For the past two years, I’ve been away over the dates of the Turbine Art Fair. If you’re familiar with the fair, you’ll know it is one of the most exciting showcases of both established and emerging artists, and the reason I particularly love it is because I believe it makes art so much more accessible to the public.
Turbine Art Fair is a great space to get lost in the crowd, laugh at pieces that make you feel strange, cringe at others and just admire the beauty of others. The artists too are also often on hand to answer questions, or tell you a little more about their paintings, drawings and sculptures.
2016 happened to be the year that I was in Jozi for Turbine Art Fair and I am so glad that I went to check it out. I adore Turbine Hall (the venue), and with all it’s weird corners and spaces, it makes for an interesting gallery.
Emerging artists at Turbine Art Fair
This is always the most exciting space for me at any exhibition. I like to know that I’ve seen great artists before they make it ‘big’. This year is no exception, placing a wide selection of young artists together on the top level of the exhibition. The only sad thing: there wasn’t enough space to place all of the artists’ pieces on display so they’ll be rotated throughout the weekend. Great that artists are getting exposure, but a little saddening because you won’t see the full collection unless you go through to TAF each day.
There are more galleries than you can actually count exhibiting, and I do feel like there are way more galleries that have come up from Cape Town than when I last attended in 2013. What this does mean is a much wider variety of art, and a lot more digital art and illustration which I loved to see.
It was really encouraging to see how many young artists are on display in general at the fair, and maybe it’s because I’m older now and more, ahem, seasoned, but I felt like there was a lot more rich talent than when I last visited.
My favourite piece
I fell in lust with many prints and paintings at Turbine Art Fair, it’s hard not to, but my absolute favourite was an installation that couldn’t be brought home. Emma Willemse’s 101 ways to long for a home is an absolutely stunning piece of work.
Emma is working towards 101 handmade books, crafted from archival paper and her own prints, that concertina open. Each is ended with reclaimed parquet flooring. The books remind me of a pop-up book in many ways, displaying different landscapes and images.
An hour glass sits in the table, and each hour Emma changes up the scene completely. This recreation of upheaval mimics the trauma of relocation. Her swift and extremely gentle movements made me hold my breath while she recreated an entire small city in front of me. It’s absolutely magic, please try and make the changing of the books, it’s a beautiful sight.
The Turbine Art Fair is open until Sunday, 17 July, at Turbine Hall. Tickets costs R100 each at the door or can be purchased on Webtickets. For more information, visit the website here.
Thanks to Alessio for the pictures. He accompanied me as my official photographer, and to see more of his awesome photos (I’m only a little bias) you should follow him on Instagram at @alessiolr.