THE SOUTH AFRICAN
Issue : June 2009 Full free edition available at www.arttimes.co.za 1 Year’s subscription R 180 E-mail subs@arttimes for details
Mikhael Subotzky: Street Party, Saxonwold, 2008. Courtesy of the Goodman Gallery. Part of the Nation State Exhibition at Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg. Show ends June 28. See www.goodman-gallery.com for details.
SMAC Gallery sends 3 artists to the prestigious 53rd Venice Biennale Melvyn Minnaar While the invitation to South Africa by the official organisers to ‘officially’ take part in this month’s 53rd Venice Biennale in Italy seems to have gone unanswered or got lost in the muddle that is the official department of arts and culture, three top artists are very prominent on the Campo Santa Maria Formosa as the crowds pour in. This is all due to enterprising Baylon Sandri of Stellenbosch and his Smac gallery’s good stranding
with the influential curator Vincenzo Sanfo. Sanfo has put together what sounds like an eye-catching exhibition I Linguaggi del Mondo: Languages of the World. Wayne Barker, Kay Hassan and Johann Louw has been included in this group exhibition which traces difference of language as a universal metaphor, according to Sanfo. Also on show is art by China’s Liu Zhong, Jonathan Guaitamacchi and Marco Nereo Rotelli from Italy, as well as a examples of work by Rapa Nui artists from the Easter
Islands. It is housed in the beautiful old Palazzo Querini Stampalia in Venice’s Dorsoduro. In the accompanying exhibition document, prepared by Smac gallery, the official attitude of the South African department of art and culture is given a good smack: “A major debate on the state of art in South Africa surrounds the government’s refusal to support participation in major international art events. Since 1950, South Africa
was regularly represented at the Venice Biennale until the International Cultural Boycott isolated South African artists for 25 years. The advent of the new South Africa saw the country’s re-emergence to the global art arena with an invitation in 1993 to participate in the 45th Venice Biennale. Since 1995 South Africa has been absent. It is anomalous that a country which is part of the G20, hosting the 2010 Soccer World Cup and stands as the undisputed economic powerhouse on the continent, ignores the plight of its artists for representation
and rejects the international art community. “This may well explain why some of the South Africa’s most well-known artists such as Marlene Dumas, Robin Rhode, Moshekwa Langa and Kendell Geers have chosen to live and work abroad. “Bringing these three established South African artists and their work to a prestigious international exhibition in Venice, coinciding with the Biennale is an attempt to break the pervading silence that surrounds local art expressions within the
international domain and draw attention to the plight of South African contemporary art.” Motivating the choice of the three artists, Sandri says as each represent a descendant of one of the official languages, and because art as visual language is used to give voice to current thought and imagination, cultural expectations and concerns as well as socio-political issues, Hassan (Zulu), Louw (Afrikaans) and Wayne Barker (English) were chosen for their distinctive visual articulations. (See page 9 for artist’s images)
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A Handful of Highlights from our 2009 Summer & Autumn Auctions
Cecil Edwin Frans Skotnes (South African 1926-2009)
Erik Laubscher (South African 1927-)
Cathcart William Methven (South African 1849-1925)
STILL LIFE WITH MANDOLIN, MUSIC SCORE AND FRUIT
POOL ON THE TUGELA RIVER, NATAL NATIONAL PARK, DRAKENSBERG
SOLD R1 120 000
SOLD R201 600
SOLD R616 000
A Rorke’s Drift Stoneware Vase by Nestah Molefe, 1975 SOLD R39 200
Four Victorian Silver Candlesticks, William Hutton & Sons Ltd and Robert & William Sorley, London, 1900 SOLD R31 360
A late Victorian Hinged Bangle SOLD R13 440
A Cape Neo-Classical Stinkwood, Teak and Fruitwood Rusbank, Early 19th Century SOLD R61 600
“Voyagien na Oost en West-Indien” by Johan Lodewijk Gottfried SOLD R224 000
Rhodesia 1910/13 Double Heads (perf 14) £1 scarlet & reddish mauve error of colour fine mint (SG 166b) SOLD R87 750
A Chinese Baluster Jar and Cover Qing Dynasty, 1644-1911 SOLD R24 640
A Gentleman’s Fine 18ct White Gold Wristwatch, Patek Philippe SOLD R224 000
A Cape Yellowwood and Stinkwood Gate-leg Table, 18th Century SOLD R44 800
We are currently accepting consignments for our upcoming auctions in Cape Town and Johannesburg. If you have paintings, furniture, silver, jewellery, ceramics or stamps please contact us for an obligation-free appraisal.
