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RMB Latitudes 2024 Special Project: ESSAY

This year, RMB Latitudes Special Project, ESSAY will focus on the dream-like work and artistic lives of artist couple, Wendy Vincent and Geoffrey Armstrong. Co-curated by Vincent Truter and Lucy MacGarry, this rare presentation brings together selected pieces from a body of work created over the past 25 years in their Magaliesburg Rock Garden in South Africa.

Photograph by Elsa Young | House and Leisure | Volume 5 | Retreat


An innate rapport with the natural world is the heartbeat of works by artist partners and stewards of the earth, Geoffrey Armstrong and Wendy Vincent.

Armstrong’s masterpieces sculpted from wood or choreographed with rocks, stones, wood and concrete reveal hidden forms and flows, elements of a symbiotic dance of discovery and revelation in an interconnected universe, where form evolves out of and dissolves into its milieu.  

The hidden life of nature depicted in the interplay of form and the absence of form, light and shadow, is a feature of Vincent’s works, which call for a suspension of one’s need to know and abandonment to the alchemical place of holding between void and form. “It is a feeling about nature,” Vincent says. “Plants are only deeply there.”

Wendy Vincent, Karoo Landscape, 2010, Acrylic on Canvas, 123 x 123 cm 

In this exhibition of eight prints and four paintings by Vincent and four sculptures in wood by Armstrong, the artists’ works exist in dialogue with each other, their rock garden landscape and their profound exploration of natural phenomena. The exhibition offers a portal into a vital, living chaos rather than a place of sanctuary; an encounter that challenges and changes perceptions of what is and what could be. 

Wendy Vincent, Untitled III, 1986, Softground etching

Sculptor and painter, Geoffrey Armstrong was born in Vereeniging, South Africa and studied at the Johannesburg School of Art. His first solo exhibition was held at the Lidchi Art Gallery in Johannesburg in 1964, while he was still a student.

His paintings and sculptures have been exhibited in South Africa and the UK and can be found in numerous private collections, including the Johannesburg Art Gallery, South African Breweries, Anglo American, Sasol, Warsaw National Gallery and the Johannesburg Stock exchange.

For the past 25 years, he has been transforming the Magalies Rock Garden into a work of art with his partner, artist Wendy Vincent.  All the wooden furniture in the house has been carved and crafted by Armstrong and the property itself is dotted with his commanding wood, stone and rock masterpieces.

A master painter and printmaker, Wendy Vincent was a pioneer in South Africa in the field of stone lithography. From 1958 -1971 she studied at the Durban and Witwatersrand Technikons before continuing her training in New York and Paris. Spending her childhood on a farm, she drew and planted outdoors from the age of 10.

Her paintings are about nature. Her work has been exhibited throughout South Africa, in Europe, Australia and the UK. In the US, Vincent’s work is part of public collections in the Philadelphia U.S.A Museum, the New York Library and the Washington, S.A. Embassy Collection.  Prestigious publications that have reproduced Vincent’s work include Esmé Berman’s Art and the Artists of South Africa, Freda Harmsen’s Looking at South African Art and the 1982 Engravings for De Luxe Edition of Olive Schreiner’s The Hunter.

For the past 25 years, Vincent has retreated from the public art scene and devoted herself to creating a sprawling indigenous rock garden with her life partner, artist, Geoffrey Armstrong, while continuing to paint prolifically.

Further Reading In Articles

African Artist Directory

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