What better time to appreciate South African art than the beginning of spring? A season of beauty, brightness and new beginnings. Art week Joburg was a refreshing look at local and African talent and a reminder of the importance of art in history and storytelling. Here are some of the exhibitions we attended:

Sanlam Centennial

This year, Sanlam celebrates 100 years of South African Art with an impressive exhibition. It encompasses the South African story of struggle, hope and perseverance to get to where we are today, as well as emotional relief in romantic themes. More importantly, there are pieces that encourage a dialogue in the topics of diversity and the future of our country.

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art week joburg -- SANLAM CENTENNIAL

The sculptures were thought provoking. Johannes Maswanganyi’s “Family Tree” sculpture is a beautiful highlight, and Gavin Younge’s live installation, “Forces Favourites” displayed different art forms.

art week joburg -- SANLAM CENTENNIAL

The exhibition is currently open to the public

Where: 11 Alice Lane, Sandton

When: 5 September – 14 December

Sasol New Signatures

At this year’s exhibition, many artists depicted personal experiences. Walking through the exhibition, which is currently on until 7 October 2018, you are encouraged to delve in to the personal lives of the creators. The winner of the Sasol New Signatures competition is a vivid example of this. Jessica Storm Kapp, won the coveted R100 000 award for her installation piece titled “Mapping Time”. Created with remnants and destroyed objects she collected after the Knysna Fires in 2017, the installation questions whether fine art can recreate a sense of home through physical materials.

art week joburg -- SASOL NEW SIGNATURES

A must-see at the exhibition is last year’s winner Leboghang Kganye’s installation, which showcases the paths her family have taken to become who they are today. The photographer and artist made life-size 3D renditions of her photographs. This makes the spectator feel as if they are in Kganye’s memories. The exhibition largely takes place in Pretoria, however, the Sasol Gallery in Sandton is home to a few core pieces which you can view by appointment.

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art week joburg -- SASOL NEW SIGNATURES

The exhibition is currently open to the public

Where: Pretoria Art Museum

When: 29 August – 7 October

FNB Joburg Art Fair

Always popular, the annual FNB Art Fair features art from African countries. This year’s exhibition was a feast. Each gallery exhibited their best artists, and individual installations were spectacular. Winner of this year’s Art Fair grand prize was artist and activist Haroon Gunn-Salie. His installation was a conversation starter. The piece gives the viewer the experience of the conditions South African gold mines.

art week joburg -- FNB JOBURG ART FAIR

Nic Balden’s botanical brass work, showcased by Everard Read, was outstanding. Marion Boehm’s mixed material portraits told several stories and were simply beautiful. Both Zanele Mashinini’s and Kenny Nkosi’s portrayals of the African woman, show the strength of women and culture.

The FNB Joburg Art Fair is no longer open. Take a moment to browse through your local art gallery and embrace local art.