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Second KKNK Virtual Art Gallery Opens Soon

The Klein Karoo National Arts Festival (KKNK) Virtual Art Gallery, supported by ABSA, opens its “doors” for the second time on 29 June. 

Dineke van der Walt, curator of this gallery, received the kykNET Fiësta award for Best Achievement in Visual Arts for last year’s Virtual Art Gallery. The gallery was also nominated as one of the Best Online Projects at the 11th annual Fiësta Awards. 

The theme for this year’s Visual Art Gallery, supported by ABSA, is Feel, and artists and curators were asked to explore the many subtleties of emotions. “We all have distinct positive and negative experiences that affect us deeply and shape our lives,” says Van der Walt. “Through art we find expression – a way of pinpointing feelings that seem impossible to articulate otherwise. At times, art can offer us an escape, a cathartic way to purge emotions. But artworks can also act as vessels that encapsulate and contain our deepest fears, sorrows or joys. This gallery aims to expand our understanding of the multitude of emotions that touch our lives, even those that are almost abstract, or seemingly indescribable.”

Six group exhibitions are included in the offering: Emotion (Emosie), compiled by ABSA with Dr Paul Bayliss as curator, Feeling Things, curated by Donavan Mynhardt from the Rust-en-Vrede Gallery, Paint. Verf., curated by Johan Myburg (the 2020 Hertzog Prize Winner), If you think about it, just midding in the meantime or progression, curated by Fadzai Muchemwa (recently appointed curator of Zimbabwe’s Pavilion for the 59th Venice Biennale taking place in 2022), Something Pauses, curated by Christa Swart from the Glen Carlou Gallery and Amplifica: A Medley of Moods in Miniature, curated by Van der Walt herself.

According to Van der Walt, 83 artists form part of the 2021 KKNK Virtual Art Gallery, supported by ABSA, with a total of 245 works exhibited. “Art enthusiasts can look forward to the work of various artists from the Garden Route, including Chris Slabber, Roger Langdon, Hannalie Taute, Jan Willem Wiener, Janet Dixon, Lisl Barry, Ria Holliday and Stephen Rosin.” 

Hugo Theart, Artistic Director of the KKNK, says the Virtual Art Gallery is open for sales until 29 August with artworks available on the KKNK’s brand-new online store. “We are proud to create an opportunity for art enthusiasts from across the world to experience the festival’s visual art exhibitions from the comfort of their own homes for a second year,” he says. 

Theart explains that the gallery is an enjoyable and user-friendly experience through which visitors can “meander” and listen to voice recordings from artists and curators to engage various senses. “Exhibitions have been compiled in such a way that artworks are extremely affordable, with works available from only R500. This initiative is an important platform for visual artists to showcase and sell their work and in doing so generating a much-needed income,” he concludes. 

Tune in on the KKNK’s website at on Tuesday, 29 June from 18:30 to attend the launch.