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How Women Lead: the focus of this month’s Art & Design Saturday

The 18 August edition of Art & Design Saturday at Keyes Art Mile is a powerful reflection of how women create success through a culture of excellence and creative collaboration. How Women Lead takes place on 18 August during Women’s month – and is centred around powerful female voices in art and design as well as a talks and performance programme.

How Women Lead Keyes Art Mile
Swaady Martin-Leke

A highlight of the programme is an exhibition by acclaimed South African artist, Penny Siopis. It showcases a series of original prints and a large-scale mohair tapestry that forms part of a larger body of work entitled Shame produced by Siopis between 2002 and 2006. These works have been described as ‘intimate imaginings of childhood sexuality’ exploring the idea and experience of shame as both a public phenomenon and a psychological condition.
     Siopis created these works in collaboration with women-lead studios, Stephens Tapestry Studio and David Krut Print Workshop (DKW). Founded by Marguerite Stephens, Stephens Tapestry Studio has employed over 25 women since its beginnings in the early 1960’s. The Studio is renowned for its work with many different South African artists, including amongst others Cecily Sash, Edoardo Villa, Sydney Kumalo and William Kentridge. DKW is an experimental intaglio printmaking workshop established in 2002 by David Krut and managed by Jillian Ross for the past 10 years. Ross has worked with a number of artists creating bodies of work that are recognised for their technical excellence and originality.

How Women Lead Keyes Art Mile
Penny Siopis, Sorry, 2004, Sugarlift, Aquatint, Burnishing, Scraping with Photocopy

     An exhibition by Florine Demosthene is another feature of the programme. Born in the United States and raised between Port-au-Prince, Haiti and New York, Demosthene earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Parsons the New School for Design in New York and her Master of Fine Arts from Hunter College-City University of New York. She has exhibited extensively in the USA, Caribbean, UK, Europe and Africa. Demosthene’s paintings and collages, look at the black female form and the stereotypes associated with the bodies of black women with the aim of constructing a new black heroine.

How Women Lead Keyes Art Mile
Florine Desmosthene

     The talk and performance programme is not-to-be-missed.
     Kicking off the talks programme is a talk by the co-founder of Women in Bloom, Nandi Dlepu. She will give insight into this important conversation series featuring women who are “in bloom”, in many different areas of society. Another creative powerhouse to have emerged from Africa is Swaady Martin-Leke, an Ivorian entrepreneur and the founder of homegrown African global luxury brand, Yswara. Martin-Leke left a corporate career to create a business that showcases luxury products produced by artisans across the continent. From jewellery to homeware, accessories, tea and more, this highly driven creative entrepreneur is committed to showcasing Africa’s cultural heritage to the world.
     Dr Cobi Labuscagne, director of Artlogic and the FNB JoburgArtFair, manages Africa’s largest contemporary art fair. She was one of the founding team members of the art fair and has since launched the Sanlam Handmade Contemporary Fair and the Winter Sculpture Fair among other lifestyle events. After receiving her doctorate as a fellow at Wiser, she has continued academic work alongside her leadership role at Artlogic and is currently an associate researcher at GIBS.
     Rounding off the spotlight on female creative entrepreneurs, is the popular event series, Ladies Wine & Design. LWD is an international initiative that was founded in New York by Jessica Walsh and is now run in over 180 cities around the world. The aim is to mentor and encourage women in the creative sector, through a free gathering which is centred around a new theme each month. Ladies Wine & Design Johannesburg is hosted by Guiyani Monteiro and Roberta Thatcher, and the August event will focus on collaboration in creative spaces.

How Women Lead Keyes Art Mile
Dr Cobi Labuscagne

Talks and Performance Programme:
     11:00 – Talk: Women in Bloom founder, Nandi Dlepu (Mesh Cinema)
     12:00 – Talk: Yswara founder, Swaady Martin-Leke (Mesh Cinema)
     13:00 – Talk: Artlogic and FNB JoburgArtFair, Dr Cobi Labuscagne (Mesh Cinema)
     14:00 – Performance: The Rare Library presents ‘The Gatherers’ in collaboration with L’MAD Guillotine (Keyes Art Mile Atrium)
     15:00 – Talk: Ladies Wine Design explores collaboration in creative spaces. RSVP only: for more info (Keyes Art Mile Atrium)

Adding to the day’s experience, The Emporium will feature fashion collective, Vatic Studio directed by Nicole van Heerden as well as Stay Evil Kids, a conceptual art and product design studio, founded by Wendy Dixon and Jennifer Bradley in collaboration with Myūzu. They will be joined by Counterspace Studio, a Johannesburg-based collaborative architectural studio directed by the all-women team of Amina Kaskar, Sarah de Villiers and Sumayya Vally. Anatomy Design and True Design will also be open, adding to August’s strong design element.

How Women Lead Keyes Art Mile
L’MAD Guillotine

     Throughout the day, live music will be played and a selection of fine wines will be served by Franschhoek winery, Boschendal.
     The 2018 season of Art & Design Saturday at Keyes Art Mile is an essential part of Joburg’s creative calendar. The monthly event comprises an Art and Design Emporium, visual art activations and exhibitions, talks by contemporary artists and designers, film screenings in the Mesh cinema and Live music. Taking its inspiration from the contemporary art stores of the world’s leading galleries and museums, this highly curated environment is a space for art lovers, creative aficionados, newcomers to the art and design scenes and those seeking a one-of-a-kind retail experience.
     Art & Design Saturday takes place within the broader Keyes Art Mile experience with high-end retail outlets and eateries – including BGR, MESH Club, Milk Bar, Marble, True Design, Okapi, Shelflife and Anatomy.

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