In search of the birds of the sea art exhibition is a collaboration between Spier Arts Trust and Keiskamma Art Project.
The exhibition is open from 9 November 2023 to 31 January 2024 at Spier’s Old Wine Cellar.
For more than 20 years, the Keiskamma Art Project from Hamburg in the Eastern Cape has been the mouthpiece of the communities living alongside the Keiskamma River, providing dignity, inspiration and income. Their embroidered artworks have toured the country and beyond, winning praise and awards across the world.
The new collaboration between Spier Arts and Keiskamma Art Project began when Tamlin Blake, Chief Curator at Spier Arts Trust, who is also a mixed media artist, visited Keiskamma to work with embroiderers to produce an embroidered tapestry. Laying the foundations of what has become a valuable artistic partnership, Spier Arts Trust has since arranged for other artists to visit Hamburg to participate in similar artistic immersions.
The embroiderers, artists and the community at Keiskamma bring their own stories and backgrounds to evolve initial ideas into something that is truly a collaboration, not just an illustration of the artist’s concept.
In deciding on a title for the exhibition, Blake chose to adapt an isiXhosa proverb, ‘He goes in search of the birds of the sea’ to ‘In Search of the Birds of the Sea’ as it captures what it means to create art as a collective. To explore and seek adventure, to share and search, to aspire to something that is an ideal and, while potentially unattainable, a journey worth walking together.
Featured artists include:
Asanda Kupa who favours oil paint and found objects as his primary media; award-winning artist and author Henk Serfontein; visual messenger Nkosinathi Quwe who works primarily on canvas but also on fabric; photographer and multi-media artist Pippa Hetherington; Robyn Pretorius whose portraiture explores likeness, visual interpretation and storytelling; and mixed media artist Tamlin Blake.
The exhibition will run from 9 November 2023 to 31 January 2024 at Spier’s Old Wine Cellar and entrance is free.