The MORE Family Collection Artist Residency has welcomed a new curator. Amy Ellenbogen, a South African creative consultant with a speciality in art and design, brings with her a wealth of experience in the creative space, from galleries and art advisory to curatorship.
The Artist Residency, a studio and gallery housed within the Lion Sands Ivory Lodge in Sabi Sand Mpumalanga, where local artists are invited to live, work, and interact with guests. Ellenbogen’s focus will be on up-and-coming contemporary artists, giving them a platform on which to shine, as well as a once-in-a-lifetime experience at Lion Sands.
“It is a huge privilege as a curator to be in a position that gives artists the opportunity to enrich their practice by not only giving them a completely different environment to work in, but potentially changing the way that they work with materials,” says Ellenbogen. “It allows me to be part of something much bigger than myself, shifting the narrative and perspective around the environment and our engagement with it, mainly from the standpoint of conservation. This residency allows artists access to an environment they wouldn’t ordinarily have access to due to its seclusion and exclusivity, making this an exciting opportunity to understand and appreciate our surroundings through meaningful artwork.”
An immersive concept
The Artist Residency was launched in 2021 by MORE Family Collection with the intention to promote South African artists and develop new talent. Staying for up to six weeks, artists are given an exceptional opportunity to immerse themselves in the African bush, drawing inspiration from nature to create new works and exhibit them.
The inspirational concept also pays homage to the global trend of travellers seeking out meaningful, immersive, and experiential experiences. Guests at the lodge can engage with the talented artists, learn about their creative processes, appreciate their creations, and perhaps invest in original, collectable artwork.
“Historically, MORE Family Collection has always supported local artists,” explains CEO Robert More, “and our intention with the Artist Residency is to uplift both our artists and our guests through an enriching experience at Lion Sands Ivory Lodge. For the artists, they are enabled to focus on their craft, exhibit on a new platform and connect with an audience they would ordinarily not have had the chance to meet. For our guests from all over the world, this unique interaction enhances their stay, leaving them with a deeper understanding of the spirit of Africa and its people.”
In partnership with the Southern African Foundation For Contemporary Art (SAFFCA), Amy will hand pick exciting, and contemporary South African artists – both emerging and established – to introduce bold, and surprising works enriched by the environment, instead of directly referencing it. This approach will make for unique interactions and a memorable guest experience all round.