Nando’s Creative Exchange recognizes emerging artists
Published 11 months ago by

Select artists are offered art material sponsorship and an opportunity to have work translated into a different medium. 

Zkhiphani had the pleasure of being invited to the Nando’s Creative Exchange in Cape Town last Friday. 

The art-filled day was the launch of “Home” an exhibition by Adolf Tega, Robyn Pretorius, Thembalethu Manqunyana and Wonder Marthinus, who were the recipients of this year’s mentorship. 

Nando’s Creative Exchange is a programme that supports artists to develop their careers through mentoring and exhibition opportunities. It is presented in partnership with Spier Arts Trust and the AVA Gallery. 

Select artists are offered art material sponsorship and an opportunity to have work translated into a different medium. 

This year’s medium of translation was mosaic and all artists had one of their works translated into a mosaic piece. 

By enabling artists to focus full-time on their artistic careers with the potential to earn a regular income, Nando’s is making a difference in people’s lives while growing their body of high quality Southern African contemporary art – currently comprising more than 21 300 artworks. 

The exhibition can be viewed until 16 January 2020 at the AVA Gallery. 

Meet the artists 

Adolf, originally from Zimbabwe, obtained a Diploma in Fine Art from the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in 2006, specialising in painting and sculpture.  

In 2007 he relocated to Cape Town, where he joined the Good Hope Art Studios. 

He finds inspiration in the mundane – the often-overlooked aspects of life. Of interest to him are the faceless and often disregarded masses that populate our environment. 

Adolf has participated in several group exhibitions and held his first solo exhibition, Africa Without Borders, at The AVA Gallery in Cape Town in 2012. 

Robyn is inspired by her everyday surroundings and the people that cross her path. As a photorealist, she is drawn to the fine detail of what she is painting. Her artistic process is inspired by the individual she chooses to paint.  

Through her art, she investigates the connections existing between the environment human beings live in and their identities. 

She said: “My portraiture is driven by the belief that the more we celebrate the different experiences the more we are able to feel connected.” 

Born in Belhar, Cape Town, Pretorius was exposed to art at a young age and became the youngest cartoonist for the Sunday Times in 2001 (aged 13). 

Painting from the heart, Thembalethu’s work is inspired by Western theory and African art. He is also influenced by the Neo-expressionism master, Jean-Michel Basquait and Pablo Picasso’s Cubism period. 

A painter, sculptor and printmaker, Thembalethu is a performer, researcher and educator in art.  

His aim is to create opportunities and provide support for artists in disadvantaged communities. He describes his style as ‘free form’ and paints in oil and mixed media using bright colours. 

Wonder was a dancer until his life descended into chaos after a tragic accident left him severely injured. Unable to practice his craft, he eventually found himself living like a hermit on the slopes of Table Mountain. 

After a chance meeting with an artist at a soup kitchen in 1995, Wonder was introduced to Greatmore Street Studios and his art career began.  

His paintings walk a tightrope between being representational and abstract. He makes use of photographic material, but his images are manipulated to such a degree that they become entirely independent from the sources.  

Some of these images leave the viewer with absolute freedom to interpret the work as they see fit. 

Sepideh Mehraban an Iranian-born artist, working and living in Cape Town, mentored the 2019 Creative Exchange artists.  

Her work explores memory and landscape, looking at the overlaying and veiling of paint as a means of expressing layers of existence and experience.  

In her academic work, as well as in her personal projects there is sensitivity toward recent history in Iran with parallels to be found in the country, she now calls home, South Africa. 

A partnership in Arts 

The long-term patron partnership between Nando’s and Spier Arts Trust is modelled on the principle of shared value. 

By enabling artists to focus full-time on their artistic careers with the potential to earn regular income, Nando’s is making a difference in people’s lives while growing their body of high quality Southern African contemporary art. 

Spier Arts Trust administers programmes that offer career development opportunities for professional artists, thereby facilitating successful art careers. 

These programmes include, among others: Spier Arts Academy, The Creative Block, Qaqambile Bead Studio, and the commissioning of site-specific, architectural scale artworks. 

Check out the video of what went down here.

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