Landscapes of Humanity - Gallery 2

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Tuomo Manninen, Nhlanhla Nhlapo and Jaco van Schalkwyk

Gallery 2 in collaboration with the Sylt Foundation October 22nd November 19th, 2022


ARTIST STATEMENT: Tuomo Manninen (Helsinki, Finland, 1962) has been making group portraits since 1995. The images captured with his camera are a cross between documentary photography and dramatisation, he has his subjects posing in perfectly structured compositions to share the awareness that they are perpetuating a moment.

The persons Manninen photographs are aware of the act of being photographed and take an active role therein. Their pose facing the camera is that of considering the hierarchy they understand and accept, and their wish to record the occasion.

In Manninen’s photographs there is no criticism of this or that reality, nor is such criticism evident on the part of the individuals he photographs. On the contrary: the expressions of his subjects convey professional pride and motivation, together with responsibility and determination in discharging their tasks.

In the photographs you feel how the group shapes and creates the identity of each person while at the same time erasing the distinct characteristics of its individual members. This inner tension in the group between Me and We is emphasized in each photograph through Manninen’s artistic method. Manninen positions the persons portrayed among the objects and in the places that join them as group. Through choreographed arrangements of the persons and lighting techniques he makes the surroundings seem almost like the sets of the different scenes on which persons act out their lives: sets which the persons will leave sooner or later to take part in activities that will tie them to other different groups and communities. Through this Manninen shows us that, inspite of its significance, the membership of a particular group can never give an exhaustive characterization of a human being He shows us that the We of any particular group will leave out an untold ME. In this way the pictures themselves show us that they are fragments of the lives of the individuals portrayed fragments which can be joined together to form a cross section of life in modern Helsinki or Havana that cuts through the surface of the city.

Since starting the series “Me/We” in Kathmandu in 1995, Manninen has photographed groups in Riga, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Lisbon, Hamburg, Odense, Ho Chi Minh City, Tønder, Paris, Havana, Recklinghausen, Johannesburg, Ramallah, Phnom Penh, Svalbard, Yangon and Tehran.
Tuomo Manninen’s group portraits have been shown in over 80 solo and group exhibitions around the world, including 49th Biennale di Venezia and Rencontres d’Arles photo festival. Three printed and two e monographies have been published of the series, along with over 20 various catalogs.

GALLERY 2 | MoletsaneLekars(YoungDandies),MofoloPark,Soweto2011 , Inkjet on paper, 120 x 120cm, Ed 1/5, Framed
GALLERY 2 | Lifeguards,OrlandoPool,Orlando,Soweto2011 , Inkjet on paper, 120 x 120cm, Ed 1/5, Framed
GALLERY 2 | FathersandChildren,RuoholahdenVillat,Helsinki2000 , Inkjet on paper, 120 x 120cm, Ed 2/5, Framed
GALLERY 2 | Meatcutters,Heikinliha,LihatukkuE.Heiskanen,Helsinki1997 , Inkjet on paper, 120 x 120cm, Ed 3/5, Framed

Iceswimmers,Helsinki1996,Inkjet on paper, 120 x 120cm, Ed 2/5, Framed



Born 1988, Frankfurt, Free State, South Africa Lives and works in Johannesburg

Nhlapo Studied a fine arts degree (four year program) at Tshwane University of Technology specializing in painting and has been teaching painting there since 2013. Nhlapo’s practice takes Dutch masters’ techniques and 17th century Dutch landscape painting as a point of departure, situating it in the South African landscape and his hometown of Frankfurt in particular and populating it with images from his family albums. The works engage both with the nature and cultural context of depiction in art history as well as the unspoken and unacknowledged politics of trauma within carried through landscape and implicit trauma of colonization, loss and confrontation between modernity and tradition in family photographs. Through many personal and day to day conflicts growing up in rural Free State and later moving to Gauteng and City Life, Nhlapo endeavors to create a personal narrative with this body of work, a symbolic longing to re connect to the Land of his Ancestors; His reference to the Dutch Baroque Interior paintings reflects the firsthand experience of both his late grandmother and mother being Domestic workers and the hardship he experienced with their absence in his formative years during Apartheid. Nhalapo was awarded the 2018 Unisa Academic Portrait Commission of Chairperson Mr Simelane and the 2018 Artist residency at Lacreusette in France Boussac with Louis Jansen van Vurren.


Nhlapo plays with the Politics of the ‘Self’ An exploration of his personal History in an African and Global context. The Artist draws inspiration from Landscape paintings, Portraits and photographs from his family photo albums and the immediate surroundings of his hometown Frankfort in the Free State.

The imagery deals with concepts of Nostalgia, Community, Survival and Decolonization. Portrait, Interior, exterior and Landscape juxtapose to underline the fugitive nature of Time. The skilled and compassionate portrayal of the people and places he draw and paints, in diffused and subtle colour harmonies, create a mood of Introspection, but also confronts the viewer with serious issues around Land expropriation and the Trauma and Transformation of a community in Post Apartheid South Africa.