Auction: 20 & 21 October Closing date for entries: 31 July 2009 Call now for an appointment: 021 794 6461 Venue: The Great Cellar, Alphen Hotel, Alphen Drive, Constantia
Auction: 17 & 18 November Closing date for entries: 4 September 2009 Call now for an appointment: 011 880 3125 Venue: 13 Biermann Avenue, Rosebank
Visit our website www.swelco.co.za All prices quoted include buyer’s premium
South African Art Times.
JOHANS BORMAN FINE ART GALLERY
Lost Orchid original - for now Tretchikoff ‘not an original’ Kebble’s Tretchikoff probed First published by Sapa & News 24 Johannesburg - The controversial Lost Orchid painting sold at slain mining magnate Brett Kebble’s art auction is original - for now, the auctioneer said on Tuesday.
pending an investigation into its authenticity. The biggest auction of South African art to date saw several record sales, including that of Tretchikoff’s Lost Orchid, which went for R2.9m - excluding the seller’s premium and Value Added Tax.
But a few days later, Beeld newspaper reported there were differences between Kebble’s Lost Orchid and a picture of the painting that appeared in a book by Howard Timmins on Tretchikoff’s work in 1969. On Tuesday, Beeld quoted Tretchikoff’s granddaughter as saying there was no chance he had painted the Lost Orchid sold at the Kebble auction. “There is no doubt in my mind. The Lost Orchid that was sold at the Kebble auction for nearly R3m, had never been painted by my grandfather,” said Natasha Mercorio, who had done “intensive research” on her grandfather’s work, according to Beeld. “I can tell you unequivocally, that is not my grandfather’s signature on the painting,” she added.
The sale of the Lost Orchid earlier this month was set aside last week
The 56.5cm x 54.8cm painting is regarded as one of the most famous
Graham Britz, who handled the record R2.9m sale of the Vladimir Tretchikoff work, said the investigation into its authenticity had not yet been finalised. However, so far forensic tests proved it was an original, Britz said. “That is correct, a technical analysis shows it’s an original,” he said without giving more details. Art academics, including Professor Alex Duffey of the University of Pretoria, were still busy with “archival” research on the painting’s lineage, Britz told Sapa. “Once we have all the facts we will present an official press release,” said Britz.
works by the Russian-born artist who died in Cape Town in 2006. But, the work depicted in Timmins’ book differs markedly in places to the work sold at the auction of Kebble’s art assets. The image in Timmins’ book has a burnt match on the step, while it is missing in the Kebble work. A drop on the orchid in the Timmins work lies in the centre of the orchid’s petal, whereas in the Kebble work, it hangs off the petal. On closer inspection, smaller differences in detail become apparent. Britz has also pointed out that Tretchikoff was a “master of reproduction”. However, his granddaughter does not seem to agree. Stick to the facts “I know for a fact that my grandfather never painted a painting and then later made an exact version of the painting. He just did not do that. However, he did use elements of one painting in another,” said Mercorio. The origin of Kebble’s Lost Orchid remains vague. Beeld said Kebble bought it for
R12 000 at an auction handled by Westgate Walding in Sandton in 2003. “Any person with a shred of knowledge would have known there was something seriously wrong with that painting,” art expert Stephan Welz told Beeld. But Westgate Walding director Christopher Martin told the Afrikaans daily the auctioneer knew at that stage Tretchikoff had painted more than one version of the Lost Orchid. Britz also said he believed Tretchikoff did many versions of the “iconic” work. Asked to comment on the granddaughter’s statements, Britz said she was not an academic. “Do you want to believe the granddaughter as opposed to a professor who specialises in art? I like to stick to the facts, I can’t listen to a granddaughter who just wants some recognition. “She just happens to be a descendent of the late Vladimir Tretchikoff. She is not even a first line descendent, she is a second line descendent. She was probably a baby when these things happened. “People are trying to make something out of nothing,” said Britz. - SAPA
Gerard Sekoto, ‘Mother and child’ – 1963
A showcase for the best of South African Masters, as well as some leading contemporary artists. Telephone: 021 423 6075 www.johansborman.co.za Mon-Fri: 09h30 - 17h30 Sat: 10h00 - 13h00 or by appointment In Fin Art Building Upper Buitengracht Street, Cape Town 8001 Cell: 082 566 4631 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
South African Art Times.
