The inaugural Cradle Contemporary – a new art fair to be held three times a year – launches next month at the Cradle Boutique Hotel and will run from Thursday, November 30 to Sunday, December 3.

Works by leading and emerging contemporary artists John Moore, Acun Masuku, Karin Dempsey Greenwood and Manyatsa Monyamane will be on display and for sale, with all proceeds going to the African Digital Education Trust (ADET), a non-profit organisation which aims to give children accessible education by using technology and robotics to improve their early childhood development.

The hotel will also open a new permanent space – to be called the Cradle Art Gallery – during the exhibition.

John Moore’s passion for wildlife and natural heritage visually fuses themes of spirituality and mysticism. In addition to depictions of wildlife and the plight of endangered species, his work often also includes references to Southern Africa’s ancient San- and Koi- bushman rock painting heritage.

Swazi sculptor Acan Masuku works primarily with wood. He first became well known for his inventive anthropomorphic mobiles. The naive expressionist art of Karin Dempsey Greenwood glows with vibrant colours depicting whimsical scenes.

Manyatsa Monyamane’s cutting edge photography has seen her being a finalist at Pop Cap 2016. This year she was part of Fresh Produce exhibiting at the Turbine Art Fair; a winner of the Lizamore & Associates Mentorship Programme Solo Exhibition for the Thami Mnyele Fine Arts Awards and part of the top 10 finalists and a merit award winner for the Absa L’Atelier art competition.

Independent curator Nikki Wilsworth, who has been tasked with putting the impressive inaugural collection together says: “I am delighted that we have this opportunity and platform to showcase and develop a contemporary art fair, that we hope will engage and inspire a cross-generational, cross-cultural public making art accessible and promoting great talent, in what is a significant time for contemporary art in South Africa and on the Continent.”

Wilsworth adds: “The title of the opening exhibition is called Giving It Horns Wings, which relates to all the artist’s work whether literally or figuratively in the context of what they have produced. These are artists taking their work outside of the envelope and developing uniqueness. Giving it Wings means to inspire someone to “fly” and achieve greatness. When we let go we give way to freedom of expression. Added to which the title is apt in getting Cradle Contemporary off the ground. And there will be some horns.”

Cradle Contemporary will open its doors on Thursday, November 30, at 15h00 with an official launch and a cocktail party taking place at 18h00 on the same day.

To celebrate both the inaugural art fair and new art gallery, the Cradle Boutique Hotel is organising a host of events that will take place at the venue over the four days and which are aimed at art lovers, food and wine connoisseurs, music fans and families.

These include:

· The official opening of Cradle Contemporary and Cradle Art Gallery cocktail party – Thursday, November 30, from 18:00 to 21:00
· Craft beer pairing dinner – Friday, December 1, from 19:00
· Fabulous four-course wine pairing dinner – Saturday, December 2, from 19:00
· Posh picnic and jazz – Saturday, December 2, from 12:00
· Gourmet shisa nyama – Sunday, December 3, from 12:00

Families, who attend on Saturday and Sunday, can book their children into the Cradle Explorers’ Club which will have trained guides to take them on a two-hour nature walk. The cost is R80 per child for the trail and includes a picnic box lunch.

Bookings for lunch, dinner and the children’s club on 087 353 9599.

Find out more on their website…

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