Knysna Fires – Letter from Knysna Fine Art

Art portfolio- my work, Studio news

You are on our mailing list because you are a past or previous client, or have requested to be on our mailing list and we would appreciate your reading the following heartfelt letter.

You may have heard of the utterly devastating fires that have hit Knysna and the surrounding towns. This is possibly the worst natural disaster South Africa has had in a century or more. So many people have lost everything and the economy of this once lovely place has suffered a hammer blow from which we will literally take years to recover. Knysna Fine Art, which turns 20 this spring (and we will be celebrating this milestone in, hopefully, greener times) is not immune to these hard times although we somehow survived the flames.

If you were to consider purchasing art from us for the next month you would not only be adding to your collection, but making an enormous difference to us and the greater Knysna community. 

We will give half of any profit we make (in your name, if you wish) to community funds which include Knysna Animal Welfare, the Red Cross, and the Mayor’s Fund. We as a gallery, the wonderful artists we represent & Knysna as a whole would be helped immeasurably by your actions.

Thank you.

Trent Read, and the staff at Knysna Fine Art

For more info or list of available work contact Knysna Fine Art at:

t: +27 (0)44 382 5107

or follow this link to some of my work available via the gallery:

“Die Alfabeter”

Art portfolio- my work, Studio news/blog
Raison d' ^etre" : R is for Rugby (& Rubber) Textile, rubber, valves, thread, steele 2015

Raison d’ ^etre” : R is for Rugby (& Rubber) Textile, rubber, valves, thread, steele 2015

“Die Alfabeter” exhibition officially opened on the 7th of March as part of the Woordfees 2015.  18 participating artists and I am happy to say that I’m one of them!

"Bok vir sports/ She's game" thread, rubber, batting, wood 2014

“Bok vir sports/ She’s game” thread, rubber, batting, wood 2014

Curated by Alex Hamilton. (You are welcome to contact him if you want more information, or follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for more details about it.)
All artworks are for sale and will be on view at the PJ Olivier Art Centre in Blom Street, Stellenbosch until 15 March. If you are in the area, you are welcome to pop in xxx

(photos courtesy of Alex Hamilton)

Before Rubber Ever After

Art portfolio- my work

Talking about collecting (see previous post) made me think about collectors.  I feel blessed, fortunate and delighted to still have contact with a collector whom I met at my first ever gallery show in 2003.  He made this beautiful gesture to write a letter on facebook after the “Rubber ever after show at the KKNK:

What Came Before “Rubber Ever After” : Who is Hannalie Tauté?

photo by Stephan Erasmus

photo by Stephan Erasmus

For the past year I have been writing principally about Estonian artists with a nod here and there elsewhere. I was not even in Estonia for half of the past 12 months but again and again my interest was piqued by what I have experienced here in museums and galleries. I have also been been buying Estonian art over the past few years.

I had previously collected contemporary South African art, all of which remains in my abandoned South African home in the Klein Karoo region of South Africa. I was not shy about talking about art; I just didn’t write about art and artists, except in passing.

The one South African artist that I would have written about was Hannalie Tauté.

I was fortunate to be at her very first commercial group showing, (“Siembamba the toys are us” “, Knysna Fine Art 2003) and at its opening I promptly bought up a wall of Polaroid artefacts that the then 26 year old had created, each one bearing a homily to the role of little girls. We’ve been friends ever since!

I have continued to add works by her. Some quite large scale, others in between such as a group of fragile plaster dolls, almost voodoo in nature that I eagerly hung from a prominent beam in my house to ward off would be housebreakers. I was also able to attend her first major solo show at the prestigious KKNK festival in Oudtshoorn, South Africa in 2008.

"Skip the pattern"

“Skip the pattern”

Hannalie may look positively metropolitan but she has always led a very normal, down to earth existence as a boerevrou, though without the farm. Her drop dead gorgeous husband, Hendrik Carsten is a diesel mechanic, having to travel over the western Cape to earn sustenance for his growing family. He and Hannalie are the parents of 2 young boys and Hannalie feels strongly that mothers should stay at home for a child’s first 5 years, until they start school.

Yet Hannalie has never shied away from addressing feminist issues in her art. And it is her very good fortune to have found a partner who respects her art and herself as a person, not common traits in provincial South African society.

As a person I find Hannalie quintessentially South African, fiercely proud of her heritage. Resolute. As an artist, she has remarkably always been of the world, even though she has been confined to a very small geographical area, even within a South African context, with infrequent forays to Cape Town and Johannesburg. If she were not so pleasant a person, I might describe her as a bête noire. Her art provokes effortlessly.

I have thus followed her peripatetic moves in the western Cape, much I have myself moved during the early years of this century. She has lived in the communities of Prince Albert, George, Oudtshoorn and now Still Baai, all due to financial necessity, never achieving a financial breakthrough with her art despite consistently picking up admirers along the way.

Until now.

Her 3rd show under the KKNK auspices, 2008, 2011 and now this year in 2014, “Rubber Ever After” was a bona fide hit with Hannalie all but selling out her show and receiving a nomination for and still in the running for the preeminent Kanna visual art prize. The following digital calling card from 2013 gives a more rounded approach of Hannalie’s recent exhibited work.

It is not surprising to see Hannalie making a virtue out of necessity using recycled rubber from inner tubes as a backdrop for her mixed media works. She probably has quasi secret sources for the yarn she uses for her telling embroidery.

The next, long overdue, step for Hannalie Tauté is to receive international recognition. She’s been ready for a good 10 years.

Written by Robert von Anzen 2014

Wow! Thank you Robert!