The gardens, cellar and tasting rooms of Elgin’s multi award-winning Almenkerk Wine Eestate have been transformed into a vibrant contemporary art ‘gallery’, Art@Almenkerk.
Even an old barn on the farm has been reimagined to hold a collection of edgy works by premier South African and international artists, resulting in an unexpected art experience slightly off the beaten track.
The exhibition titled Mute Wisdom has been curated by Gordon Froud who selected works around the narrative that artworks are mute until unlocked by the eyes and emotions of the viewer. Awaiting these viewers is an eclectic collection of large scale and smaller works by Gavin Younge, Norman Catherine, Belgian artist William Sweetlove, Frank van Reenen, Marieke Prinsloo, Strijdom van der Merwe, Lothar Böttcher, Andre Stead, Frouds own works, Julie Lovelace, Mark Chapman, Oupa Mokoena, Christiaan Diedericks, Collen Maswanganyi, Danny Myburgh, Ian Marley, George Holloway, Izanne Wiid, Jaco Sieberhagen, Jean Lemmer, Jennie Njienhuis, Kiveshan Thumbiran, Lucas Thobejane, Norman O’Flynn, Ann Marais, Paul Kneen, Peter Mammes, Richard Forbes, Sandra Hanekom, Sybrand Wiechers, Usha Seejarim, Wilma Cruise, Yannis Generalis and French artist Paul Boulitreau, among others.
Almenkerk Estate owners Joris and Natalie van Almenkerk are collaborating with Dirk Durnez of Cape Art Studios to bring the art to Elgin. “We have the space and the environment and Joris and I both love art, so we decided to play with the idea of bringing quality contemporary art onto the Estate and juxtaposing these striking pieces with a pure, natural setting.” says co-owner Natalie van Almenkerk, “so we starting talking to Dirk and this big dream has become a reality.”
Durnez, whose passion for large scale creative projects has taken him on a rare and exciting career journey, brings an eye for engaging artworks and a fearless approach to big ideas. “Art@Almenkerk is an ongoing project and we are looking forward to playing with the landscape open to us, with new and interesting , memorable exhibits as we go,” says Durnez.
Durnez also brought Gordon Froud in as curator of the current Art@Almenkerk exhibition.
Says Froud; “It is a privilege to work with such a beautiful canvas, namely the exquisite gardens and buildings of this contemporary Wine Estate. The vision was to do something a bit different to other wine farm sculpture gardens. The feel is decidedly lighter, less monumental but as powerful as other spaces.”
Froud has built up an international career as curator and artist and is a senior lecturer at the University of Johannesburg, where he runs the sculpture department.
Visitors to the Art@Almenkerk exhibition are invited at the Almenkerk Tasting Room to taste a selection of their multi award-winning wines. Almenkerk’s wines are known for their elegance, balance and minerality. While the Flagship Almenkerk Estate Wines are “undertated elegance” personified, the Lace by Almenkerk range is fruit driven offset by the typical Elgin cool climate freshness.
Mute Wisdom will run until end of June 2017, after which new exhibitions will be revealed.
Almenkerk Wine Estate
Viljoenshoop Road 50
Tel: +27 (0) 21 848 9844
Facebook – Almenkerk Wine Estate
Open Tuesday – Sunday from 10h00 till 16h00
Closed on Sundays in winter.
Issued for Art@Almenkerk by Rabbit in a Hat