Cold Night, Hot Talent

Exhibiting artists: From left to right are Herma Kitching, Thomas Kohler, Tony Ridgway and Yvette Beneke. Photos:

The new group exhibition at the Beach House Gallery @ MJ’s in Melkbosstrand started last night. And although the night was cold the talent was hot, which made one forget about winter and flu.

Power posse
The walls of the large new gallery groaned under the weight of the thirteen artists showing their works. There was the talented posse from Grotto Bay, the talented posse from Hermanus, the talented locals, and talented artists from further afield. And then there was local maestro Louis Pretorius...

Louis Pretorius painted a seascape in a jiffy.

Around seven 0′ clock Pretorius took up position behind a small table in what gallery owner Marina Jacobs calls the ‘pop up gallery,’ and started to paint a seascape on an empty canvas he had brought along.

As a crowd of arty types watched, artist Celeste Vorster commented, “Louis, I’ve never seen you be so quiet for so long!”

And it’s finished!

“Remember,  I was ill for a long time!”  he laughed. Less than half an hour later Pretorius completed a seascape using lyrical colours and loose brush marks.  With time to spare he asked, “Let’s put in sea horses and a little man. What do you think?”  He did so, to accompanying groans of admiration and despair. “It takes you five minutes to do what I do in five weeks,” a man said.

Art lovers could also take in the seascapes and abstract artworks by Lize van der Walt and Jeandré Marinier, flower studies by Marie Theron and Yvette Beneke, Tony Ridgway’s animal portraits, Thomas Kohler’s seascapes, Celeste Vorster’s  artworks, and Louis Pretorius’s signature houses and seascapes.

Artist Celeste Vorster (right) and her daughter Mia Groenewald.

A singer/songwriter’s personal approach
Ridgway came earlyish, and bounded up the stairs to the mezzanine level of the gallery to check up on the very personal corner he had created for his artworks. It features an old desk, an antique typewriter, books and some of his poems.

Smokie la Grange (right) and Philip Bouwer.

One of the books on the table is a collection of poems by the poet Sheila Cussons, whom he knew. For a moment he looked melancholy, thinking of her. Then the moment passed. As Tony punned earlier yesterday, “There’s no time like the pleasant.”

Marnette Meyer (right) and Elmie Benjamin.

He adopted a kitten earlier yesterday that local photographer and animal lover Marnette Meyer found on the grounds of the Wesfleur hospital in Atlantis.

“It’s so small we can’t see what it is,” he said, when asked about its sex. “Whatever it is, it will have a grand name!” In between all the talk art lovers ogled the artworks and bought the artworks. This is a gallery that is going places.
Read our articles about Marie Theron’s artworks, Celeste Vorster’s artworks and Tony Ridgway’s artworks.



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