News and Trends

Abstract Stories


A-Word-of-Art Gallery in Woodstock opened their new exhibition, ‘Abstract Stories’ on 30 May. The collaborative exhibition features work by both local and international artists and runs until 14 July. ‘Each artist has a story to tell and gives an abstract depiction of life as seen through their eyes,' says Elmarie van Straaten, the gallery’s Assistant Director, when HL asked of its motif. 'The exhibition explores each artist's individual creative expression and style’. The exhibit includes work by artists Remed (Madrid), 108 (Italy) and AEC Interesni Kazki (Ukraine) amongst others, as well as work from our very own Paul Senyol, Black Koki, Freddy Sam and Jean de Wet (all Cape Town). The worldly perspectives of these young, talented artists are revealed in their unique styles, making for an expressive collection of very different works. HL chatted to featured artist Black Koki for his insight on the exhibition. 'It showcases a group of artists from diverse backgrounds, that are not only skilled artists or technical draughtsman, but artists who are also able to tell stories through their work in an abstract way,' he says. 'In my work for the show I have made interpretations of things and images that inspired me and changed my way of thinking when I was younger. It is a privilege to work and exhibit with artists and friends whose work I admire.' HL also asked fellow artist, Paul Senyol, what influenced the exhibition and where he as an artist sought inspiration… ‘The title of the show "Abstract Stories" formed the basis for my approach to the new works that I created for the show. After "Transformative", in which I showed a series of larger, new works, I now chose to scale things down and produced five smaller works. I want these works to engage with each other and the viewer in an intimate and intriguing manner,’ he says. ‘I loosely strung words together that had been floating around in my notebook for some time, and built a narrative around them, using very muted and sparse compositions and colour. Within the small installation, I hope to take the viewer into a dream and wonderland, a nightscape of sorts, a conversation between two people, and some kind of adventure.' Working in a collaborative space with a variety of different artists and mediums, HL were interested to know what some of the highlights for Paul were. ‘My highlight has to be You Remain, a small 35x31cm work, which I had been thinking about for a while. I spend time drawing and tracing, and come across striking and intriguing visuals. I need to give them time to find a suitable composition or artwork. I had been hanging on to this piece for quite some time - and now finally felt it had a place within this new group of works.’ View the exhibition at A-Word-Of-Art Gallery at the Woodstock Exchange in Cape Town (66 Albert Road, Woodstock). It runs until 14 July. View the website a-word-of-art.co.za and contact Elmarie on elmarie@a-word-of-art.co.za or 072-226-9815 for more information. Text Lisa Wallace