After the sell-out success of her previous solo show earlier in 2021, and back by demand after a slew of commissions, artist and interior designer Marie-Louise Koen presents her follow-up exhibition, Tidal Pools from 01 December 2021 onwards. The exhibition is open to the public until 15 January 2022. The paintings are on show at the new gallery space within the popular foreshore restaurant and retail environment, The Yard, which is located in the Silo District at the V & A Waterfront, Cape Town.
Koen’s latest series depicts select Tidal Pools around the Western Cape. The show is inspired by the way these pools bring together a community of ocean-loving people of all ages, genders and races. The artist will donate a percentage of any works sold to The Beach Co-op, an NPO that works to clear plastic waste from our beaches and oceans.
This new body of work continues to explore the seascapes that captivate the artist. Koen’s previous solo show, entitled Been Dreaming of the Med, captured people enjoying some of Europe’s most popular beach holiday spots. The zest for life, dreamy aquatic blues, themes of travel, and sheer joie de vivre were a welcome and much-needed antidote to Covid-induced isolation. Tidal Pools is in the same vein.
The well-travelled Koen, who has exhibited locally and internationally, is based between New York City, where she works for a Tribeca-based architecture firm, and Cape Town, where she was born. Returning to the Mother City during lockdown, she turned her attention to the astounding beauty of the “fairest Cape”. In particular, to its coastline.
“This time the inspiration is a lot closer to home,” she says. Inspired by her immediate environment, her Tidal Pools series explores the beauty of Cape Town’s seaside, from the pools themselves to the communities they invite. “The daily routine of a cold-water dip has brought together a community of ocean-loving people of all ages, genders, races, and that’s the true inspiration behind this body of work,” she adds.
Cape Town’s unique shoreline is home to astounding underwater kelp forests and thriving marine life. A large part of which can be experienced within the relatively sheltered waters of the tidal pools themselves. This wonderous fact is celebrated by volunteer-run community organizations like Cape Town Tidal Pools (https://www.capetowntidalpools.com/), snorkelers, committed freedivers, regular citizens, and naturally, by the artist herself.
There are 24 tidal pools across the Atlantic Seaboard and False Bay and Koen has painted 13 of them. Like the pools themselves, her large-scale paintings are full of life. The vibrant immediacy is thanks to a range of vivid oceanic hues that capture the dynamism of the ever-moving sea. Together they form a homage to marine life, to the shore, to summer, and to life-giving, fun activities – like swimming and splashing about – that bring people together.
“Cape Town’s seaside pools are so special,” Koen states. “Not only is the setting spectacular, but we are lucky to have so many of these places, that are all free for all people to enjoy.”
Gallery owner Abigail Bisogno is equally enthusiastic. “It feels like this is what we need right now!” exclaims the visionary behind The Yard’s ever-changing mix of fabulous fusion food and lovingly chosen boutique items. This is the third exhibition that Bisogno is hosting this year. She provides an alternative, supportive platform for artists to reach audiences. The gallery at The Yard takes no commission, and does not charge a hosting fee. Bisogno only asks that the exhibiting artists make a donation to a charity of their choice off the back of any sales. She plans to continue this concept into 2022 and interested artists are encouraged to approach the gallery to exhibit.
The generosity of spirit and creativity is combined with The Yard’s stylish yet laid-back interior and sunny outdoor space adjoining the landmark Zeitz MOCAA. All this makes taking a dive into Tidal Pools a summer Must!
The Yard is open Monday-Saturday from 09h00 to 22h00, on Sundays from 09h00 to 15h00, and on Public Holidays, except for Christmas Day. For more information visit www.theyardatsilo.co.za and www.marielouisekoen.com.
Date: 01 December 2021 to 15 January 2022
Venue: The Yard, Ground Floor, Silo 4, Silo District, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town
Opening event: 17h30 on 01 December (Covid-19 protocols in place)