The Riebeek Valley is once again hosting Solo Studios Intimate Art Encounters, a richly varied and stimulating visual arts event, seasoned with the best in local wine and food. From Friday, 26 August, to Sunday, 28 August, the organisers are spotlighting the valley, that has become the nexus for a vibrant and growing artistic community.
Artists will be opening their homes and studios to a limited number of visitors with pre-booked tickets. Guided tours are also being arranged, stopping at the venues of participating artists, as well as at all the galleries in Riebeek Kasteel and Riebeek West that have lined up shows for the event.
Says founder and organiser Klaus Piprek: “We pride ourselves in creating an easy-going, social, and joyful atmosphere, whilst catering to the tastes of avid art collectors. We want to eliminate all the hassle and amplify the fun. Studios are well signposted and also clearly indicated in a printed catalogue and map, but for some, it’s easier to let an insider show them around. Tour guides are conversant with local arts and culture and can provide a very useful context to visitors.”
While there will be strong focus on local artists, non-resident artists have also been invited to collaborate and curate some of the exhibitions. The 18 selected Riebeek Valley artists will each be featured solo, giving them a chance to engage one-on-one with viewers. “That’s why we call it Intimate Art Encounters,” explains Piprek. “It creates a rare opportunity to spend meaningful time with emerging and mid-career artists. Astute collectors should find much of interest.”
The event will open on Friday, 26 August, at Die Kunshuis, with the world premiere of Sculpting This Earth, the new documentary feature film from Cape Town’s CineSouth Studios about the work of internationally renowned Stellenbosch land artist Strijdom van der Merwe.
Filmed and directed by CineSouth’s Victor van Aswegen, the 95-minute documentary follows the artist over the course of four consecutive seasons, from summer to summer, as he makes ephemeral artworks from natural materials in a wide range of striking natural settings. While Van der Merwe has made land artworks on invitation in more than twenty countries, Sculpting This Earth shows him at work in local landscapes to which he has strong personal and emotional connections: in and around his home base of Stellenbosch, at Churchhaven on the Langebaan lagoon, and in the vast expanses of the Tankwa Karoo.
The world premiere screenings over the course of the Solo Studios weekend in the Riebeek Valley’s new state-of-the-art Kelderteater offer the opportunity to see the film with the director in attendance, along with soundtrack composer Kristi Boonzaaier, before it sets out on its journey around the world on the global film festival circuit.
Sculpting This Earth is scheduled for international release later this year. “We’re thrilled to be hosting the world premiere of this important art documentary in our own community,” says Piprek.
The festival is also hosting 10 group shows representing around 55 artists.
Visitors can expect to encounter urban Artist Falko One, who has created a once-off street art show for the event.
Much-admired photographer Obie Oberholzer is hosting a solo exhibition, giving a presentation and launching his new book Happysadland. Eyes for Art depicts artmaking with children, and Aftermath – Making Art from War is an account of a child refugee fleeing Russian forces.
On both Saturday and Sunday, there will be public lectures on current ideas in art, open to those who are in possession of passes, as well as the opportunity to visit community projects.
To celebrate the best in Riebeek Valley wine and food, the Riebeek Valley Wine Co will offer wine blending sessions, while Solo Kitchens will provide ample opportunity to engage with some of the finest hosts in the valley, on Saturday, 27 August. There will be several other opportunities to taste the best in local fare.
Pricing ranges from R150 for a day pass, to R395 for a premier weekend pass. Go to https://solostudios.co.za/tickets/ to purchase tickets.
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