From giant coffin-like caskets to petite flying leopards and monoliths, an array of extraordinary sculptures awaits your attention… ‘Seeds of the Fig’, an undeniable highlight of the summer/autumn art calendar, is on at Twee Jonge Gezellen in Tulbagh, dispersed across several locations on the estate, both indoors and out.
Ibrahim Mahama, Stranger to Lines II, 2020. Reclaimed wood, 425 x 1267 x 400cm. Courtesy of Apalazzo Gallery.
One of the connecting threads that runs through this intriguing exhibition, presented by Krone X WHATIFTHEWORLD gallery, is three-dimensional form, but there’s also a deliberate open-endedness in how the works have been curated. ‘It’s hard to pin the exhibition down to a single idea,’ says curator Heinrich Groenewald, who works alongside curatorial partner and RESERVOIR co-founder Shona van der Merwe. To describe what each and every one is about, states the catalogue, ‘could only corrupt the complexity and entanglement of their individual stories’.
Contemporary sculptural works by 24 artists – both big-name and lesser-known – from the African continent have been brought together for ‘Seeds of the Fig’, which begins in the gallery reception and winds through the cellar before leading out onto the beautifully manicured gardens and lawns. There’s much to discover and contemplate as visitors move from one piece to the next, experiencing the way each has been inserted into the landscape and architecture, and getting ‘entangled’ in its individual story.
RESERVOIR curatorial partners Groenewald and Van der Merwe shaped their careers in commercial galleries, and now specialise in collaboration in the contemporary art community, partnering with contemporary galleries like WHATIFTHEWORLD and Krone X WHATIFTHEWORLD to produce exhibitions with some of Africa’s most exciting young artists. That is very much the case here, and visitors can expect to see standout pieces by global stars such as Ghanaian Ibrahim Mahama, Rwandan Serge Alain Nitegeka, and South Africa’s own Athi-Patra Ruga, Wim Botha, Sanell Aggenbach and others.
Krone X WHATIFTHEWORLD, established in 2018 at the 300-year-old estate, is set against the vineyards, heritage buildings and mountain views that make up this superlative winelands destination. Not only does the gallery provide a contemplative space to engage with art, there’s the added attraction of the estate’s effortlessly stylish Krone Cap Classique tasting room, where new vintage releases of site-specific Cap Classique may be sampled at leisure.
Not to be missed, ‘Seeds of the Fig’ is nothing short of fascinating – and it’s a mere 90-minute drive from Cape Town. Entrance to the exhibition, which runs until the end of March 2023, is free.