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Malt grains become art in new installation series presented by Stella Artois
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Malt grains become art in new installation series presented by Stella Artois

Posted on 5 August 2021

For the first time in South African art history, three artists created artworks using 1000s of malt grains in their works. In a unique national art installation, the artists - Sindiso Nyoni, Yay Abe and Baba Tjeko - will exhibit their three striking artworks in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg during August 2021.

Inspired by the theme "In the right hands, pure malt becomes pure art", in collaboration with Stella Artois, the artworks will be placed in iconic South African cityscapes - Sandton Square, V&A Waterfront and Umhlanga Gateway.

"The installation(s) is our contribution to the aesthetic of our cities while examining what it means to be human in the belief that art has the power to bring people together," said Marsha Kumire, Brand Director of High End Africa.

Baba Tjeko Installation
Baba Tjeko Installation

Baba Tjeko Installation
Baba Tjeko Installation

Award-winning, multidisciplinary, self-described Afrocentric artist, Baba Tjeko's piece portrays African ideas and perspectives through his Litema artwork, a form of Basotho mural art composed of decorative geometric patterns, mostly in black and white with hints of mainly blue, yellow and red.

"Anyone can pick up a brush and paint, but a true artist creates a masterpiece. Pure malt is similar to other art materials and, for me, represents endless possibilities," said Baba Tjeko. "It is a raw material that I am using to create a beautiful & meaningful artwork that I hope people can connect with. The work's purpose is to invite people to savour life together and enjoy special moments.". Tjeko's work will be exhibited at Umhlanga Gateway Shopping Center in Durban.

Lady and Man Installation by Sindiso Nyoni
Lady and Man Installation by Sindiso Nyoni

Sindiso Nyoni, whose piece will be exhibited at Sandton Square in Johannesburg, has been described as a contemporary illustrator, activist, street-artist, and multi-disciplinary graphic designer who tackles some of Africa's most pressing issues in the form of visual art.

"My piece is called 'Lady and Man'. It's an ode to couples, the spirit of a union and special moments, in living colour," said Nyoni. Working primarily in pencil, ink, pastels, gauche, acrylic and digital media fusion, Nyoni creates a subversive "street style".

Yay Abe Installation
Yay Abe Installation

Relishing the large-scale format that painting murals provides, Cape Town artist, Yay Abe's artwork for the series is distinctively set in the Mother City and will be set on two large sculptures at the V&A Waterfront.

"I really wanted to create a piece of art that is inclusive of the viewer and allows you to walk around and appreciate the pure craftsmanship behind the piece as well as the company of others. For me, the bigger the space and the more challenging the medium, the better it is," said Yay Abe.

Also known as Russell Abraham, Yay established his namesake illustration studio for artists of colour in Cape Town, working with anything from t-shirts, to take away boxes and walls, the designs of which "undoubtedly bring the ordinary to life" according to S-Mag.

The installation of "Pure Malt In The Right Hands Becomes Pure Art" will run in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban until end August.

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