Heading for the Highlands: Mzayiya’s spirited highland residency Melvyn Minnaar Colourful Cape Town artist, 30year-old Dathini Mzayiya, whose enterprising, wide-ranging career has seen him add woema to the arty Gugulective and the public space design project City Skin, cheerfully paint a Table mountain cable station mural, show his work in places like Germany, Ethiopia and Austria, is heading to the Highlands of Scotland this month. The idea is to be inspired by the environment of that distant Gaelic country and interact with a number of other foreign artists who will also find themselves there to do the same for a few months in the northern summer. And perhaps they’ll enjoy a few drams of the region’s famous spirits together too for more artistic stimulation. Mzayiya, who is presently taking part in the Cape 09 exhibition, Umahluko, curated by Loyiso Qanya at the Lookout Hill centre in Khayelitsha, has been chosen as one of eight international artists for the annual Glenfiddich artists-inresidence programme. The programme, established in 2002, has had 35 artists from various countries living and working at the actual Glenfiddich whisky distillery at Dufftown. According to Glenfiddich, the idea is that ‘the process and people, as well as the local Scottish environment will provide inspiration for the artists’. Artists have no set brief and have fairly open access to the distillery complex and all the production facilities and are able to create whatever work they desire.
The well-known whisky brand says the programme represents an annual investment of over £100 000 in the arts. Each year, the
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programme curator, in conjunction with a network of curators from around the globe select six to eight artists who go to live and work at the Glenfiddich distillery in Scotland for a three-month residency. Mzayiya is the third South African artist ever to be invited. He joins seven other artists, including artists from Canada, the UK,
US, Taiwan, India and China who work across a variety of art forms, including visual and movement art, music and fashion. Glenfiddich, which means ‘valley of the deer’ in Gaelic, is located in the town of Dufftown which has a population of 2 000 in the beautiful Scottish Highlands. Mzayiya, a
community person who likes to share, is looking forward to the trip. “I do not like working alone and am inspired by working in community, so I am keen to use this residency time to explore the culture of north east Scotland through local interaction, being a part of the distillery community, and meeting the other artists,” he said.
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KULTURSTIFTUNG DES BUNDES
2/23/09 4:22:23 PM
South African Art Times.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Ross Douglas responds to Mary Corrigall’s article in May’s SA Art Times Mary Corrigall’s article about the second Joburg Art Fair misses the point. She claims that the second fair was “nothing more than an exercise in heightened commercial activity.” And by comparison, London’s Frieze art fair was not because it had a bunch of “staged interventions” including a Bobby doing yoga moves. Our Fair had a bunch of “special projects” that were not commercial – but alas no Bobby doing downward dog. Her claim that that the art fair is not an opportunity for the South African public to be educated about contemporary art is simply wrong. We had 10 000 visitors of which less than 200 bought works. The rest wanted to see the work the
country and continent is producing. To improve the educational component we had the BMW Art Talks free to all visitors and did deals with a large number of publications to write about the works. Her argument that it can’t be educational because it is commercial is as stupid as someone arguing that a journalist writings published and paid for by a commercial paper cannot be of educational value because of the commercial nature of the publication. Corrigall thinks a dead and struggling biennale is better than a working fair. “The Joburg Biennale might have ceased and Cape Africa Platform may have an upward struggle in staging their event
but these are exhibitions and not commercial art expositions”. We are not in competition to these initiatives and do not take budget away from such initiatives. Artlogic would welcome another Joburg Biennale and wish for C.A.P. to succeed. I have stated that we are a more sustainable model for the simple reason that we don’t need the massive budgets that biennale’s do. Being in the business of raising money for the arts, I believe that it is highly unlikely that anyone will raise the twenty odd million rand needed to stage a biennale in this country for quite some time. This is the reality of the politics and economics of the day and nothing else.
