Art

Here's where to find affordable prints by Durb's hottest illustrators

ARTmkt's pop-ups create a space for local artists to show and trade their creations

31 October 2017 - 14:19 By Shubnum Khan
ARTmkt will sell A4 and A3 prints of illustrations by Durban artists.
ARTmkt will sell A4 and A3 prints of illustrations by Durban artists.
Image: Supplied

With the rise of collaborative and creative spaces like Station Precinct and River Town creative competition and local markets, the talent emerging in Durban has been rapidly increasing.

And it's why Sebastien Quevauvilliers decided it was time for a new platform for artists in the city.

A local designer at MRP, he searched Instagram for artists in Durban and unearthed a range of hidden and established talent, and offered them an opportunity with ARTmkt, a local platform where artists can show and trade their creations.

ARTmkt's pop-up store opened with a bang on Florida Road for Durban's "First Thursdays" event last month.

The pop-up sells A3 and A4 prints that range from sketches of the city to quirky illustrations featuring anything from weeping tigers to bottles of Bovril.

Buyers can also negotiate if they would like to buy the original artwork.

ARTmkt will also showcase at markets in Durban with live illustrations.

Their online store will open this month, making local prints available throughout South Africa.

It's come at the perfect time when this city is poised for a creative renaissance. The move is to stimulate local creativity by making it viable, or as KZNSA curator Angela Shaw puts it: "The city is trying to encourage and make a space for our creatives to stay here."

Quevauvilliers agrees, and says a project like this was overdue in the city.

"There has been such excitement about the concept. It's not easy or economically viable for one artist to showcase their work.

"There is strength in numbers and collectively we have such a stronger presence."

While the market for something like this may have been limited a few years back, the landscape of Durban is changing; instead of staying home, Durbanites are out looking for new food, fashion and art exhibitions.

Quevauvilliers said local artists deserved to have a spotlight and be praised for their skills.

He added that this gallery not only made art affordable, it also took art to the people.

"It's not about making art out of reach - we want the public to enjoy the talent as much as we do working with these great individuals," he said.

MEET SOME OF THE ARTISTS

NIKHIL TRICAM

This 28-year-old architect is inspired by the cities and streets that form "the canvas on which our memories are drawn". Working mainly in ink, he uses the medium to focus on the interplay between the static context and the forces that give life to the urban.

Instagram: n_tricam

SINOMONDE NGWANE

Ngwane, 22, is a graphic designer who works in pen and Photoshop. Her art, which is a mix of words and illustration, is inspired by personal narratives and often motivated by magic and poetry.

Instagram: @doodlesandpoetry

JILL SLABBERT

A self-taught graphic designer, Slabbert is inspired by planet earth and says that this world is beautiful with both nature and technology. Her artworks, which are a fusion of the real and the unreal, combine photographs of found natural elements that are fused to create delicate, otherworldly creatures.

Instagram: @jiljarvis

• ARTmkt will be open this Saturday at I Heart Market. Find them on Instagram at: @artmkt_official.

• This article was originally published in The Times

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