West.”
Laser-cut MDF supawood, wood stain and found textured glass
14 x 16 x 33 cm
Kyu Sang Lee
Kyu Sang Lee’s photographic artistic practice draws on his experience within distinct regions and cultures of the world. Born in Seoul, Korea in 1993 and having moved to Cape Town in 2005, his artistic practice exhibits strong influences of Eastern, Western and African cultures. Working in predominantly black and white photography, presents an interesting juxtaposition to ideas of the “lost” and are driven by the concept of time and fate. Interlocking these notions with photography, he focuses on constructing the realm of the metaphysical, the spiritual and the surreal.
Photography in South Africa indeed has been a violent one. People use images to influence and invade others minds. Posters and news, as images are works in a similar way. Just like a heavy rain, one lives in a world with an overflow of information where one cannot always identify what is true. The more information flows, the more one forgets about oneself and eventually one’s life become dominated by oblivion.
As an art student, Kyu Sang Lee was awarded the Simon Gerson Prize in 2016 for his graduating body of work and previously had been awarded the Cecil Skotnes Award for Most Promising Artist, Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town in 2014. After graduating from the Michaelis School of Fine Art in 2016, Lee won the Celeste Prize for Photography & Digital Graphics in 2017. Lee has exhibited with Eclectica on numerous occasions and has exhibited both locally and internationally.
Photographs in Twelve Parts
Fibre base prints with
positive retouch colour
25.2 x 20 cm (each)
Loraine Boyle is an artist working in Cape Town, having recently completed the post graduate diploma in painting at the Michaelis School of Fine Art, where she graduated with distinction. Boyle has exhibited in various group exhibitions around the Western Cape over the past few years and has achieved a definitive style that is cool, warm and calm, in her gentle paintings on canvas. Musing on references from impressionist painting, the ideologies and techniques of Italian Surrealism and South African poetry, her works are imbued with a lyrical mysticism.
Nina Holmes is a Cape Town-based artist and has been featured in many group shows in and around Cape Town. She has had two solo exhibitions with Eclectica Contemporary and was featured in the 2020 Investec Cape Town Art Fair solo section. She studied performance at UCT in the 1980s. She then embarked on completing various art courses before she qualified with a PgDip with Distinction from UCT’s Michaelis School of Fine Art in 2017.
As a painter, Nina’s materials are never limited to canvas and oil, instead she works loosely and around expectations. Often using pieces of material or repurposed upholstery, the process of altering or intervening to create work is approached through what she terms as “surrealist automatism”, while also allowing for the inevitable influence of found images, photographs and borrowing of techniques and inspirations from other paintings. She enjoys working on multiple paintings, with work spread out across her studio in Woodstock. The working process is occasionally accompanied by a grand symphonic soundtrack and sometimes with silence. There is careful thinking and intense working through various influences and concepts.