Justine Mahoney’s solo show to open in October



Justine Mahoney will open her first solo show with Southern Guild, at our Cape Town gallery, on 14 October 2016 with Tainted, a series of 10 bronze sculptures with 10 corresponding collages.  Tainted presents a study of the jostling schizophrenia that exists between an apparent playful façade and a darker element which lurks beneath the surface.  Justine’s fascination with fantasy, child’s play and imagination, overlaid with the sinister realities of our society, make up the overarching theme in both Tainted, and her previous series, Innocence.  Each character is cast in bronze and handpainted by the artist, available as an edition of nine. The corresponding collages that appear in Tainted offer an inspired view into this world of pieced-together fantasy, with themes centered around Justine’s observations of gender, landscape, aspiration and oppression, many of which are an amalgamation of stories told to her by her stay-at-home nanny, Lizzy Maema, during her childhood.


‘As Justine’s confidence as an artist grows, her subject matter becomes more enticing and thought-provoking, reflecting South African culture in a dark mirror,’ says Southern Guild co-director Julian McGowan. ‘This exhibition takes you to a familiar but unsettling place – it is Malice in Wonderland.’


Tainted runs from 14 October to 18 November


New gallery space in Johannesburg



Art dealers Justin Rhodes and Ashleigh McLean and Southern Guild’s Trevyn and Julian McGowan have launched their dynamic new space in Rosebank’s Keyes Art Mile precinct.  The 300-square-metre contemporary exhibition space, in the StudioMAS designed Trumpet building, now open, heralds an intriguing partnership between leading contemporary art gallery WHATIFTHEWORLD, and Southern Guild, both firmly established in Cape Town. The new space will exhibit an innovative programme for the expansive gallery, which can be divided for focused presentations and interdisciplinary experimentations. Each gallery will maintain its distinct individual identity, while simultaneously provoking a new exchange between artists and designers and introducing a new creative dialogue. ‘We each have strong, unique viewpoints and a desire to change the status quo,’ Trevyn says of the two galleries, ‘this opportunity to combine our voices, to explore the intersection of art and design, promises results greater than the sum of our parts.’


There will be an independent calendar of programming, but for their inaugural show, the two galleries have purposefully curated a synergetic collection of work, a journey through tableaus that relate and reflect, and that present a strong narrative of their shared methodology – a collection that couldn’t exist anywhere else. The opening show presents work by Nigerian photographer Lakin Ogunbanwo, Zimbawean sculptor Moffat Takadiwa and visual artist Athi-Patra Ruga alongside limited-edition furniture by leading African designers such as Cheick Diallo, Hamed Ouattara and the late Babacar Niang as well as South African heroes Gregor Jenkin, Porky Hefer and Dokter and Misses.



Johannesburg gallery details:

19 Keyes Avenue, Trumpet, Keyes Art Mile, Rosebank, Johannesburg

Opening times:
Tuesday – Friday 10am-5pm
Saturday 10am-3pm


Image: Athi-Patra Ruga (tapestry), Cheick Diallo (chair), Jesse Ede (table), photographed by Adriaan Louw

Southern Guild and Porky Hefer represent SA at the inaugural London Design Biennale




Southern Guild, together with iconic designer Porky Hefer, will once again take to the world’s stage when they represent South Africa at the inaugural London Design Biennale being presented at Somerset House this September.  Southern Guild has collaborated with Porky Hefer to showcase his suspended animal-cocoon environments for this representation of South African design – a fitting portrayal of the Biennale’s 2016 theme: Utopia by Design, celebrating the 500th anniversary of the publication of Thomas Moore’s book, Utopia.  Hefer’s work, all crafted by hand at Woodheads leather merchants in Cape Town, is a fantasyscape consisting of five animals: M.Heloise (manta ray), Crocodylus Eugenie (crocodile), Lolita Blackfish (lover whale), Piranha 1: Nerina (piranha) and Panthera leo (lion). Panthera leo is the designer’s self-portrait, and the only animal displaying sheepskin, rather than leather, on the outside. ‘He’s like a massive teddy bear,’ Hefer says of the first male he has created, adding to his Monstera Deliciosa, Volume I series, the title of his solo show at Southern Guild earlier this year.



Having titled this installation Otium and Acedia, Hefer explains that otium, the Latin term for leisure time, talks to one stepping away from daily systems and mechanisims to engage in more artistic and enlightening activities that can enrich and evolve one’s mind and thinking. Acedia, a state of listlessness (not to be confused with the negative state of sloth or depression), references withdrawing from normal life and the decreasing physiological activity in an animal, usually by a reduced body temperature and metabolic rate. This can be done annually through hibernation, or on a daily basis, and is used to conserve energy for survival.


‘I like the idea of a human hibernating in an animal,’ Hefer reflects.


The London Design Biennale will run from 7 September – 27 September at Somerset House, London.


Image: Panthera leo by Justin Patrick.