22 July 2013 by Dianne Tipping-Woods

The Turbine Art Fair

The Turbine Art Fair is a celebration of South Africa’s creative talent. Opening on 26 July at the Turbine Hall in Newtown, Johannesburg, it’s an event that brings together exciting young artists to share and sell their work.

Fred Schimmel, Art Vault

'We are really excited about the Turbine Art Fair and the talented young artists we have in South Africa, many of whom have exhibited at some international fairs,' says Glynis Hyslop, managing director of event management company The Forum Company.

As well as giving these artists an opportunity to showcase their work 'on home turf', she hopes that the exciting pieces on show 'will resonate with visitors to the Turbine Art Fair and allow first-time art buyers to shop in a relaxed and fun environment while enjoying delicious food and listening to some great music'.

Look out for photographic work by Gregor Röhrig Look out for photographic work by Gregor Röhrig

According to Hyslop, the event is aimed at 'culturally minded individuals with the desire to start their own art collection who have never had the opportunity or platform to do so'. Its contemporary and affordable line-up also allows galleries the opportunity to showcase the wealth of emerging and newer South African artists, alongside smaller works by well-established artists.

The event is partly inspired by The Forum Company’s own experience in collecting affordable South African art over the last decade. 'We cannot imagine living without art and we believe that too few people have the opportunity to acquire art, let alone have the confidence to start their own art collections.' says Hyslop. 'As a result, we have decided to create this exciting new addition to the South African art calendar.'

Whether you’re new to the art world or just don’t want to spend your life savings to add to your collection, we hope the Turbine Art Fair will have something for everyone.

'There is a growing awareness throughout the nation of what art is and the importance of artists within the community,' says David Krut, whose gallery will be exhibiting at the fair.

'I think the great thing about the Turbine Art Fair is that it is affordable and accessible for us to take a stand there, and not it's intimidating and expensive like other shows,' says Anthony Shapiro of Art in the Forest. 'This accessibility will translate into making "art" accessible to the people visiting. I think it sets the right tone.'

Other galleries that will be exhibiting on behalf of individual artists include Artist Proof Studios, Art on Paper, Artspace, ArtVault, Bag Factory Artists’ Studios, Charles Greig, Speke, Gallery 2, Gregor Röhrig, Imbali, In Toto, Intethe, Kirsten Goss, L’MAD, Prince Albert Gallery, Resolution Gallery, the Lovell Gallery and Victoria Verbaan.

'We are so excited to be supported by some of the country’s top art galleries, which have committed to this project especially as it’s the inaugural event,' says Hyslop.

Bag Factory artist Asanda Kupa will be exhibiting Bag Factory artist Asanda Kupa will be exhibiting

The art fair takes place in the Newtown Cultural Precinct of Johannesburg, an area filled with diversity where visitors can expect a real-life experience of this city, with its eclectic mix of arts, culture and heritage. Turbine Hall, which is hosting the event, is an integral part of this scene. It started out as a power station for the city in the late 1920s and has become a much-coveted wedding and party venue, as well the location of choice for corporate launches and conferences. 'Its beauty is its amazing triple-volume spaces and underground areas, all built around the original power station, so you can expect to see the remains of coal hoppers and turbines,' says Hyslop.

While visitors to the fair will be able to buy paintings, original artist-made prints, photography and sculpture ranging from R1 000 to R20 000, there is more on offer, including a series of educational art talks, designed to support buyers through interesting and relevant information about South Africa’s art scene. 'Viewing art can be a great experience, but there is no substitute for choosing a piece that captivates, excites and moves you. Although this should be around personal taste, it is sometimes quite intimidating and a bit of expert advice here and there can help to get you going,' says Hyslop.

They took everything by Senzo Shabangu, David Krut They took everything by Senzo Shabangu, David Krut

Stephen Welz will be talking about the contemporary art market in South Africa; Jillian Ross will be explaining editioned artworks; Stephen Hobbs will be speaking on longevity, career and studio management, and connecting one’s work to the world out there; and Warren Siebrits's talk is titled 'The Art of Collecting'.

Expected highlights, according to Hyslop, include the cocktail preview event; the Sunday jazz sessions; and the life-sized giraffes that the David Shepherd Wildlife artist of 2013, Simon Bannister, will be ‘walking’ over the Nelson Mandela Bridge. 'The main highlight is obviously the talent of all the South African artists whose works are on display! Whether you're new to the art world or just don't want to spend your life savings to add to your collection, we hope the Turbine Art Fair will have something for everyone,' says Hyslop.

There will be a children’s entertainment area, so parents can shop secure in the knowledge that their little ones will be in a safe environment. There will also be Art Walkabouts for children hosted by Robyn Penn, while a coffee shop will be selling winter soups, wraps, sandwiches, tarts, charcuterie, brownies, homemade fudge and wok boxes.

Also look out for the Jozi Inner-City Public Art Walk, which combines a tour of the area’s street art with entrance to the fair.

Visit www.turbineartfair.co.za and https://www.facebook.com/TurbineArtFair for up-to-date info on event scheduling, as well as profiles of the exciting artists and galleries taking part.


  • Friday 26 July: Preview Evening 6pm to 10pm; R300 per person
  • Saturday 27 July: 11am to 6pm
  • Sunday 28 July 11am to 7pm
  • Tickets for The Turbine Art Fair can be bought from www.webticket.co.za for R50, or at the door for R70 per person
The darkling man by Gregg Price The darkling man by Gregg Price
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