SCULPTX – The largest annual sculpture fair in South Africa

01 Sep 2019

SculptX is the largest annual sculpture fair in South Africa which happens for the month of September in numerous venues throughout the Melrose Arch precinct.

Projects

SculptX was started in 2017 by The Melrose Gallery, in association with Melrose Arch to provide a valuable platform to promote sculpture and sculptors to those who live, work and play in the precinct, as well as art collectors and enthusiasts in general.

The fair has grown year on year with over 200 artworks created by more than 90 established and emerging sculptors showcased in The Melrose Gallery, the 8 000 sqm Daytona showroom, the African Pride Hotel, Letsema Holdings, One On Whiteley, the Galleria and other public spaces in the 2019 installment.

Sculpture has seen a strong increase in demand over the last 5 years leading to the establishment of many new foundries. We put much effort into sourcing female and young artists from the previously disadvantaged communities to give them the benefit of this valuable platform as they are often over looked and under-represented in this genre.

SculptX also successfully provides emerging sculptors with the opportunity to exhibit alongside some of our most established artists, which is often not the case.

The works come from different cities throughout South Africa and include numerous mediums ranging from bronze, steel, found objects and stone to wood, crystal, glass, grass, fibre glass, carbon fibre and even virtual reality. We are keen to extend on the programme allowing for the inclusion of more artists from the continent of Africa once funding allows.

“This fair is quite an assault on the senses, but in an extremely stimulating and positive way. To see so many sculptures in one area representing so many different media and styles is very rare and has proven extremely popular, consistently attracting a large crowd of artists, art collectors, art enthusiasts and media alike”,  Craig Mark – The Melrose Gallery director.

SculptX is accompanied by the ‘Sculpture Dialogues’ which consist of a panel discussion involving experts who discuss issues of pertinence to sculpture in Africa.

Education also plays an integral role in SculptX, both for emerging sculptors who have the opportunity to hone their practice and to learn from so many different mediums and styles, and the public by making sculpture more accessible.

SculptX is a testament to the increasing number of talented sculptors who are working with a diversity of materials, new mechanisms and technologies that are testing their production and creativity, the growing demand for sculpture from local and international collectors seeking powerful Pan-African narratives and a desire to encourage the continued growth of the genre within South Africa and the African continent at large”, say curators Megan Theunissen and Ruzy Rusike.