PArt16 The Prince Albert Art Festival, 23-25 September 2016


As the Karoo flashes by, slow down, drive off the beaten track and stay awhile.

People think that travelling the Karoo “you just drive through nothing.

The exhibitions planned for the Prince Albert art festival – in the attractive town with a disproportionate number of things to do for a village its size – promise that visitors will discover ‘Something Out of Nothing’, the theme for this years’s PArt2016.

In Prince Albert we invite you to experience a change of scenery – the clear light and 360 degrees of space that stretches to the horizon. Look beyond and leave your preconceptions behind.

 Over 40 artists, working in diverse mediums, have been approached to explore the theme ‘Something Out of Nothing’ in Prince Albert’s third biennial art festival, honouring the legacies of philosopher-artist Outa Lappies and that of landscape painter Neels Coetzee.

 In addition, the festival will introduce the local chapter of the Global Nomadic Art Project (GNAP)’s Stories of Rain. Over the festival weekend a team of international and South African artists will create site-specific land art at Die Letterhuis/Aswater farm outside Prince Albert, leaving their impermanent responses to nature behind them.

The phrase Something Out of Nothing was coined by Outa Lappies (aka Jan Schoeman). An artist-philosopher, he chronicled his travelling life, he made karretjies and lig-huisies, he grew sunflowers. He made his artwork – and his life – from discarded stuff, and passed his art from hand to hand.

 And we celebrate the legacy of artist Neels Coetzee who expressed regret that he’d not see an exhibition of contemporary landscape paintings before he’d die, succumbing this year to cancer. So in memoriam fellow artists are contributing their interpretations inspired by the changing light and enfolding skies of theKaroo …

Our lives/the lives of others are inspired by the beauty of the Karoo.

Here, boer maak n plan: there are things to be done, and everyday is workable – home-makers and artists work with what is at hand and express the aesthetic of the practical.

 As artist Theaster Gates says “Art is a Basic Service”, and we believe that the role of art in our community is more about art for quality of life and less about artworks as commodities in the vast market place.

 Why Something Out of Nothing?

= art is something out of nothing

 Our thoughts are something out of nothing

Thoughts appear, oscillate, disappear

In the blink of an eye or the shrug of a shoulder

when we put pencil to paper/ press a finger into the surface of a lump of clay/ re arrange a stem in a vase/ reposition a chair or realign our posture

we give form to thoughts, we draw

 And according to William Kentridge,

“There may be a vague sense of what you are are going to draw but things occur during the process that may modify, consolidate or shed doubts on what you know. So drawing is a testing of ideas; a slow-motion version of thought. It does not arrive instantly like a photograph. The uncertain and imprecise way of constructing a drawing is sometimes a model of how to construct meaning. What ends in clarity does not begin that way.”

Quoted in D Cameron, JM Coetzee and C Christov-Barkargiev, William Kentridge London 1999 p.17

 Let the dust settle… there are things to be considered, and shared in Prince Albert… from Friday 23 to Sunday 25 September 2016.

Email: karoogallery@intekom.co.za 

Website: www.princealbertgallery.co.za

Image: Neels Coetzee, Mons Ruber Naby De Rust (detail)