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A sculpture garden will open in the park around Graham’s Fine Art Gallery. It aims to raise the profile of the environment, and will include recycled objects.
IT may be hard to see that towering metal artistic structures are good for the environment, but artist Mark Swart and Graham’s Fine Art Gallery are collaborating to create a sculpture garden that will bring attention to our neglected natural surroundings.


The SentinelThe Sentinel stands guard over the art gardenThe exhibition opens to the public on Saturday, 26 March and is one of South Africa’s first open air art exhibitions.

“The motivation for the project was based on a growing concern that new developments and neighbourhoods are being erected with no consideration towards public parks and spaces. We felt the need to bring about an environmental change in the area and introduce an exciting new garden feature for the public to enjoy,” says public relations account executive for Platinum PR, Sophie Abendanon.

The art gallery is in the Broadacres Lifestyle Centre in Fourways, northern Joburg.

“The experience aims to bring people closer to nature as well as give them the opportunity to appreciate large-scale sculpture. Nature is art in its rawest form, the beauty of which will create a symbiotic relationship with Mark Swart’s work,” she says.

His work consists mainly of metal structures. “My work is a process of form reaching towards beauty. Whether it is design, sculptural, architectural or functional, the design philosophy is simple: form follows function. Using only the essential lines to define the object, it’s how form presents itself, the message it conveys and the feelings that it calls forth,” he says on his website.

By working with steel, he is trying to reverse perceptions that it is a hard, cold and unyielding material. “I express other qualities of metal by stretching the physical plasticity of the material which enhances the image and conveys the emotional message of the sculpture.”

Swart completed a National Higher Diploma in art in 1991, and became a full-time designer and sculptor in 1992.

In addition to Swart’s pieces, there will also be a display of recycled materials to highlight the importance of sustainability within the environment. “It was important for us to make sure that the sculpture garden was ‘green’, and have therefore incorporated recycled materials for benches and stepping stones,” Abendanon says.


RelationshipMark Swart's sculptures are made from recycled materialThere will be walkabouts with the artist over three weekends, starting on the day the exhibition opens on 26 March. The other two will take place on 2 and 9 April. All the walkabouts will begin at 10am.

“The artist will be discussing his ideas behind each of the sculptures and the techniques used to construct them,” she says.

The exhibition will be hosted in the park area surrounding Graham’s Fine Art Gallery, which is located at the Lifestyle Centre in Broadacres, Fourways.

“The exhibition is a permanent display. However, the sculptures are for sale and when one is sold, it will be replaced by a new, fresh sculpture, so the park itself has a life of its own.”

Broadacres Lifestyle Centre is on the corner of Valley and Cedar roads. For more information, contact the gallery on 011 465 9192 or visit its website.

Graham’s Fine Art Gallery is open from Monday to Sunday, from 9am to 5pm.

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