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ark Contemporary opened its doors in 2021 – ark is an acronym for art, rosendal, kuns, and the gallery showcases the work of a collective of six established Rosendal artists.  These artists come from diverse artistic experiences and ark Contemporary provides them with a platform to collaborate and amalgamate their different approaches to art, and  with an exhibition space separate from their studios where visitors to Rosendal can engage with their work.


The artists of Ark Contemporary:


Grietjie Lee is a multi-disciplinary artist who works with a combination of beeswax and tree gum to create bas relief sculptures. Targeted animals, so-called vermin, such as the Black Backed Jackal, are a porthole for exploring the conflict at the confluence of wild and contained. Lee's abstract watercolour markings are inspired by the indigenous Rat's Tail grasses (Sporobolus Africanus). Images of these wild plants are dissected, deconstructed, reinvented and rearranged to form contained compositions.


Louis Olivier is a sculptor who mainly works in bronze and owns the Workhorse Bronze Foundry in Johannesburg. His sculptures are often beings that are both figurative and abstract. His drawings and collages are renditions of his sculptures. Louis is known for his collaborations with artists including William Kentridge, Wilma Cruise and Cobus Haupt.


Magda van der Vloed is a multifaceted artist who forges objects from her imagination into the world of ceramics and paint - depicting the vices of our society, she draws the viewer’s attention to how we live in a perilous and precarious time. Her theme is inspired by her personal narratives while offering commentary on the social-political context of South Africa.


Michele Nigrini, one of the first professional artists to make Rosendal her home, is a colourist who captures a personal response to what she sees - her approach based on visual sensations and the play with line, colour and structure with mark making being the most fundamental element in her work. Her aim is not to copy nature, but to capture the essence of things.


Stella Olivier is primarily a photographer who is interested in capturing evidence of stories as they unfold in real time, and seconds later become historic. She has photographed several local and international performers and artists. She also works with charcoal and ink on paper and in these drawings, she combines images to create stories that never existed.


Wessel van Huyssteen is a multimedia artist who does intricate and detailed watercolour drawings to portray his interest in the landscape and the concept of space, place and non-place and how to engage these phenomena in the age of the Anthropocene. With his current series “The Stitch and the Din” he works with Rayon and Viscose. The vibrant colours a screaming protest against the deforestation to which the making of these textiles contribute.


Monday: 10-14h00

Thursday: 10-16h00

Friday: 10-17h00

Saturday: 10-17h00

Sunday: 10-14h00

Ark is closed on a Tuesday and a Wednesday but, as with everything in Rosendal, someone will be  a minute away and the gallery can be opened on request.


342 Kriek St (cnr of Kriek and van der Merwe St)


Contact Bev 079 587 6282

Instagram: arkrosendal
Facebook: arkContemporary

Willem Pretorius - Artist

Willem finds his inspiration in the smells and sights of the small towns of South Africa. His depiction of them is that of a local and not a mere tourist or casual passer-by. The artists loves the way nature reclaims these man-made structures. Through documenting these landscapes he forces the on-looker to see through his eyes and stand were he stood still and maybe see it in a new light, the beauty in decay. His theme is mainly concerned with the “platteland” and its changing landscapes. It can be seen as a type of visual diary where he documents a specific time and place in our history and in doing so, remembering. It also reminds us of our own transcience and mortality. Everything is temporary. He works in oil and his style can best be described as observational realism with a strong South African vernacular.

Visit his studio/gallery, Skoppelmaai, in Genl Fick Street on appointment. 076 159 0525 &

Lein Smuts
Beeldhouer en skilder.


Visit her gallery at De Tuinen on appointment.
082 782 6532 &

Wim Rautenbach

Spontaneous freedom and honesty is the feeling which is derived from Rautenbach’s oil paintings. Light and form plays an important part in Rautenbach’s creative process.
The work is not not static and totally realistic, movement, light and atmosphere can be experienced.
His work can be viewed at Stallery in Keyter Street on appointment. 072 275 5571 & &

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