From about mid-July, the Wanted team starts gearing up for the annual September art issue. It’s a helluva exciting time. Diaries penned with exhibition dates, interviews scheduled, eyes trained to spot the best on show — off we go, ready to explore the best creative talents the country has to offer. Dashing between venues, cocktails in hand, bumping into old friends and new, tossing opinions on the meaning of any given piece — I can picture it now. What a thrill! It’s definitely one of the most anticipated periods on the Wanted calendar.
Sadly, it was not to be this year.
The coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown have left many South African creatives and artists devastated by the impact of Covid-19. But all is not lost. As is the nature of — the very premise – of their work, the art industry has had to adapt, and come up with a creative solution to selling their wares.
One such exhibition is the hotly anticipated RMB Turbine Art Fair (TAF). Each year, it sees art-aficionados (both expert and novice) going gaga over emerging artists from Africa and creates a platform for established and new talent that is both accessible and inclusive. It is a true melting pot of diverse culture, personalities, and keen collectors. Now in its eighth year, the fair had to cancel its July event, but has swiftly taken things online. “Due to Covid-19 and lockdown safety precautions across the country, a physical fair is not possible. But a fair is most definitely required to offer support and a platform for galleries and artists alike,” explains Glynis Hyslop, founder of TAF.
An extensive lineup of interactive talks and “walkabouts” promises the same (but different) flair that seasoned TAF-goers have come to love. Launching on 27 August, the programme will offer something for everyone over the course of five days. Art experts, art lovers, collectors, artists and curators make up the list of speakers and participants — including the incomparable Greg Marinovich, the exceptional Mary Sibande and the seriously cool Musa Nxumalo.
One particular highlight to look out for will be Strauss & Co’s curated exhibition profiling the works of two South African female artists, Maggie Laubser and Gladys Mgudlandlu.
“We believe that there is no better time than right now for collectors to actively support artists and galleries. We encourage as many people to join us this year to come and learn, take part in the conversations and support the amazing talent we have in Southern Africa,” says Hyslop.
WHEN: 27 August – 2 September 2020 (Fair opens to the public 28 August 2020)
WHERE: TAF website
COST: Access to the online fair is free
• For more information, and a full breakdown of the programme, visit turbineartfair.co.za/programme