Celebrating renewed positive energy

When gallery owner and potter Louise Pietrucci returned home from a month in the UK earlier this year, she felt a renewed sense of positive energy in the country and decided to celebrate it with an exhibition.

Themed “Beauty of Africa”, the exhibition at CVD Gallery in Berea opened on Thursday and features the work of nine Eastern Cape artists and potters.

“I went away in February considering whether there was space in South Africa for me and came back a month later feeling there was a new renaissance,” said Pietrucci, who has been buoyed to make vibrant porcelain earrings as an extension to her range of glossy bowls in hues of teal and sea green.

“I had thought of making jewellery two years ago, but I was not feeling so positive then, so now I am doing things I had put on hold.”

“I had thought of making jewellery two years ago, but I was not feeling so positive then, so now I am doing things I had put on hold.”

The work of the artists also honours the country in which they live – from Juliet Greig’s moody seascapes to Durheim’s beaches and aloes and Siphenokuhle Runqu’s robust stoneware gourds, the exhibition is a dynamic collection of homegrown artistic homage to Africa.

Southernwood artist Buntu Qina is represented by a couple of his magical oils; a woman sits around a fire reading stories to entranced children in the moonlight while a river coils in the valley below.

CVD Framers and Gallery owner Louise Pietrucci holds a piece by Andrew Mogridge at the Beauty of Africa exhibition which opened at the Berea art gallery on Thursday evening
Picture: BARBARA HOLLANDS

At the gallery’s centre is a collection of bright bowls and platters with bands of exuberant colour by Les Felmore.

In contrast is a range of vessels, bowls, platters and quirky miniature ceramic statues by Felmore’s son Andrew Mogridge which are aflame with fire-blowing dragons and graffiti-type diagrams of stars, fish eyes and delightfully demented scribbles.

Other miniatures consist of perfectly executed tiny landscapes by Mike Kunhardt, whose tiniest one of a tree in autumn is not very much larger than a postage stamp.

“They are proper miniatures because they have all the detail of a whole scene,” said Pietrucci.

Margery Bradfield has also produced a collection of miniatures which range from evocative seascape watercolours in spiritual colours to more dramatic bold graphic pieces.

Beauty of Africa is up at CVD Framers and Gallery at 12 Jarvis Road, Berea until the end of next month.

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