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The collaboration presents a top tier cultural experience and model to activating philanthropic and sustainability initiatives with art as the catalyst

[12 April 2024] – Cheetah Plains announces the launch of a new gallery space at their award winning lodge, in partnership with Goodman Gallery, focused on art, conservation and sustainability. This new collaboration commits to raising awareness for conservation programmes and grassroots initiatives that empower local communities, while engaging guests in an important and meaningful cultural experience.  

Building on Goodman Gallery’s decades-long history of supporting social responsibility projects in South Africa, the new project space will host an annual convening between Leading Artists, Ecologists and Philanthropists. The mission is to promote dialogue around sustainability, land and community, raising awareness around these topics. Surrounded by art and nature, the conversations aim to encourage continued commitment to take care of our planet. The first edition is scheduled for November 2024 with a livestream keynote address, details of which will be announced soon.

Liza Essers, Owner and Director of Goodman Gallery says: Our space at Cheetah Plains amplifies our commitment to impactful collaboration. It also recognises the important role that art plays in bringing into our consciousness the immense effect we have on many social and environmental issues and how these are connected, and the necessity for discussions centred on sustainability and shifting existing structures. By bringing these topics to the attention of leaders and people in positions of power, and creating a moment for them to reflect, they could go on to make decisions that make a positive impact for future generations.

It was meaningful to have the elders of the gallery – William Kentridge, Sam Nhlengethwa and Sue Williamson – at the launch of the space to engage with these issues. Placing art within Cheetah Plains – leaders in environmentally conscious hospitality – is the ideal location to spark meaningful conversations with artists and thought leaders about our human relationship with nature and sustainability.

Our aim is to provide a powerful intersection of art, nature, and purpose, leaving a lasting impact on both the artistic and environmental landscapes.

Expanding on the socially engaged artist programmes of the gallery’s existing locations in Johannesburg, Cape Town, London and New York, Goodman’s exhibition programme at Cheetah Plains will specifically highlight artwork by leading South African and international artists whose work interrogates land, use of materials, humankind’s environmental impact, and larger pressing global issues. The inaugural exhibition, titled ‘draw a line to the mountains and wind,’ features artists: Kapwani Kiwanga, Clive van den Berg, William Kentridge, Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum, David Goldblatt, Misheck Masamvu, Sue Williamson and Nicholas Hlobo

The title for the opening exhibition is taken from the poem ‘Two Autumns’ by South African poet Gabeba Baderoon, in which she describes her connection to the changing seasonal landscape. Borrowing this sentiment, this exhibition highlights the central fact that communities, cultures and economies are rooted within the biosphere – the global ecosystem of living and nonliving organisms that are dependent on each other to survive.

Japie van Niekerk: Cheetah Plains is all about providing luxurious, memorable moments for its clients. For almost 60 years, Goodman Gallery has been at the forefront taking the continent’s artistic voices to international platforms. We are so excited to partner with them to offer an exclusive, top-tier cultural experience for our visitors that is set within and enhances our timeless contemporary architecture, while speaking to the bigger picture of environmental sustainability and the ever demand to create awareness to protect our natural resources.

Alongside this, the partnership provides guests with access to view and acquire work by leading artists alongside rising talent from the African continent and its diaspora. A presentation of new and historically significant work is hung across all three villas and introduces a high-end cultural experience. Visitors are able to pre-book an online or in-person consultation with a gallery expert to find out more about each artist and their work.

Goodman Gallery has held the reputation as a pre-eminent art gallery on the African continent since 1966. With Liza Essers at the helm since 2008, the gallery has brought the next generation of talent from the continent and Global South to the global art stage. The gallery has also seen the roster grow by more than 30 international artists, with a focus on women and artists from the African diaspora, and beyond.

Cheetah Plains – the leading carbon negative lodge on the African continent – are pioneers in the silent safari through electric vehicles, driving a singular approach to renewable energy through solar power in hospitality in the wild. Located in the Sabi Sand Nature Reserve, home to wildlife and endangered species that are protected through conservation and environmental programmes run by the reserve, this setting highlights human connection to and impact on nature.

The initiative with Cheetah Plains forms part of the gallery’s launch of several new pillars around social responsibility focused on communities, conservation, sustainability and social impact and extends the Cheetah Plains safari experience to include a cutting edge immersive art experience with global significance.

In making a change, Goodman Gallery’s ongoing initiative to provide clean, running water to communities follows a project that in November 2023 the gallery funded a water project to provide the 3,500 people of KwaLangakazi Village, in KwaZulu Natal, with safe, clean water for the first time. The project also enabled young community members to be trained in skills that will help maintain the water systems and find employment.
Looking forward, the collaboration will look to key players to support this initiative in nearby local villages to Sabi Sand.

Goodman Gallery

Goodman Gallery is an international contemporary art gallery with locations in Johannesburg, Cape Town, London and New York. Established in Johannesburg in 1966, the gallery works with artists whose practices confront entrenched power structures and inspire social change. During South Africa’s apartheid years, the gallery opened its doors to artists of all races, refusing to discriminate against artists of colour and becoming one of the first spaces in the world to exhibit artists who are beginning to gain global recognition as pioneers of 20th Century African Art.

Since 2008, under the leadership of owner director Liza Essers, the gallery has expanded from the preeminent South African gallery to a pioneering global gallery with a robust international programme. This is characterised by ongoing curatorial initiatives, three of which return to our programme in 2024: IN CONTEXT which explores the dynamics and tensions of place; South South brings together influential artists from across the global South; and Working Title identifies the next generation of talent from the African continent and diaspora.

Goodman Gallery has a long history of supporting social responsibility projects in South Africa. This year sees the launch of several new pillars around social responsibility focused on communities, conservation and social impact.

Cheetah Plains

Opened in 2018, Cheetah Plains is home to the exclusive-use luxury villa and sustainable safari experience nestled in South Africa’s most celebrated wildlife area, the Sabi Sand Nature Reserve. The eco-luxe experience includes three private villas with four guest bush suites that accommodate up to eight guests each with its own formal lounge, living and dining areas, expansive swimming pool, and outdoor deck that operates off-grid. Each villa comes with a complete hospitality team consisting of an accomplished host, butler, culinary team, and spa therapist, as well as an expert field guide and tracker dedicated to you for the duration of your stay. Families and children of all ages are welcome to experience their own personalized safari, guided bush walks, wellness offerings, fitness gym, and tailored activities for kids. Cheetah Plains sets the standard in South Africa for zero-emission game viewing utilizing its fleet of solar-charged Land Cruiser Electric Safari vehicles. A luxury sustainable safari that is beyond expectations.

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