Corrigall must stop slating the art fair in the hope that it gives rise to a non-commercial event. This is wishful thinking. The local art world is under greater pressure from both buyers and sponsors than it has been in the four years of Artlogic’s existence. If you have been unable to raise large amounts of soft money for big art projects in the last four years, you will have much less chance in the next four. We need to work with what we have and not what we wish we had.
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If the Art Fair needs a yoga Bobby to win Corrigall’s approval we’ll do it. Ross Douglas Director : ArtLogic
Mary Corrigall’s response to Ross Douglas’s letter I am grateful for Douglas’ feedback and accept that as my writing appears in the public domain it is open to criticism. Douglas must recognise that the same is true of his work. Ultimately constructive criticism will aid the art fair’s development. It is a pity, therefore, that so few art critics and writers are willing to critically engage with their subject-matter but that could well be indicative of the lack of objectivity that pervades art writing in this country, where it has become commonplace for individuals compromised by their affiliations to institutions or galleries – as publicity officers or in their capacity as writer/critic – to write reviews or articles. In the art fair’s short history a number of critical voices have been compromised or silenced by their affiliation to the Joburg Art Fair. This phenomenon may be a result of diminished or limited opportunities for art writers but this fact makes it no less palatable. Unfortunately, it is in just such a climate that organisers of art events
and/or heads of art’s institutions and galleries have become intolerant of any negative feedback even if it informs their future endeavours. Douglas’s art fairs have not been the sole object of my critical writing, even the non-commercial events which Douglas believes I favour over his, such as Cape Africa Platform’s biennales or Africa Remix, have come under the microscope in my writing. Just as Douglas has felt obliged to assuage his benefactors concerns by framing the art fair as an opportunity to “educate the public about contemporary art” I have been obliged to publicise occasions where he has failed to do so. At the launch for this year’s art fair catalogue Douglas clearly stated that he had created “a lasting document” of the art fair, which presumably could extend the life of the fair and prove useful to students and curious parties in the years to follow. Unfortunately Artlogic did not produce such a document and Artlogic’s insistence on dressing up the
art fair as an alternative biennale or educational scheme makes them vulnerable to criticism. According to Mirjam Asmal-Dik, Douglas denied Cape Africa Platform a stand at the fair, implying that a rivalry exists between the two events. That the Joburg Art Fair has proved not to be the economically viable model that Douglas proposed seems to have also gone unnoticed in the art press and mainstream media. If Artlogic’s model is so sustainable why is it that their survival depends on FNB’s sponsorship and why have the fair’s takings diminished by half? Douglas proudly boasts that of the 10 000 visitors that visited the fair only “200 bought works”. This further suggests that the art fair is not fulfilling its primary function, which is to sell art and attract new buyers. In this context wouldn’t FNB’s money be put to better use for an exhibition which contributes to art historical discourses, is more inclusive of artists who are not represented by
galleries and audiences who are at a loss in a giant art supermarket? Art fairs primarily cater for curators and corporate and private collectors – in this country those groups are perhaps simply too small to support a fair. Douglas is aware of this problem, hence his efforts this year to create a hybrid fair-cum-specialprojects event. This might well be the solution, however, Artlogic has yet to successful create a balance between the two – partnerships with astute art consultants and curators might see this ambition be more successfully implemented. Certainly, it will take more than a bobby performing a dog-stretch, however, at least those sorts of interventions allow a fair, albeit it briefly, to transcend it’s purely commercial objective and leave a more lasting impression.
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South African Art Times.
