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Space Between Art Gallery in Cape Town
Woodstock welcomes a rebellious new exhibition venue dedicated to promoting the underground street art scene
Sometimes, great concepts come from light bulb moments; sometimes, they arise from booze-fuelled banter with friends; and sometimes, they are bred from years of deep frustration. In the case of Cape Town’s new Space Between gallery, it was the latter.
Megan Theunissen, the owner of the Woodstock-based venue, founded the second-storey exhibition space out of dissatisfaction with the workings of the current creative scene. An artist herself, the 27-year-old was sick of a system that pressures creatives to conform to specific modes of practice, pissed off with the lack of support for alternative urban works and downright annoyed that mainstream galleries often sideline and dismiss anything that doesn’t fall within the fine art bracket.
“Underground art is the fastest growing art form internationally and yet in South Africa we’re still living in the past where this is concerned”, says the Michaelis School of Fine Art graduate. “There are no businesses managing these sorts of artists, no respected platform for them and no conversation around their works.”
Needless to say, her edgy Albert Road gallery is set to fill that void. It aims to give legitimacy and recognition to all those individuals who are producing exceptional pieces that go unnoticed because they exist outside of accepted norms. At the end of the day, it looks to bridge the gap between the street and traditional art institutions.
“That’s what the gallery is,” explains Megan. “It’s a space between for unconventional artists, for creatives who haven’t been heard but deserve to be listened to.”
The one-room venue showcases paintings, illustrations, prints and installations from around 10 different South African creatives, and most of the artists who exhibit here have a background in street, comic and tattoo art. The works are raw and real, cheeky and irreverent (after all, these are individuals who are free to create whatever they want), and they all showcase great technical skill and time commitment.
Some of the most notable contributors to the group exhibitions include Nardstar, a graffiti artist whose vibrant, geometric creations have earned her the status of one of the world’s top 25 female street artists; Skullboy, a Durban-based graphic designer who specialises in ‘lowbrow’ art with a primitive edge; R1, an installation artist who challenges people to question their urban environment; and Jack Fox, a talented young teen who creates incredibly intricate pen works.
The shows run for only one week every month (the space is available for other creative initiatives the rest of the time), but this means that alternative art enthusiasts can expect constant change at the Space Between. Megan is committed to featuring new names regularly and she plans to keep transforming the venue so that every exhibition is structurally and aesthetically distinct (floating boards make this possible).
This way, the public has a chance to really get acquainted with the different facets and fortes of an underground community that’s gone unacknowledged for far too long.
Tip: The Space Between gallery hosts a launch event for each monthly show and anyone is welcome to attend. The parties generally feature food, drinks and music, and they’re a great opportunity to meet like-minded people. Keep an eye on the venue’s Facebook page and website (SB-gallery.co.za) to find out when these to-dos are taking place.
The Bill: Entrance to the gallery on normal exhibition days is free, but there will be a cover charge if there is an event taking place. The artworks can be considered emerging investment pieces, so prices are quite accessible. On average, works range from R1500 to R5500.
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Friday: 10am – 6pm; Saturday: 10am – 2pm (these hours only apply during exhibitions)
The Loft | 139 Albert Road | Woodstock | Cape Town | +27 (0)76 213 0442
By Dayle Kavonic
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Consult our guide to other art galleries in Cape Town.
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