Raw artwork on display

The interior of Proto~, a shop within the A4 Arts Foundation in District Six.
The interior of Proto~, a shop within the A4 Arts Foundation in District Six.

A4 Arts Foundation, a not-for-profit laboratory for the arts of Southern Africa has opened the proto~ shop at the foundation’s centre in District Six.

Hamzeh Alfarahneh, creative director for the foundation, says the initiative will be used as a tool to raise funds and to support the original work of the artists. It will also ensure its sustainability.

While A4 focuses on showcasing completed work by the artists and giving free access to the public, proto~ will take on a slightly different approach.

The initiative will reveal the original product before the sculpture has reached its final stage.

The only similarity will be daily free entry between 10:00 and 17:30.

“Proto~ is an interface to A4 that examines the artistic practices of off-cuts, propositions, false starts, cul-de-sacs and fragments. We recognised that artists and designers often have parts of their processes that do not see the light of day, perhaps sketches or experiments en route to finished products, and perhaps the things that were not appropriate to the primary project, but interesting nonetheless,” Hamzeh explains.

He says this will allow the public to explore the artistic process in a participatory, engaging and collaborative way.

Hamzeh says this is to challenge the public to think critically and to come to their own conclusions about the art of their interests.

“I think people find it unusual and I love that,” Hamzeh says.

“We look forward to other’s opinions and suggestions, good or bad – they can only be productive.”

Every selling art piece will support the artists and the foundation; there will be no middleman such as shareholders.

The public is urged to witness the opening taking place at their premises on Friday 4 October.

V For more information email proto@a4arts.org.

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