Young artists in South Africa face immense challenges, from not being able to afford equipment to not having an audience able to afford their work. Through our involvement in the Creative Block programme, Hollard aims to support these young artists to do their best work and find commercial sustainability.
We believe there is a better way to support local artists.
Hollard has always been a passionate supporter of the Arts, in all its forms, and our involvement in the Creative Block project is one that really makes our hearts sing. It’s all about promoting local creative talent and giving up-and-coming artists a chance to show what they can do when they’re given a platform.
Once a month, art curator Jeanetta Blignaut of Creative Block meets with the artists, gently critiques their work – an enormously valuable exercise for young artists who are still learning their craft - and makes her decisions, based on their execution, subject and commercial appeal.
Artists whose work doesn’t quite make the grade go home, armed with more blocks and a wealth of advice, so they can try again next month, and artists who do have their work selected are paid for it there and then. Regardless of the finished product, each block is sold at a uniform, affordable price (currently R912 ) and, minus a small fee deducted for materials, this is split three ways between the artist, Creative Block, the agent who buys the work to on-sell.
It’s a wonderful way for aspiring artists to explore their talent without the need to incur the costs of expensive materials, or a studio. And receiving cash instantly means the successful ones are able to support themselves while they do it. Not only does this enable a talented artist able to build a sustainable income stream, but the affordability of Creative Blocks also makes it possible for a whole new audience to start collecting art.
So, while they’re a hit with established collectors, who buy them in numbers to display in groups (such as Spier Wine Farm has done), it’s the idea of an emerging collector being able to indulge their love of art for the first time that also gets us really excited. Because the more people that get involved in collecting, the more sustainable the Arts environment becomes.
Another unique benefit of the project is that owners of Creative Blocks can exchange them for new ones at any time! Because, after all, collectors’ tastes do change.
Since it began in 2004, more than 150 artists have contributed to the Creative Block project. Between them, these artists produce about 2 000 works a year, which are sold locally. There is also a growing following overseas, and Blocks are beginning to be sold internationally. We couldn’t be prouder of our talented artists and look forward to watching this initiative continue to soar!
Creative Blocks are available from:
Spier Wine Estate
R310, Stellenbosch, Western Cape 021 809 1100
Association For Visual Arts Gallery (AVA):
35 Church Street, Cape Town 021 424 7436
Hollard Purple Shop:
22 Oxford Rd, Parktown, Johannesburg 011 351 2123