Mahlalela,Oil on canvas sheet, 41 x 33cm, 2022


Lerato , Oil on canvas sheet, 41 x 33cm, 2022


Untitled , Acrylic, collage, Oil on canvas sheet and prepared paper, 120 x 100cm, 2022


MetonymyofourCulture,Acrylics, collages, charcoals and oil pastels on prepared paper, 105 x 78cm, 2022


ItStinkslikeDeadFish , Oil on canvas sheet, 40 x 30cm, 2020

GALLERY 2 | Study: “WhatDoIKnowAboutthePastWorld?”,Mixed media on paper, 20.5 x 67cm, 2022

StudyofaPortraitofNonhlanhla1,Acrylics washes, charcoals and oil pastels on paper, 29.5 x 21cm, 2022

StudyofaPortraitofNonhlanhla2 , Acrylics washes, charcoals and oil pastels on paper, 29.5 x 21cm, 2022

StudyofaPortraitofNonhlanhla3 , Acrylics washes, charcoals and oil pastels on paper, 29.5 x 21cm, 2022


Jaco van Schalkwyk was born in 1981 in Benoni, South Africa, where he grew up in the headquarters of the Latter Rain Mission International.

The artist holds a BA degree in Historical studies at UNISA and currently resides in Randburg.Since the conception of his 2015 solo exhibition ‘Eden’ at the Barnard Gallery in Cape Town , Van Schalkwyk has been concerned with the idea of the exotic and the symbolism of forests and islands. Exploring beyond the surface of these places, the artist challenges our idea of ‘Utopia’ or ‘Paradise’ and questions the western notion that paradise is found in the beauty of exotic landscapes and / or ‘the other’. Reminiscent of Romantic landscape painting, Van Schalkwyk’s works use metaphor and symbolism to ascribe moral significance to the growth and decomposition of natural objects.His contemporary vistas speak of man’s abuse of the natural world and the threat of climate change. Where romanticism celebrated the idea of nature as both refuge and dream, Van Schalkwyk reveals that this very nature is being neglected and abused.

Van Schalkwyk has participated in numerous exhibitions in South Africa and abroad and is represented in several collections: The Reserve Bank of South Africa, Absa bank, RMB, the University of Pretoria, the University of Johannesburg, the Pretoria Art Museum and the Ellerman Collection. The Barnard Gallery held five successful Solo exhibitions for the artist in recent years;”JustamatterofTime” in 2012 , “I,John,amtheonewhoheardandsawthesethings” in 2013, “Eden” in 2015 , “arium” in 2017 and “ Smokeand Mirrors”in 2021. In 2019 his work was shown as part of the 3 man exhibition “ALandINameYesterday“. The Gallery also presented the artist’s solo projects “Arcadia” at the 2016 FNB Jo’burg Art Fair and “ Nemora” at the 2018 Volta Art Fair in Basel, Switzerland.

Van Schalkwyk was awarded the Sylt Foundation Artist residency at the 2013 Absa L’Atelier Art Competition and has since been involved with several International projects hosted by the Foundation. The University of Johannesburg selected the artist in 2015 to attend the 6th International Beijing Biennale in China where his work formed part of the South African Group exhibition “ 20 ArtinthetimeofDemocracy”.


Capturing the figure and face, however basic it may be is one of the most commonly produced forms of art because of its prevalent nature in society, everywhere you look there are people and a bombardment of Visual imagery related to portraits. Being fully aware of this, artist Jaco van Schalkwyk wanted to create a body of work for the above mentioned group exhibition that explores on a deeper level the intimate lives of his subjects and at the same time his personal relationship with them.

The people in this group of Portrait paintings all hold a special place in Van Schalkwyk’s life journey, whether it is his late mother, mentors or friends, the artist endeavoured to capture these private relationships and also made use of installation, found objects and still life paintings to further embroid on the existence, identity and characteristics of his subjects.

MariaMagdolenaIII , Oil on Belgian Linen, 51 x 51cm, 2022

TanteLang(Fraserhof),Oil on Belgian Linen, 114 x 153cm, 2022


TanteLang:StudyI,Oil on Belgian Linen, 30 x 48cm, 2022


TanteLang:StudyII,Oil on Belgian Linen, 41 x 51cm, 2022


Deon, Oil on Belgian Linen, 81 x 102cm, 2022


Deon: Study I, Oil on paper, 30 x 40cm, 2022, Framed


Deon: Study II, Oil on Belgian Linen, 56 x 81cm, 2022


Indra, Oil on Belgian Linen, 78 x 50cm, 2022


Tumi, Oil on Belgian Linen, 68 x 50cm, 2022


She Planted all the Good Things, Oil on paper, 30 x 40cm, 2022, Framed


IRemember,IRemember...,Oil on Linen, 30 x 30cm, 2022, Framed


Anton.Vleiswerk,Oil on wooden panel, 152 x 41cm, 2022 |



Nhlapo, Tuomo Manninen and Jaco van Schalkwyk

142 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkwood (011) 447 0155/98

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