As a young gallery owner back in the ’90s, it was by default that I “curated” group exhibitions. From childhood, I have always practiced the art of visual story telling and it was just a short hop, skip and jump to proper art curating. I also never would have thought that one day I would win a prestigious award for something I instinctively do, because I love art.
BANG THE GALLERY
Born from independent art rebel instincts, Bang The Gallery was initially created to showcase only my own work, but soon developed into an exciting and fresh-approach-style gallery hosting a slew of group exhibition curated by me as the owner. Bang group exhibitions were always inclusive, accessible and off kilter
During the Bang the Gallery years my first corporate curating job was a charity auction exhibition for Hewlett Packard, where artists were asked to convert a supplied HP Printed into a sculptural artwork.
ALEX HAMILTON STUDIO GALLERY and the ART of the MASH UP.
In late 2007, after a few years of working on my own, I once again found a way to share my creative space with other artists and, taking a queue from musical artists, I mashed together visual artists from different genres/styles/backgrounds/infamy to create new exhibitions. These informal mash-ups soon developed into proper curated group exhibitions and grew in popularity and creative exchange. Even though these exhibitions were always “informal”, they became popular enough to lead to a bigger curating career for myself.
ALEX HAMILTON GALLERY Prince Albert
In late 2012, I was given the opportunity to open my own small gallery in the beautiful Karoo town of Prince Albert. For the next few years, I did numerous solo exhibitions within this space and took part in the Prince Albert Arts Festival.
FLIPPEN VLAMBAAR | FREAKIN FLAMMABLE
Having the gallery in Prince Albert lead to my first arts festival curating job and the hot, hot, hot exhibition of “Flippen Vlambaar/Freakin Flammable”. It sizzled with creative energy, with well-known as well as emerging artists participating, and a narrative that was at the same time inspiring, approachable and accessible.
ALFABETER and OPSKIET
Curating my mash-up exhibitions in my studio gallery directly led to an invitation by Woordfees (a Literary Arts Festival ) in 2015 to curate a group exhibition as well as to develop a series of concept exhibitions.
The concept of a word machine spewing out Afrikaans colloquialisms, and with 19 fellow artists taking on these phrases and words, made for an exciting creative and dynamic exhibition.
OPSKIET (POP UP), DAAGLIKSE DOSIS (DAILY DOSE) and the crazy daily pop-up exhibitions of Woordfees and Aardklop
The aim of these daily, informal pop-up exhibitions during the run of a festival was to showcase creativity, in an informal setting and manner, and still be
inventive, creative and conceptually sound. It was designed to attract both young and new collectors, general festival goers as well as discerning art lovers, and to find the balance between commerce and creativity.
For developing this concept, I received my first Fiesta nomination.
The success of the “Alfabeter” exhibition and my enthusiasm to create new ways of showing art, open the door to my biggest curating feat ever, when the organisers of the Woordfees Literary and Art festival approached me to be the curator of their art programme for 2016, 2017 and 2018. This included coordinating a retrospective exhibition for a prestigious festival artist and festival exhibition, several solo exhibitions and several curated group exhibitions. This wild ride included managing, marketing, selling, daily guided walkabouts as well as panel discussions and publishing a catalogue. In 2017, I won the kykNET Fiestas Award for “Best achievement in visual art: Curator of the Visual Arts Programme at US Woordfees”.
During 2014 and 2015, numerous other opportunities emerged and three consecutive trade fairs I curated specific and creative exhibition for the well known fair, KAMERS. While being accessible and commercial, these exhibitions still had concept and narrative, and were presented in three very different, exciting locations.
“Huisie Boompie Stroompie /Home Sweet Home”
“My nooi is in ‘n nartjie/My girlfriend is tangerine”
“Min of meer ‘n meermin/More or less a mermaid”
HUISIE BOOMPIE STROOMPIE | HOME SWEET HOME
MY NOOI IS IN 'n NARTJIE | MY GIRLFRIEND IS TANGERINE
MIN OF MEER 'n MEERMIN | MORE OR LESS A MERMAID
THE GALLERY AT GLEN CARLOU
With a longstanding relationship with Glen Carlou’s spectacular wine, and great admiration for the vineyard’s beautiful gallery space, it was an enormous honour to be asked to curate an exhibition for The Gallery at Glen Carlou in Klapmuts, Western Cape
With “The Promise of Now” and the subsequent “Cruel, Cruel Summer”, I had the opportunity to bring together an incredible array of artists, including Conrad Botes, JP Meyer, Hennie Meyer and Vusi Beuachamp.
My most recent curating gig for this venue was the spectacular “Wild Wild Life” Exhibition, which, due to Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, never made it onto physical walls and was only exhibited online.