Now on exhibition at La Motte: Die Kraal, Pierneef-inspired ceramics by Nicolene Swanepoel

Passionate about the conservation of the South African art heritage, La Motte participates in the annual Art Franschhoek festival with two tribute exhibitions. Both honour artists no longer with us, but who have played an influential role in the development and movement of modern painting and contemporary ceramics in South Africa.

Hosted in the La Motte Maturation Cellar, Die Kraal: Homage to the work of ceramicist Nicolene Swanepoel (1962 – 2016), complements the estate's acclaimed Pierneef exhibition in the La Motte Museum, A Tribute to the life and work of JH Pierneef (1886 – 1957).

During the last months of her life, renowned ceramicist and artist Nicolene (Nikki) Swanepoel personally engaged with the graphic work of JH Pierneef for her last (though unfinished) commission for La Motte. Her focus was specifically on Pierneef’s acclaimed linocuts for ceramic plates and as a design element for her renowned ceramic cattle heads. Die Kraal: Homage to the work of ceramicist Nicolene Swanepoel, showcases complete and incomplete pieces of this project, sourced from her now silent studio in Grabouw. The pieces, inclusive of plates in various sizes and shapes, document and share the different project phases, Swanepoel’s technique as well as her inspiration.

Comparisons between Pierneef and Nikki Swanepoel are highlighted by focusing on their graphic work and prints, inspiration and subjects: Swanepoel’s incorporation of her veterinarian background, using animals and human-animal interaction as subject and Pierneef using the human-nature interaction in various artistic principles. Both artists were inspired by the arts and ‘crafts’ of indigenous cultures and San Rock art, and through La Motte’s exhibitions, subtle reference is given to the shared subjects, yet contrasting views of the two artists.

Exhibition info:

Die Kraal – homage to the work of ceramicist Nicolene Swanepoel (1962  2016)

Exhibited in the La Motte Maturation Cellar, adjacent to the Wine Tasting Room, until 26 November 2017

Monday to Saturday, 09:00 - 17:00 (closed on Sundays)

Complimentary entry

A Tribute to the life and work of JH Pierneef (1886 – 1957)

On exhibition in the La Motte Museum until 17 January 2018

Tuesdays to Sundays, 09:00 - 17:00 (closed on Mondays)

Complimentary entry

For more information on the exhibitions, please contact Eliz-Marié Schoonbee at T +27 (0)21 876 8850 or E

The Pierneef Experience

A guided tour of the two exhibitions: A Tribute to the life and work of JH Pierneef and Die Kraal: homage to the work of ceramicist Nicolene Swanepoel presented by curator Eliz-Marié Schoonbee. Explaining the various eras, themes, subjects and styles of Pierneef at the hand of the more than 100 original Pierneef works featured, the curator also shares some personal stories and interests of Pierneef, with reference to the memorabilia on display. The focus on Pierneef is enhanced by the pop-up exhibition focusing on Nicolene Swanepoel’s Pierneef-inspired ceramic plates and ceramic cattle heads.

An introduction to La Motte’s further Pierneef associations follows:  A tasting of the acclaimed Pierneef Collection of wines and Chef Michelle Theron’s interpretation of Pierneef’s Premier Mine painting as a cheese course, in Pierneef à La Motte Restaurant.

Tuesday mornings at 10:30

Cost: R250 pp (full experience) / R70 pp (guided tour and tasting)

To book: Online / T +27 (0)21 876 8850 / E

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