������ sasol new signatures art competıtıon 09 Teresa Lizamore with friends (Varenka Paschke far left and Stef Bos far right) at the opening of her new venture ArtSpace Warehouse
Teresa Lizamore launches her new Artspace Warehouse May 17th saw the launch of Teresa Lizamore’s newest venture, Artspace Warehouse in the leafy suburb of Fairland. This new venue was opened with an exhibition of original works by Varenka Paschke and a performance of the well known, Stef Bos. The event marked the Johannesburg launch of their collaborative project Stillewe, a book of poems by Bos illustrated by Paschke. The crowd enjoyed an exclusive performance by the talented singer songwriter on the cold winter’s evening. In 2008, Artspace relocated to the artstrip in Rosebank, occupying a
clean white space in the heart of Johannesburg’s visual art centre. While the gallery aquired a newer audience through this move, many of the loyal visitors of the gallery’s previous Fairland have not not made the journey to visit the space as frequently. Additionally, the gallery’s exhibitions, which showcase newer and more established artists run for a period of three weeks, not providing a lot of time for the marketing and promotion of the work and the artists. Hence the Artspace Warehouse concept was developed. The gallerie’s former home at 3 Hetty Avenue in Fairland has been refur-
bished to offer a new venue that will be used for select exhibitions, launches and events hosted by Artspace but is also available for hire for other private functions. Says Artspace director and curator, Teresa Lizamore, “ Most significantly, it will also serve as a salon for works from artists exhibiting at Artspace in Rosebank. The Warehouse was developed in response to a need to expand the quantity and scope of our stock to cater for our clients needs, as well as to give artists further exposure following their three week exhibitions at our Rosebank gallery. In this environment, clients can
comfortably view a wide range of stock. “ Exhibitions will move to the Artspace Warehouse after their period at Artspace in Rosebank. Along with other stock, these works will be available for viewing by appointment and will remain in stock for several months. Artspace Warehouse will also host select special events throughout the year.
Entries close 15 July 09 For details contact association of arts pretoria 012 346 3100 or visit www.sasolsignatures.co.za
For more information please visit www.artspace-jhb.co.za
Cape Town’s largest contemporary art gallery exhibiting works by leading South African artists
Carmel Art 66 Vineyard Road, Claremont Ph: 021 671 6601 Email: email@example.com Website: www.carmelart.co.za
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THE GALLERY BUZZ PAGE
Gill Allderman Gallery - ( Kenilworth Cape Town)
Cape palette paintings workshop in Heroldsbay - George (by Neels Coetzee and Doris Brand)
Artist Mark Splendid and Gill in front of some of Mark’s work
We had such a wonderful time that we are already planning another one - www.capepalette.co.za
Greatmore Studio’s Woodstock - Cape Town held an recent exhibition. See www.greatmoreart.org for more details
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum, Port Elizabeth
Heidi Erdmann and Jacob Lebeko, curators of the exhibition Construct: Beyond the documentary photograph, conducted a walkabout for the public. Last image is from ART IN MIND symposium 2009 held recently.
The opening of the new ArtSpace Warehouse, Johannesburg
Sheila Berry, Gill Thomas, Lara Mellon, Carina van Heerden, Rhamba Hira at “Responses” by Roz Cryer at artSPACE Durban Stef Bos (above) woos the crowd, Varenka Paschke artist and friends at the opening.
The Photographers Gallery - CT
Opening of Bronwen Vaughan Evans & Deanne Donaldson exhibition entitled, Left of November
Imbizo Gallery: KZ Natal, Maureen Lakes (local artist exhibiting her Fibreart)
Bev Letard and husband, Chairman of the KZN Koi Chapter, Mike Harvey. Guests, and Imbizo Babes
Rick Becker Gallery, Port Elizabeth, Show entitled Flying Solo
AROUND THE GALLERIES
The Lesson by Deborah Poynton in her show at Michael Stevenson entitled Everything Matters: 4 June - 1 August 2009. See more at www.michaelstevenson.com - Image courtesy of Michael Stevenson
