WORK:PLAY is an exhibition by contemporary South African artists that challenges set ideas of what an artwork or design object should be. Curator Layla Leiman has put together a show that explores instances where the worlds of work and play merge, using different production techniques and creative approaches and traditional and/or unconventional materials. These include finger painting and performance art that will invite interplay between artworks and the audience.

The exhibition is sponsored by the Fulcrum Group, which launched a competition in 2016, together with the Bag Factory artists’ studios, Candice Berman Gallery and BASA, to identify and mentor an outstanding, young South African curator. The programme is called the Fulcrum Suzanne Shaw Creative Award, named after the late Suzanne Shaw, a passionate art lover and part-time curator who died tragically in a car accident in 2015.

Shaw was instrumental in creating a culture of art appreciation at Fulcrum, where she worked as a data analyst. She once said, “Being a place of collaboration and innovation, Fulcrum understands the importance of artwork in the workplace for social dialogue and employee engagement.”

Leiman, the winner of the inaugural award, says she is honoured to have been chosen.

“Being selected for this award feels like a validation of the work I have done in the industry in my media capacity, and an incredible opportunity to build on this knowledge by gaining practical curatorial experience and mentorship,” she says. “It’s so great to be able to learn about the industry and curating through hands-on engagement.”

“Fulcrum is recognised as having the courage and confidence to be independent and unafraid,” says Fulcrum executive chairman Ian Bain. “We recognise this same spirit of independence in artists who, too, believe in their ideas. Our support of the visual arts defines us as an organisation willing to pursue new ideas and break boundaries.”

Fulcrum Head of Brand Clodagh Da Paixao believes business and the arts can both benefit from closer cooperation.

“Art introduces us to new ways of thinking, often challenging our preconceived notions of how the world works. It bring people together, starts conversations and ignites our creativity, broadening our minds both at work and at play.”

WORK:PLAY runs from Thursday, 8 June to Monday, 12 June 2017 at the Candice Berman Gallery, Shop 8, Riverside Shopping Centre, Bryanston.

The curator and the artists will be doing a walkabout for the general public on Saturday, 10 June at 2pm.

Suzanne Shaw

Curator – Layla Leiman

Buffer Between by Io Makandal