New exhi­bi­ti­on to o­pen next week

Graaff-Reinet Advertiser - - Letters | Briewe -

NIEU-BETHESDA — On Sa­tur­day, 15 De­cem­ber, an exhi­bi­ti­on en­tit­led, “He­art of Mi­ne” by ar­tist G­regg P­ri­ce will o­pen at his ne­w­ly built ho­me and gal­le­ry on the cor­ner of Gra­ve and Mar­tin Streets, Nieu-bethesda at 17:00.

G­regg P­ri­ce has the fol­lo­wing to say a­bout his li­fe and work:

“This exhi­bi­ti­on is the cul­mi­na­ti­on of so ma­ny stre­ams of my li­fe jour­ney. It is both an ar­ri­val, and a de­par­tu­re. To ha­ve the op­por­tu­ni­ty to exhi­bit in my own gal­le­ry has been a long held de­si­re of mi­ne. It is a free­dom that will al­low my work to speak in u­nison, and co­me to li­ve un­fet­te­red in a sim­ple spa­ce.

This gal­le­ry is an in­ti­ma­te sanc­tu­a­ry for my ex­pres­si­on as an ar­tist.

The stre­am to Nieu-bethesda has been a slow al­che­my of my being. Pe­op­le are dra­wn he­re for ma­ny re­a­sons. I­ni­ti­al­ly, it was the cu­ri­o­si­ty of the Owl Hou­se and At­hol Fu­gard. Through the y­e­ars, a sort of an­nu­al pil­gri­ma­ge be­gan, with my fa­mi­ly and I stop by on our an­nu­al pil­gri­ma­ge to the co­ast. The high de­sert lands­ca­pe of the Ka­roo ig­ni­ted an enga­ge­ment with na­tu­re I had ex­pe­rien­ce y­e­ars e­ar­lier whi­le li­ving in San­te Fe, New Mex­i­co. The e­arthy a­do­be, cle­ar lig­ht and con­tras­ting blue sky had a mys­ti­cal qua­li­ty that fed in­to my art. In 2013 a pie­ce of land with a ‘For Sa­le’ sign caug­ht my at­ten­ti­on. On an im­pul­se, I ma­de an of­fer, and my new sto­ry was set in mo­ti­on.

On the 10th of Ja­nu­a­ry this y­e­ar, my el­dest son took his own li­fe. The he­art of my fa­mi­ly was rip­ped a­part. In hind­sig­ht, I re­a­li­se I mo­ved for­ward in a sta­te of shock. I was at work co­a­ching swim­ming the fol­lo­wing day…and the next. My fa­mi­ly and I ne­go­ti­a­ted the for­ma­li­ties and de­alt with this cru­el blow from fa­te by kee­ping going. That is w­hat we do. But on the in­si­de, we are shat­te­red, dis­il­lu­si­o­ned and st­rug­gling.

My first at­tempt at re­tur­ning to art af­ter Wil­li­am’s de­ath, re­sul­ted in a so­mew­hat fre­ne­tic se­mi-ab­stract dra­wing. I did a­not­her soon af­ter, and t­hen re­a­li­zed I nee­ded in so­me way to con­front the ac­tu­al mo­ment, the ho­tel room, the spi­ri­tu­al re­a­li­ty of w­hat hap­pe­ned. I did this dra­wing, and t­hen a­not­her and in this way found so­me cla­ri­ty, so­me he­a­ling, so­me way to feel my son. This exhi­bi­ti­on, this gal­le­ry, this ven­tu­re in Nieu-bethesda is a sym­bol of my c­hoi­ce to le­an in­to the fu­tu­re with ho­pe. The exhi­bi­ti­on in­clu­des a se­lecti­on of di­gi­tal dra­wings, han­d­craf­ted wood sculp­tu­re and la­ser cut steel sculp­tu­re. E­t­ching is a new pro­cess I ha­ve ex­plo­red this past y­e­ar. Wor­king with mas­ter prin­ter Co­lin Co­le, I ha­ve re­lis­hed the op­por­tu­ni­ty of slo­w­ly brin­ging my images to li­fe.”

Nieu-bethesda is ho­me to a hand­ful of ar­tis­ts who li­ve and work in con­di­ti­ons con­du­ci­ve to pro­ducti­vi­ty and in­spi­ra­ti­on. The vil­la­ge is de­lig­h­ted to wel­co­me G­regg P­ri­ce in­to t­heir fold of cre­a­ti­ves.

The te­am is wor­king hard to get the gal­le­ry spa­ce re­a­dy for “He­art of Mi­ne” which o­pens on 15 De­cem­ber.

One of G­regg P­ri­ce’s la­ser-cut steel sculp­tu­res fra­ming the i­co­nic Com­pass­berg.

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