Mooi River fine art

2011-01-06 00:00

A VISIT to Graceland Gallery in Mooi River is likely to end with an encounter with owner-artist, Jeanette Hogg.

Situated on Graceland Farm on the Giant’s Castle Road, the gallery’s featured artists include painters Andre de la Rosa, Michael Harry Norris, Inge Dagmar Manders, Nicole Kaue­rauf, Louise Ghersie, the sculptor Uli Ortner, Terry Stevens who works with glass, mosaic artist Shane Arnt­zen and Janelle Michie who does embroidery and beadwork.

Their work sits alongside that of Hogg, a ceramicist and graduate of the Natal Technikon (now Durban University of Technology) fine art programme. Graceland Gallery, which shares the idyllic location with a thoroughbred racing stud and Jeanette’s husband, MoneyWeb’s CEO Alec Hogg’s fully equipped radio studio, was started after the Hoggs moved away from the bright lights of Johannesburg nine months ago.

The moment Jeanette saw the barn she knew it would make a wonderful exhibition space, but she admits she didn’t plan to open a gallery.

“One day when I was out meandering I met Mike Morsley and he told me that the midlands needed an upmarket gallery,” she explains. “I didn’t want to know at first, but it planted a seed and I found myself going out and looking for artists. I visited people and started putting styles together — watercolours, wildlife, portraiture, horses, landscapes — which now hang in the space.”

Asked if she had always wanted to be a ceramicist, she says: “No, I actually wanted to do interior design.

“When I was at tech we did 11 subjects in first year, including interior and graphic design, and you had to do everything before you could specialise.

“One of the things we had to do was fine art and I remember walking into the ceramics department and just falling in love with the smell of clay.”

After graduating and moving to Johannesburg she started a ceramics business and soon attracted the attention of designers who commissioned her to do pieces for their clients.

She also lectured at the Vaal Triangle Technikon before opening her own ceramics school, which she ran for five years, until business orders took over all her time.

But running a busy business meant her own creativity had to take a bit of a backseat, which is why Jeanette is finding her new midlands home even more special. For the first time in years she’s up to elbows in clay, drawing inspiration from the gorgeous countryside around her… and she’s loving it.

“I’ve never made such amazing work before,” Jeanette, who produces stunning female forms from clay, says.

For more information about the gallery phone 033 263 1200.

• How to get there: Take the Mooi River off-ramp at the toll plaza, drive into town and follow the signs to Giant’s Castle. Graceland Gallery is about four kilo­metres out of town on the Giant’s Castle Road.

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