Last month, a local artist from Balito, Jane Digby organized an exhibition in an effort to provide opportunities to KZN artists. “We didn’t have anything like this on the North Coast and so we looked to fill that gap. It has been incredibly well-received, it has been unbelievable” said Digby, adding that over the holiday period they made good sales, especially to overseas buyers.
“These were largely visitors who were visiting family, as well as buyers from Gauteng here on holiday. A visitor from the UK said the exhibition was as good as anything she would see in London,” said Digby. She added that with the lockdown, people were “hungry to see art”.
“The Gallery has been set up like a modern art museum with some of it being interactive. It’s never packed with people but rather a stream of visitors, so you never feel overcrowded and you don’t have to touch anything,” she said.
The current exhibition is set to run until the 27th of January 2021 and has attracted artworks from artists in the Dolphin Coast area. According to Digby, the second exhibition would include work from creatives from around the province. And anything goes in the name of art for the second exhibition – from 2D and 3D art, sculpture and ceramics, to fashion, jewellery design, music, writing, even upholstery, as well as upcycling or recycling art projects.
“We want to showcase the talent out there. We are connecting the dots with all art and we have some exciting plans ahead. We want this to be a community space and an artists’ collective, with profits going to help emerging artists.
“I think the community needs hope and a place to meet and voice opinions, especially for like-minded young people who can get together, do interactive art and exchange ideas. We want to create something much bigger than just a gallery,” said Digby.
She has already received submissions for the next exhibition, titled “Contagious Art”, which opens on February 5. Four artworks are required with each submission. Submissions will be digital and there would be a panel who will be choosing the participating artists and creatives for the new exhibition. Submissions close on January 17 at midnight.
“We want to change the use of the word ‘contagious’ to be about spreading positivity, not the virus. I think the coronavirus has pushed us all to be more creative, and times of adversity can create new hope and push us to think beyond.
Owner of the Lifestyle Centre, Bruce Rencken, offered the 600m² space to Digby with the goal “to provide a platform for local artists to showcase their talent and expand their careers via an expansive and professional exhibition space “, said Rencken.
For further information, go to www.ballitolifestylecentre.co.za/callforartists/.