Beloved: by Deborah Poynton. Image courtesy of Michael Stevenson
Pete Eastman- from the show curated by Julia Clark entitled: Sing into my mouth at Whatiftheworld Gallery, Cape Town
Roger Ballen - work from: Boarding House Durban Art Gallery 3 June – 19 July 2009
Pieter Hugo - Julia Clark (cropped image). from Sing into my mouth, curated by Julia Clark, Whatiftheworld Gallery
Works by Ledelle Moe entitled: Erosion at The Bank Gallery, Durban 11 June - 11 July
Work by Ivan Vincent Retrospective exhibition at The Ann Bryant Art Gallery, East London
Dale Yudelman: Man and a woman on “Earth Show, Frieda’s on Bree, CT
SMAC Gallery, Stellenbosch - Venice Exhibition by Wayne Barker, Kay Hassan and Johann Louw
Wayne Barker. Golden Girls
Kay Hassan Ikuletega Izindaba 2009
Johann Louw Gedagtig aan Holbein 2005
daniel novela “It’s clear that local and international collectors see more in Novela’s work than his extraordinary technique and love for his subject. They see Novela as a good investment.” (New Homes Magazine by Elizabeth Donaldson) To view Daniel’s work log on to: www.danielnovela.co.za To book an appointment please contact the Studio at 018 489 1780 or 082 262 3600
12 Wellington Road, Durbanville. Tel. +27 (0)21 9764691 www.rust-en-vrede.com Mon – Fri 9am –5pm. Sat 9am – 1 pm
02 June 20 June Salon A & B: Chaos – by photographer Betsi-Ann Muller Linocuts by Theo Paul Vorster
RYNOLD STEENKAMP WILDLIFE ART
Vortex by Betsi-Ann Muller
Salon C: New hand-coloured linocuts by Theo Paul Vorster
Marion Cross 082 5535 104 firstname.lastname@example.org ‘Landscapes, cityscapes and still lives, journeys in colour, form and equilibrium. My inspiration is taken from my surroundings, from travel and things that are beautiful.’ Cape Town artist working in oil, acrylic, pastel, charcoal and mixed media on canvas and paper. BAFA - Unisa. Advanced Diploma Painting - Wits
www.rynoldsteenkamp.co.za email@example.com 083 235 7167
CHRISTOPHER MøLLER ART SOUTH AFRICAN CONTEMPORARY AND MASTERS
82 Church Street (Corner Church & Loop Street) Cape Town, 8001, South Africa Tel: +27 21 439 3517, Fax: 086 611 3871 Cell: 083 312 3450 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.christophermollerart.co.za
Robert Domijan, “Waiting”, Oil on canvas, 102 x 76cm
Claire Christi e.b. 943. Figure “Claire Christie is best known for her figures in motion, using free, rapid line and brushwork. She prefers her media fast and mobile, and employs an eclectic mix of charcoal, Chinese ink-stick, watercolour, marker pen, soluble crayon, acrylic paint and henna.” Featuring a variety of artists’ works in a friendly environment / works on paper, painting, sculpture and prints. Life drawing sessions and art materials available. 278 Main Road, Kenilworth, Cape Town / Open Tuesday to Friday 9am - 1pm / or view by appointment. 083 556 2540 / email@example.com /www.gillalldermangallery.co.za
Albert Newall | Harmonious Relationships II | 1957 | 44 x 69cm | acrylic on board
Gunther van der Reis
René le Roux
Hannatjie van der Watt
Herman van Nazareth
Abstract South African Art from the Isolation Years: Part 3 Winter 2009 Opens 25 June 2009
Peter E. Clarke | Still life with Pomegranates | 1972 | 37 x 48 cm | acrylic on board
Kenneth Baker Gerhard Bengu Carl Büchner Nel Erasmus Paul du Toit Peter E Clarke Christo Coetzee Frans Claerhout Herbert Coetzee Pranas Domsaitis George Enslin Titta Fasciotti Dezo Koenig Alfred Neville Lewis Mizream Maseko Johannes Meintjies Dirk Meerkotter George Msimang Douglas Portway James Thackwray Herman van Nazareth
Opens 25 June 2009
Tel: 021 887 3607 firstname.lastname@example.org www.smacgallery.com De Wet Centre, Church Street, Stellenbosch
10 DAYS OF AMAZ!NG GRAHAMSTOWN, SOUTH AFRICA
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Jan A E Volkschenk (1853-1936) A Veld Home, Riversdale Oil on Canvas 170 x 350 mm
The Philip Harper Galleries Hermanus, Western Cape www.thephilipharpergalleries.co.za firstname.lastname@example.org We specialise in South African Art, both Old Masters and select Contemporary Artists, catering for both corporate and private clients Oudehof Mall, 167 Main Road, Hermanus, Tel: 028 3124836