Turbine Art Fair is back in hybrid format

By Edward Tsumele, CITYLIFE/ARTS, Editor

There is no doubt that the Turbine Art Fair when it was launched by the Forum Company in 2013, became a disrupter in the contemporary art scene, especially because it targeted new collectors. These are people, mostly young professionals with limited disposable income or who are at the beginning of their plans to build their art collection.

The concept was indeed well embraced, attracting many a young collector who came in big numbers to Newtown, where it started before moving to Illovo. And also the fact that there was on  cap on the prices of art works offered at the art fair, pegged at not more than R50 000,  encouraged many to visit the fair, hoping that they could find something they could afford to  buy and take home, especially during these hard times when many people’s pockets are not that big.

Now many will be happy to know that Turbine Art Fair is back, and because of the changes that have been forced onto how businesses operate these days, due to the arrival of Covid-19, Turbine Art Fair this year is adopting a hybrid fair, and this means that it will be held online as well as at a physical space where booking will be necessary to manage the numbers of visitors.

“Turbine Art Fair (TAF) is a unique South African art fair that brings together galleries, artists and curators from around the country to showcase and sell contemporary art. Founded in 2013 by The Forum Company, TAF was the first accessible and affordable South African art fair aimed at small scale and emerging galleries as well as emerging artists and collectors, working toward growing the market for South African Contemporary art.

We are delighted to announce the 9th edition of Turbine Art Fair -TAF ARCADE, a new hybrid fair of online viewing rooms and exhibition space at 10 Fricker Road Illovo from 9-12 September 2021.   A new way to experience and relish in art and culture during the pandemic,” statement released by TAF  this week reads..

“Our vision for TAF has always been to develop young artists and grow the market for African art as well as elevate art collecting across a wider market. With Covid bringing our world to a standstill, we believe that it is imperative that we continue to support and champion emerging artists and continue the conversations around art, collecting and keeping the art ecosystem engaged for its survival and growth” say Glynis Hyslop, Founder of Turbine Art Fair.  

This year the fair has a number of exciting programmes to look forward to, including new ones that have not been poart of the fair in the previous years.

The 2021 programme is themed Evergreen (having an enduring freshness/ retaining freshnesswill showcase a selection of art exhibitions by South African and Southern African galleries, collectives, art dealers, creative project spaces, designers as well as specially curated exhibitions.  

“We are delighted to welcome back many of our longstanding galleries who have supported us throughout the years as well as a host of new and exciting ones into the mix this year.  With the help of our esteemed selection panel, we believe that we have a really stellar line-up for visitors to TAF both virtually and in person.  There is really something for everyone” adds Hyslop.

Since its inception, TAF has always prided itself on innovative and diverse projects and 2021 is no exception and includes the newly re-launched TAF Unearthed Mentorship, Off the Grid, Sculpt, SUBLIME, The Graduate Show & TAF Talks.  


TAF Unearthed: TAF Unearthed, a creative mentorship programme. Formerly known as the annual Fresh Produce & Talent Unlocked artist mentorship programme, TAF has enhanced and innovated the structure of its mentorship to address the needs of artists and prepare and propel them through uncertainty. The 2021  artists will be mentored by Nkhensani Rihlampfu and Thembi Matroshe. The group exhibition will be curated by Thembi Matroshe.    Selected artists are: Angel Valerio, Ayesha Mukadam, Fumani Khumalo, Imaan Latif, Isabeau Joubert, James Thomas, Jennifer Zaharieva, Navel Seakamela, Sizani Baloyi & Tshepo Moloi.

TAF Off the GridCurated by Karel Nel, Off the Grid is a new feature exhibition in the TAF Special Projects programme which will highlight 4 mid-career South African artists. Each artist will present a capsule solo exhibition of their work at the fair. Aimed at supporting the careers of artists, this exhibition provides an opportunity to highlight artists outside of the main gallery circuit, to re-introduce them to the market and give them a platform to sustain their practice.

SCULPT: an exhibition showcasing a selection of contemporary site-specific sculptural works by artists from Southern Africa, from TAF’s exhibitor list and artists not represented by galleries.

SUBLIME – Immersive Multimedia Experiences: Inspired by PACE Gallery’s SUPERBLUE projects, TAF will showcase one immersive multimedia art installation to provide one of a kind bold, impactful and inspiring art experiences. TAF aims to provide South African artists an opportunity to push the boundaries of their practice by creating an immersive art experience never before experienced in SA and change the way people understand and engage with art. 

The Graduate Show: The Graduate Show  is an exhibition of a selection of exceptional art students currently in their 4th/ final year visual art studies or  graduating master students. The  2021 Graduate Show will be curated by Simangaliso Sibiya and Mentored by Tammy Langtry.

  • Dates:            9 – 12 September 2021
  • Venue:          10 Fricker Rd Illovo, JHB
  • Tickets:          R15 to be purchased online
  • For more info: www.turbineartfair.co.za
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