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Occupying the Gallery with The French Institute of South Africa in collaboration with Artist Proof Studio

Sphatho Mzantsi, 2024, Umkhomo, Etching with Chine Collé


From 16 April - 16 May 2024, Occupying the Gallery will make a home in Braamfontein for a special edition with the French Institute of South Africa (IFAS) in collaboration with Artist Proof Studio. A reconfiguration, the IFAS first floor is now an open studio dedicated to the artistic incubation of a handful of occupants. 

Established by internationally acclaimed visual artists Mary Sibande and Lawrence Lemaoana, Occupying the Gallery is a project where artists take up residence in and transform an otherwise used space into an active open working environment that offers access into artistic processes. 

Following the month-long residency, with the support of IFAS, the artworks and prints produced with Artist Proof Studio during this period will be presented at the RMB Latitudes Art Fair in Johannesburg from 23 - 26 May 2024. 

With every residency, Occupying the Gallery partners with a master print and publishing house where artists conceptualise a series of prints that will inform the bodies of work they will produce while in residency. For this season’s occupation, the partnership is with Artist Proof Studios. Leaders in fine art printmaking since 1991, Artist Proof Studios specialises in training, collaborating and distributing prints in partnership with artists. 

For the occupation, Sibande and Lemaoana will be joined by a cohort of seven made up of the following artists and technicians: Mosa Anita Kaiser, Hoek Swaratlhe, Londiwe Mtshali, Sphatho Mzantsi, Bongani Ndlovu, Tatenda Magaisa and Mlondi Magubane. 

Mosa Anita Kaiser, 2024, Clothed in Blue, Etching, Chine Collé and Hand painted ink

An artist's studio represents a generative period of trial and error. Conventionally private, access to their movements, frustrations, breakthroughs and works in progress is a vulnerable invitation to build an insightful relationship with their practice. Through this, the residency looks to have a two-fold impact. On one hand, by functioning as a studio, the residency offers the IFAS team — whose work centres around supporting and connecting practitioners in creative and cultural industries — access to the processes and practices of artists. On the other hand, it offers the same artists insight into life at IFAS.

This initiative is supported by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and the Institut français as part of the strategy for the international export of cultural and creative industries.

Further Reading In Articles

African Artist Directory

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