Access from gallery allows visitors to view foundry operations in real life.
Over the years, Cape Town has evolved as one of the leading cities in South Africa for the manufacture of bronze castings with a number of artists and foundries based in and around Cape Town.
Now the art scene has been boosted with the opening of a new Donald Greig Gallery that is situated in the vicinity of the recently revamped development of the historical grain silos and the Ocean Liner Terminal. The new cultural institution in the V&A Waterfront has as its main attraction the new Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA), a major new cultural experience that will focus on collecting, preserving, researching, and exhibiting cutting edge contemporary art from Africa and its Diaspora. It is a unique not-for-profit partnership between the V&A Waterfront and Jochen Zeitz, a German born philanthropist.
The new Donald Greig Gallery that is located in the V&A Waterfront near the new cultural institution – Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA)
As a child, Donald Greig grew up on the Highveld and, as a result, was a huge lover of nature and animals. Over the years his interest grew and his desire to show these animals in some way or form resulted in his bronze sculpture business. He started sculpting in 1993 with his first piece being a small elephant that was later cast in silver. Greig’s intimate knowledge of animal anatomy and movement comes across in each sculpture. Each one is filled with so much detail that it’s clear that a lot of time has been spent on both design and implementation. Look closely, and you can even see Grieg’s fingerprint in some sculptures as each one is designed and moulded by hand.
The more recent sculptures include leopards, rhinos and crocodiles, monkeys, tortoises, warthogs and meerkats. Greig has a particular passion for leopards and bronzes grace the halls of international and local collectors. Sculptures vary in size from small to life-size.
In 2009, together with his wife, Ali, Donald Greig opened a gallery in West Quay Road in Cape Town’s dry docks area of the V&A Waterfront, with an adjoining foundry. Donald Greig’s passion lies within the creation of bronze sculptures drawing his inspiration from Africa’s wildlife and his many safari experiences.
A Donald Greig bronze – Leopard Scratching Post
“Our gallery needed to grow and the associated foundry needed to expand. With this in mind, we started to look for new premises, which we found in the vicinity of the historical grain silos and the Ocean Liner Terminal that has recently been through a revamp and refurbishment to accommodate and promote the visual arts sector,” said Ali Greig, who manages all aspects of the gallery.
“We have converted an “old port building” of 2800m² and have created a state-of-the-art New York styled warehouse. The new building includes two galleries and the new foundry.”
“Sculpture Casting Services is the foundry that we have always been associated with and they embraced the idea of setting up a situation where clients and the public can view the finished art while also being able to view the sculptures being manufactured.”
A Donald Greig bronze – Life Size Warthogs
“As a result, we have created a viewing passage that is accessed from the gallery and visitors will be able to safely look in on every aspect of the work done in the foundry. This includes the preparation aspect of bronzes that features a 3D scanning and simulation space, CNC routing of moulds and components, 7-axis cutting with a Yaskawa robot and of course the lost-wax casting process and the fabrication of bronzes. A personal tour of the foundry can also be arranged.”
“The outcome is a visual experience that is unique to Cape Town and has created possibly one of the largest art foundry’s in the Southern Hemisphere. Our gallery occupies approximately 540m², the foundry 1 600m² and the remaining space is taken up by the other gallery – Harbour Gallery – which is an entity within the Sculpture Casting Holdings Group of companies.”
An artistic vision of the new cultural institution
“This exciting new space includes antique artifacts that we retrieved from the grain silos, and with its close proximity to the V&A Waterfront’s new cultural institution and the rest of the Waterfront will guarantee good exposure for our work and unique services of art foundries. It is said that there are twenty-four million visitors to the V&A Waterfront annually.”
“The overhaul of the facility included installing a pond in the gallery’s showroom that showcases Donald’s bronze-cast water birds and hippos, and building a raised deck with tables and chairs for clients to relax. The viewing platform allows visitors to watch live bronze pouring while different glass-walled rooms showcase the working environment of the metalworkers. It certainly will be a cultural rich experience for visitors and clients.”
For further details contact Donald Greig Gallery on TEL: 021 418 0003 or visit www.donaldgreig.co.za