Clash of the Canvas launched the first South African live painting contest at The Pottery Cafe in George last month.   Acrylic paint blobs lined the artists’ palettes as they stood side by side in a circle waiting for their 20 minutes on the clock to begin.  Blank canvases stared back at them; their brushes at attention, ready to be dipped in colour.  They had only 20 minutes to complete a painting. As they painted, the audience had direct insight into each artist’s individual creative process. Colours turned to forms and forms into images while the audience circled the creators with apprehension and a sense of excitement. The audience cast their votes to decide which artists would make it through to the final round.  Local acoustic band, “Aeroplane” filled the air with original tunes as The Pottery’s hard-working staff lined spectator bellies with delicious wood fired pizza, craft beer and gin on tap.

Clash of the Canvas offered a night of interactive entertainment for both the artists and spectators. “What a unique form of entertainment and a really spectacular way to spend an evening” said Marna Myburgh –  local primary school teacher who also put her brushes to the canvas. Amongst the competing artists was Di Marshall, of Wonki Ware – who garnered enough votes to secure her a spot as one of the four to participate in the final.

“What a fun way to push your painting limits in a safe environment” said Neeske Alexander, Stellenbosch University MAVA (Art Educator) degree facilitator, print maker, artsist and academic writer – who won over the audience to become the first Clash winner.  Neeske, who grew up in George and is from a family of creatives (her sister also took part), will be invited to compete in the regional contest, where she could go on to represent the Southern Cape at a national level.

All paintings created on the evening were sold to guests via a silent auction.  The artists received a percentage and a percentage is donated to a local arts development charity.

Clash of the Canvas will be hosting events over the next 12 months throughout South Africa, with their next event taking place in Cape Town on 30 May.  20 minutes. 12 artists. 3 rounds. 1 winner which the audience decides!

Pic 1 – Neeske Alexander, winner of the COTC – George title.

Pic 2 – Artists only had 20 minutes in which to complete their painting while the audience circulated to watch their process