News and Trends

Q&A: Rust-en-Vrede


We chatted to Nina Nelson, co-curator at Rust-en-Vrede, about what we can expect from the gallery in 2014. Rust-en-Vrede is undergoing a lot of change in February. What can readers look forward to seeing from the gallery in 2014? Where to start! Firstly we’re rebranding and creating a whole new updated corporate identity for the first time in 10 years. We’re also looking forward to the re-launch of our coffee shop in the gallery. The online entry portal for the Absa L’Atelier competition is now live and the judging and exhibition of the Western Cape finalists will be held at Rust-en-Vrede this year. Although we aren’t a part of the official movements for World Design Capital 2014, we thought we’d show our support by transforming our clay museum into a design ‘library’. We've collaborated with the Ruth Prowse School of Art and incorporated ceramics, fabric, photography, graphic design, furniture, lighting, jewellery and artworks into the space. The exhibitions will change every two months with new pieces and a new theme. Curators will include Ann Marais, Mervyn Gers and Betsy Nield. We recently launched our HL Trend Report in the January/February issue. What, in your opinion is the top trend for 2014? Collaboration, in the broadest sense. Not only between artists but collaboration between art and fashion (Aga Baranska’s fashion paintings and local artist Katrine Claassens), politics (who can forget Ayanda Mabulu), social networks (Yue Wu’s Instagram mash-ups) and even with mediums like collage (with Henri Matisse cut-outs exhibiting at the Tate and South African artists like Karin Miller and Benon Lutaaya). And it’s that creativity and mind-set of doing something out of the ordinary that brings out new aspects of their work and moving art forward. Which of your featured artists do you think our readers should know about, and why? Christiaan Conradie is definitely our new favourite! He does incredible portraits and often heads over to Mexico for research and collaborations. What are your top three tips for young art collectors? Number one, and most important: Buy what you love. Number two: Buy what you can live with. Art is a long-term commitment and you look at it every day. Number three: Because of the price, limited-edition prints are a great way to start your collection. You can always frame it at a later stage. Tell us more about your next exhibition. In February, Christiaan Conradie is having a solo exhibition in our Salon C along with a group exhibition titled, ‘Visual Manifesto’ in Salon A and B. Artists include Alta Stegman, Andrew Sutherland, Angela Banks, Audrey Anderson, Chris Valentine, Clint Reid, Daya Heller, Diana Hyslop, Dot Vermeulen, Faith 47, Gene Kierman, Janet Anderson, Jono Dry, Kate van Putten, Katrine Claassens, Mary-Anne Hampton, Pascale Desfontaines, Paul Senyol, Sandy Little, Sarah Pratt and Terry Angelos. For more information about upcoming exhibitions, visit rust-en-vrede.com. Interviewed by Lindi Brownell Meiring