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Light work

Dec 6, 2019 | Lifestyle

Justin Southey’s new show at Cavalli Estate is an exploration of the intangible and a nod to Dylan Thomas

Cavalli Estate is a lifestyle mecca – a blend of culinary, artistic and scenic excellence. Its art gallery (winner of the regional 2015 Best of Wine Tourism Award for Art and Culture) aims to support the local arts through its retail art gallery and public sculpture spaces.

Regular contemporary exhibitions run in the stunning 600-square-metre main gallery situated below ground. Despite its subterranean position, a striking use of light designed to simulate a skylit ceiling shows of the work to best advantage.

The latest show to open is ‘Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night’ by Justin Southey. Born in rural South Africa in 1985, Southey majored in photography graduating Cum Laude from Stellenbosch Academy of Graphic Design and Photography (2007), with a BA in Applied Design. His training gives his work a striking abstract appeal, which lends itself to an exploration of the intangible, with his practice regularly exploring the idea of landscapes and fantastical worlds that serve as metaphors for more unquantifiable emotional and spiritual spaces. Acting as ephemeral mirages, his aim is to capture the transcendent quality of the unseen. “Capturing momentary feelings in a visual form, these investigations are both deeply personal and also often made in response to his immediate environment,” says curator Amy Lynn Eveleigh.

Loosely arranged around the poetic work of Dylan Thomas, Southey’s presentation at Cavalli Gallery explores the struggle associated with change and Dylan’s iconic refrain ‘rage against the dying of the light’. Southey’s emotional landscapes are rich with vibrance – bold swathes of colour, texture and exuberant mark-making. “There is a push and pull in the viewer’s experience, directing the eye and stimulating the senses,” says Eveleigh.

The show will run until 23 February 2020. The gallery is open five days a week, Wednesday to Sunday, from 10am to 6pm.

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