Nelson Mandela Bay
GFI Art Gallery
The Ron Belling Art Gallery was established in 2000 in Port Elizabeth. The focus has gradually shifted over the years with the changing times and the growing interest in the visual arts arena. The Gallery name has since been changed to the Gutsche Family Investment Art Gallery (GFI Art Gallery) and the building has over the years been sensitively adjusted to accommodate its ever changing role.
The Gallery is a landmark building on Park Drive in Port Elizabeth and is one of the finest examples of Art Deco architecture in the city. In 1936, Axel Stockelbach, then managing director of Ford South Africa, commissioned the first woman Architect to qualify in South Africa, Gertruida Brinkman, to design his house, “Ridgewood”.
The house was purchased in 1988 by Port Elizabeth businessman, Philipp Rowland Gutsche Senior. On his death in 2000, leaving behind a legacy of charity and goodwill, it was his wish that the residence be converted into an art gallery.
The purpose at the time was to house the Ron Belling Military Aviation Collection of Oil Paintings which had been acquired by the Gutsche family.
To this day Mr Gutsche’s daughter, Dorothea Moors, chairs the Gallery Board and together with the Board Members and Gallery Staff, Mr Gutsche’s legacy is upheld through the passionate promotion of visual arts in the Eastern Cape and beyond.
BY WOMEN, FOR WOMEN
by Sarah Walmsley
Sarah Walmsley’s work offers a revised approach to the sculptural female nude. Her emotive sculptures gracefully bear the weight of their experience as they communicate with each other and their viewers. Through these sculptures, she aims to represent women, by women, in the way they have elected to be represented.
Through the body language and essence of her sculptures combined with the mediums in which they are created, she has addressed themes of memory, absence and presence, loss and the female identity using the female body as an allegory and conduit for expression. Initially focusing on self-portraits and now in her most recent body of work “By Women, for Women” including portraits of various female figures. Walmsley’s work addresses the ways in which the female body has been voyeuristically represented in art and aims to reclaim the female nude, through representations of ‘naked nudes’ and authentic portraits of women by a female artist. These portraits aim to honour and celebrate the power, strength and beauty of women and represent their intersectional identities.
Dates: 16 Sep – 18 Oct 2022 for public viewing
SARAH WALMSLEY SOLO: 15 Sep – 18 Oct 2022
LIESL DUTHIE SOLO: 27 Oct – 29 Nov 2022
CREATIVE BLOCK 2022: 8 Dec – Jan 2023