At this time of year, The Village NEWS is usually brimming with news about the upcoming FynArts Festival that takes place annually in June. With another ambitious line-up of events for this year, however, Festival Director Mary Faure and the FynArts committee, together with the performers, artists and other partners have had to develop creative ways of conceptualising this popular festival within the constraints imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
One of the most important exhibitions on the FynArts programme has always been Sculpture on the Cliffs, with large public works installed at Gearing’s Point and along the cliffs above the Old Harbour. Residents and festivalgoers alike look forward, with much curiosity and anticipation, to seeing the new sculptures go up every year. Which is why Mary is thrilled to announce that the 2020 Pioneer Freight Sculpture on the Cliffs exhibition, curated by Gavin Younge under the theme of ‘Vertical Animal’, will be the largest to date and one of the most exciting.
“Installing this unique outdoor exhibition of large sculptures is never without logistical challenges for the artists and the FynArts team,” says Mary, “and this year the Coronavirus has escalated all these challenges. During Levels 5 and 4 of the lockdown, foundries and other workshops needed to finish off the sculptures are still closed. Transporting artworks, especially between provinces, is not considered to be an essential service and is therefore also not allowed. But we are exploring a number of avenues to make this happen as soon as possible.”
She adds that due to the unpredictability of the exact nature and duration of the lockdown regulations, it is not yet possible to announce firm dates for the installation of the sculptures. But in the meantime, all 12 participating artists are hard at work completing their sculptures, and the whole town is looking forward to seeing the creations of Jake Michael Singer, Collen Maswanganyi, Karin Lijnes, Wilma Cruise, Jaco Sieberhagen, Jean Theron Louw, Guy du Toit, Nanette Ranger, David Griessel, Right Mukore, Kevin Brand and Anni Snyman adorning our coastline – hopefully in the not-too-distant future.
This year’s reimagined festival, Hermanus FynArts Select 2020, will be presented in virtual format during the festival dates of 5 – 16 June, by way of recorded and live-streamed events. “This will be followed by a number of stimulating and uplifting FynArts Select weekends at a later stage. Many of the events that are not possible to bring to the festival this year, for logistical and other reasons, will be included in the 2021 programme,” says Mary.
Other good news is that the 2020 Tollman Bouchard Finlayson Art Award and exhibition will go ahead this year when South Africa has reached Level 1 of the lockdown. The theme of the 2020 competition is ‘Biomimicry’ and the exhibition will again be hosted in the Bouchard Finlayson cellar.