Southern Guild is bringing the work of acclaimed British contemporary artist Jessica Zoob to South Africa for the first time in partnership with London Connoisseur. In the exhibition Passion and the Still Life, Zoob’s monumental Passion collection is paired with a curated selection of ceramics, sculpture, glass and curiosities by South African designers.
“Until now, South Africans have only been exposed to Jessica’s fabric collection produced for Romo,” says Trevyn McGowan, who co-founded Southern Guild with her husband Julian.
“As the winner of the 2014 ELLE Decoration British Design Award for ‘Best British Pattern,’ it’s an honour to exhibit her original oil paintings alongside the work of talented local designers.”
Passion and the Still Life follows Zoob’s impressive trajectory. She first exhibited with Loughran Gallery in 2013, joining the gallery’s noteworthy design catalogue including Damien Hirst, Banksy and Takashi Murakami. Recently, she’s hosted successful solo shows at London’s Medici Gallery.
With Passion, Zoob exhibits a celebratory collection of works inspired by her life experiences and joy of painting, which intertwine both emotional and seasonal change. Produced on a lavish scale – some pieces being up to two-metres high – the collection pushes her distinctive technique to a new level and breaks the boundaries of her previous work in both scale and complexity.
“It is thrilling to be able to explore my technique and to see the work unfold in a way, which so far I have only been able to imagine,” says Zoob of the Passion collection.
“I believe in being brave and in living in the moment, and that is absolutely writ large within these works. Sometimes I almost don’t breathe when I am working in this way in case I destroy the delicacy of what I have created. It can be absolutely terrifying,” she says.
The decorative collection creates an enveloping landscape atmosphere that complements the still life pieces within it, including work from Imiso Ceramics, Atang Tshikare, Dokter and Misses and Bronze Age Foundry.
Passion and the Still Life will run concurrently with Southern Guild’s international design fair, GUILD. More than just a fair for beautiful objects, GUILD represents limited edition design from internationally renowned galleries, designers and artists.
With a focus on international collaboration, GUILD will introduce highly respected design authorities and work from Africa, USA, the Middle East, Britain and Europe. Zoob’s work will also feature, as part of a collection of designers represented by leading design author Helen Chislett’s gallery London Connoisseur.
“We work to bring South African talent to an international audience, and to bring international talent back to South Africa,” says McGowan. “It would be wonderful to open a pathway of collaboration and exchange with these designers and artists.”
Passion and the Still Life will be the second exhibition at Southern Guild’s Cape Town gallery, running from 24 February until April.