KKNK Virtual Gallery

KKNK Virtual Gallery a showcase of local art

The work of ten visual artists from the Garden Route form part of this year's KKNK Virtual Gallery, supported by Absa. 

On 29 June, this art gallery opened its virtual “doors” for the second year in a row to art enthusiasts from across South Africa – and in fact the whole world! – to enjoy outstanding art in the comfort and safety of their homes.  

Dineke van der Walt, curator of the gallery, was awarded the kykNET Fiësta for Best Performance in Visual Arts for last year's Virtual Art Gallery. The gallery was also nominated as one of the Best Online Projects in 2020.

This year's offering includes six exhibitions, with 260 works by 83 artists. “Art enthusiasts can look forward to the works of various artists from Oudtshoorn and the Garden Route: Chris Slabber, Roger Langdon, Hannalie Taute, Jan Willem Wiener, Janet Dixon, Lisl Barry, Ria Holliday, Stephen Rosin, Hermann Niebuhr and Cobus van Bosch,” says Van der Walt. “The theme of this year's exhibitions is Voel • Feel – the artists and curators had to choose works that explore the fine nuances of diverse emotions.”

The exhibition Amplifica: A Medley of Moods in Miniature is a celebration of local talent par excellence. In Chris Slabber's contribution to this exhibition, the Oudtshoorn local wants viewers to complete his work using their imagination. “It should be an inward journey, manifested as an emotional experience,” he says. Slabber is especially known for his photography and manipulation techniques, and likes to focus on the subconscious.

Roger Langdon was born in Oudtshoorn, but currently lives in Cape Town where he practiced his art for the first time in 20 years with a drawing of his son.

Hannalie Taute, recipient of the KKNK Kanna Award for Best Visual Arts Exhibition for her solo exhibition in 2014, lives and works in Riversdal. “I like to make up stories, imagined tales, even short ones. I am inspired by memories of people and places that I find in photos,” she says.

In 2003 Jan Willem Wiener moved from the Netherlands to South Africa, and settled in Oudtshoorn. With his art he wanted to “go extreme” and paint as small as possible. The result is two round Indian ink paintings of 85mm diameter on fibre paper. “To see all the detail, I thought it was intriguing to use a lens.”

Janet Dixon is an artist, mother and medical doctor who works and lives in Oudtshoorn, where she also manages ArtKaroo, an online gallery. For her contribution to Amplifica Dixon uses ink. “It is great for expressing emotion, because it flows,” she explains.

Then there is the paper art of Lisl Barry, who lived on a remote nature reserve in the Klein Karoo (Gamkaberg) with her conservationist husband and their two young daughters for 23 years. They moved to Oudtshoorn in 2017 where she now has a studio. “Since the lack of an exact word to express a certain emotion is the key to this exhibition, it seemed fitting to symbolise it through paper,” she says.

Ria Holliday’s sketch, also in Amplifica, was done shortly after the Covid pandemic broke out. Holliday lives in Stilbaai, where she and her husband have been retired for ten years and she exhibits regularly.

The exhibition Something Pauses (compiled by Christa Swart of the Glen Carlou Gallery) includes work by Stephen Rosin, an award-winning, multidisciplinary artist who works with ink, beeswax, gunpowder, lead, digital photography and a variety of other unusual mediums. Rosin lives and works near Plettenberg Bay.

Hermann Niebuhr is a full-time painter from De Rust in the Klein Karoo. He contributes to the exhibition Paint. Verf. (compiled by Johan Myburg) and has exhibited on a large scale both locally and internationally. His most recent exhibition, homecoming, was held at his studio/gallery in De Rust in September 2020 to much acclaim.

Another local artist in the exhibition Paint. Verf. is Cobus van Bosch. Van Bosch was the winner of a KKNK Kanna Award in 2013 and mainly paints in oil on canvas in a figurative style, with an emphasis on texture and brushwork in order to achieve emotionally charged content. He currently lives and works in Prince Albert.

The KKNK Virtual Gallery, supported by Absa, includes an exciting, three-dimensional (3D) element. “This 3D gallery is a user-friendly experience through which visitors can ‘walk’ and also listen to voice recordings by artists and curators, in order to stimulate various senses,” says Hugo Theart, Artistic Director of the KKNK. “Exhibitions have been compiled in such a way that artworks are extremely affordable, starting from just R500, with a 10% discount on any purchases by Absa clients. This initiative is an important platform for visual artists to showcase and sell their work, and in doing so, generate a much-needed income,” he concludes.

Visit the KKNK Virtual Gallery, supported by Absa, with further support from Business Arts South Africa (BASA) at kknk.co.za and discover the wonderful world of visual arts!

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