Behind the Curtains of Perfection

June 28 – July 4 2018
ONE11 Gallery | Cape Town, South Africa

The project is an exploration of the uncanny valley separating the visceral experience and the unbridled expression of our innermost fears and desires. Using an AI-assisted painterly approach in combination with digital photography the artist shines light upon the archetypal twins of the psyche, dancing on the edge of the raging chaos while moving gently to the tune of the tamed and civilized mind.

Each canvas shatters a dark mirror of restrain and breaks the window wide open into the wilderness of each subject’s soul, bringing it out of the shadow and onto the surface – a self-portrait of the Unconscious.

“Looking at these pictures for a moment, they take me on a journey into the deepest darkest parts of my psyche. The place where all the pain, anguish and dark thoughts, has at some point resided, the childhood bullies, the manipulators, the abusers, the people who willfully harmed for their own gain, my own dark desires, which at times more fearful than living perpetrators. My voice roars, standing tall, upright and strong…As my roar ends, my eyes find the woman, light, pure, full of love and I’m reminded as always, that no matter how far I travel down into the madness, that there is always a chink in the darkness where life shines in; and I know with every fiber of my being, that love always wins, me a human filled with unfathomable love.. Equilibrium is restored”  


South African artist Aniek Nieuwenhuis was born in Pretoria in 1995 and raised in Stellenbosch. In March 2004 her family was caught in a fire accident involving a faulty gas cylinder at their holiday cabin in the Kogelberg Nature Reserve. Aniek was admitted at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital for five months with severe third-degree burns. She had a twenty percent chance for survival. In 2007 she was awarded a full academic scholarship by the Make a Difference Leadership Foundation (MAD Leadership Foundation), which enabled her to pursue a degree in Fine Arts at the University of Cape Town in 2015. Aniek uses self-representation in her photographic practice as a therapeutic way of processing childhood trauma. Her work mainly focuses on the psychological challenges that come with being physically different, and she does this through reflecting on her personal experience as a burn survivor. Over the course of her studies she was awarded the Cecil Skotnes Scholarship Prize for her exhibition Through Fire, From Ashes in 2017, as well as the Katrine Harries Print Cabinet Purchase Award and the Simon Gerson Prize for her graduate exhibition The Stories On My Skin in 2018.

International Art Laboratory in Collaboration with Anna Sarré

June 28 – July 4 2018
Berlin, Germany

A fun and unconventional way to express your ideas about self-satisfaction in contemporary society and loneliness in private life. At the end of the laboratory there will be a performance based on the acknowledged theater director Yury Muravitsky from the Theater DOC, Moscow and an art exhibition of SaySay.Love, a Berlin-based photographer. Curated by Anna Sarre.

Art Laboratory is a form of an investigation on the current social change, happening on the basis of collaboration and conversation among the art-makers and art-scholars. At the end of the art, there is a collective work that summarizes the outcome of this investigation, which will be shown as part of the art exhibition. The first display will take place in Berlin.

“Sex mit den Dingen” stands for the current trend within the contemporary society to choose self-satisfaction over the exchange of mutual corporeal sympathy. This behavior demonstrates the rights of individuals to achieve and prove independence from others, and leads to the development of personal borders, which prevent any reciprocation of empathy. Can we still experience mutual sexual interest? Do we need another partner to meet our sexual demands? Or is sex “alone” enough for us? These are the main questions about the idea of SaySayLove (photographer, architect), the main curator of the laboratory Anna Sarre and co-curator Arina Abelev and a notable theater maker Jurij Muravitskj from Moscow’s independent theater scene. Share your visions with us and let it travel in Europe.

For further information follow us on the official event page.


A Moment Captured or Preserved

Workshop and Group Exhibition
 IZIKO South African National Gallery Annexe

23 November – 7 December 2018
Cape Town, South Africa

The exhibition, curated by Lonwabo Kilani, is the visual manifestation of a 4-day workshop that runs before the opening. Five artists working within the contemporary South African art scene, will collaborate and create the artworks on display.

Lonwabo Kilani states, “the workshop will focus on the idea of movement and stillness, of life and death, the traditional idea of ‘life drawing’ that presupposes an image generated from life or something living. It will also reflect on ‘still lifes’, which is making work generated from a single or a group of objects gathered.”

Discussing the criteria for selection of the participants, Kilani reiterates that each of these artists has significantly affected the art world as they bring unique qualities into a collaborative process.

“It is also that they have sought excellence in what they have created and because they have created works that broaden our understanding of the personal and collective journey within the human condition, and these are essential qualities for understanding and relating to still life, life and movement and the intricacy of this duality.”

In support of art education and the meaningful work museum educators conduct, the artists and curators of “Still Life and Life Drawings: A Moment Captured or Preserved?” will donate textbooks to further enrich the lessons being taught by museum educators at Iziko Museums.