The first Klein Karoo National Arts Festival (KKNK) Virtual Gallery gives art enthusiasts from all over the world the opportunity to engage with the festival’s visual arts exhibitions, says festival artistic director Hugo Theart.
The KKNK has built a reputation for its extraordinary visual arts exhibitions over two decades, and this year has encouraged them to take the virtual leap, Theart says. The 2020 festival was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic but this initiative ‘creates an important platform to visual artists to sell their work and generate an income from works that were created for the KKNK this year’.
Dineke van der Walt, the Visual Arts Curator, compiled this year’s programme under the theme Down to Earth. Van der Walt says art can be viewed and bought directly in the virtual gallery: ‘Festival goers, art enthusiasts and collectors now have the opportunity to roam the digital halls of our visual arts programme, viewing the splendour of 11 exhibitions without the crowds. The offering includes works from 45 artists and more than 200 artworks.’
According to Van der Walt, exciting exhibitions by talented young curators can be seen, including those by Amé Bell, Tammy Langtry, Tlotlo Lobelo and Suen Muller. Artists include Usha Seejarim, Lisl Barry, Manyaku Mashilo, Strijdom van der Merwe, Heidi Fourie, Linda Ballen, Zhi Zulu, Olivia Botha, Ronél de Jager, JP Hanekom, Keneilwe Mokoena, Maryna Cotton, Sarel van Staden, Owen Claassen, Vincent Osemwegie and Nanette Ranger – as well as a collaborative exhibition between Jenna Burchell, Jaco van Schalkwyk and Wayne Matthews.
Artworks by three young artists from Oudtshoorn are also presented by the Absa Gallery. They are Colin Meyer, Zietske Saaiman and Earlyn Cloud. A highlight of this project is of course a remarkable retrospective of this year’s festival artist, Barbara Wildenboer.
Theart says this will be the first of many such exhibitions. ‘We believe this will become another KKNK institution, which will add more value to our supporters and add more opportunities for visual artists in future.’
- The first ever full-scale KKNK Virtual Gallery can be viewed online at www.kknk.co.za