CityLife Arts

Being at peace with amazing sculptures at Sculpt X Fair at Melrose

The 4th instalment of SculptX, the largest annual sculpture fair in South Africa this September, in association with Melrose Arch. Sculpt is now open and runs till October 24, 2021.

By Edward Tsumele

The first thing that one notices oh High Street in Melrose Arch is that there are no cars moving in each direction of this often busy street in this upmarket place for shopping, fine dining and more in the stylish northern Johannesburg suburb of Sandton. But today I also notice beautiful giants sculptors  installed on the street opposite Melrose Gallery. And these are huge pieces of art, some representing what seems to be dancing elephants. Some are simply beautiful figures of people, while others are figures of half humans and half wild animals. I got absorbed for sometime by these beautiful works of art as I found myself not wanting to take my eyes off them for sometime, and almost forgot that I was meant to proceed to the Gallery, which is what I did after 15 minutes of immersing myself in the art works in the streets.

But then as I entered the gallery, I found myself stunned some more and this time more intensely by these giats sculptures that have suddenly transformed The Melrose Gallery into a sculpture park. The place looks really beautiful, oozing bewitching pull, the sort you want to linger longer than yo are welcome. I could imagine having a home with such variety of styled sculptures such as these, dealing with a variety of subjects you can think of under the sun. I really felt like absorbing the feeling I got in this gallery simply because of the presence of so many, beautifully crafted sculptures in one place, to the extent that the customary exchange of pleasantries with gallery staff, Melrose gallery Director Craig Mark and Gallery curator Ruzy Rusike, I wanted it to be as short as possible so that I could continue to enjoy so much sculptural presence in that atmosphere of the gallery.

I was happy that the two seemed to be too busy to bother with small talk, or they got the drift and left me alone to wonder around the gallery.

Believe me everything that is here is very beautiful, and you can tell that the participating artists when they created these art works used both their brains and hearts to create these pieces simply because although seemingly silent, one can feel their communication and interaction with you in silence. That is probably why I saw a guy through the gallery window trying his best to communicate with the sculptures that are outside on High Street. He actually was modeling himself besides the pieces, and his companion must have got the drift because4 she simply let him be, and that is ridiculously trying to communicate something to these sculptures that seemed to be in no  mood to reciprocate the gesture. I could see from the gallery window his frustration. But he was actually a happy man, grateful to be in the presence of these beautiful art objects.

“There are 90 artists involved and there are more than 200 art works in three venues, tow here in Melrose and the other one in the Diamond Walk of the Sandton Mall,” Mark told me at the end of my one man tour of this exhibition of sculptural works that takes place annually at the gallery and other venues around Sandton, organized by The Melrose Gallery.

“We are pleased to present the 4th instalment of SculptX, the largest annual sculpture fair in South Africa this September, in association with Melrose Arch. Sculpt is now open and runs until 24th October 2021.

We were inundated with requests for participation and will be presenting over 200 sculptures by more than 90 sculptors from all over South Africa.

It is gratifying to be presenting something so positive despite the fact that so many of South Africa’s art fairs and larger exhibitions have been cancelled due to the pandemic.

Whilst the fair will be presented in different venues in Melrose Arch and the space that we are currently occupying in Sandton City’s Diamond Walk, we will also be presenting the works online
so that those unable to attend will also be able to experience this year’s fair.

I would like to thank all of the participating artists and our team for the hard work required to implement such a large endeavour,” says  Mark.

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