WhatIfTheWorld Gallery

The intention of the WHATIFTHEWORLD GALLERY from Cape Town is a kind of hopeful look into the future. It started mainly with emerging artists. Some of these artists are now exhibiting in museums all over the world. The gallery still promotes younger artists today. Supporting them is very important to her.

Ashleigh McLean WhatIfTheWorld
golden south african sculpture WhatIfTheWorld Art Cologne 2023

Painting, sculpture, performance, sound installation, printmaking and political works

The art landscape in South Africa is gradually correcting many institutionalized lines in the balance sheets of the past. This is also a very important part of the WHATIFTHEWORLD GALLERY's mission. Many of the artists in the gallery work in the disciplines of painting, sculpture, performance, sound installation, printmaking as well as political works, but also show more personal and introspective works, perhaps dealing with identity, as well as formalist and minimalist compositions.

Pierre Vermeulen gold leaf transcendence painting WhatIfTheWorld
Pierre Vermeulen spiritual south african art
Pierre Vermeulen shellac flowers artwork

Painting with shellac and imitation gold by Pierre Vermeulen

The focus is on the work of a young, very exciting African artist called Pierre. It is a painting with shellac and imitation gold. As Pierre is a practicing Buddhist, it is important to him that no real gold was used, but an imitation. His paintings are about achieving a state of transcendence and leaving material positions behind. The painting shows imprints of flowers behind a canvas. He uses handmade objects that he weaves from human hair. When they are pressed onto the canvas, they leave a kind of oxidation mark in the form of an organic color change. Pierre's work is a spiritual painting.

Chris Soal ecological sculpture made of wood
Chris Soal toothpick sculpture WhatIfTheWorld

Artworks made from toothpicks by Chris Soal from Johannesburg

Another South African artist in the gallery is from Johannesburg: Chris Soal. His objects consist of toothpicks, which he shapes together to resemble a sponge, a sea creature, a botanical object or fur. The artist is very interested in sustainability issues.

Chris Soal botanical art Art Cologne 2023

Toothpicks seem to him to be suitable objects because they speak of the way we use natural resources. So in a way, these works hover between dying and resurrecting. They show both parts of the ecological battle we are currently fighting. Chris is now one of South Africa's most exciting emerging artists. He is tackling the ecological challenges of our time.