On November 30, 2021 art lovers and admirers of the company's exceptional puppetry have the opportunity to own a piece of Handspring Puppet Company history as a unique collection of 26 artworks collected by Kohler and Jones go under the hammer at Aspire Art Auctions live auction. Ahead of the auction the collection is on display from Nov 23 to Nov 30 as part of a pre-auction exhibition at the new Aspire Art Auctions gallery at 32 Bolton Road in Rosebank. With a gallery space Aspire Auctions is a great addition to the art district of Rosebank.
The celebrated Handspring Puppet Company has presented work in over 30 countries. They received critical acclaim in 2007 for their hit play War Horse which premiered at London's Royal National Theatre and later went on a 12-year global tour. Most recently they have drawn the world's attention to the refugee crisis with the complex and ambitious 'Little Amal' project. Little Amal (meaning 'hope' in Arabic) is a 3.5 metre-tall puppet of a young Syrian refugee girl that has now travelled 8,000 km from Syria through Europe on its way to the recent COP26 talks in Glasgow.
The works on sale at Aspire Art Auction's November 30 sale have been collected by Kohler and Jones over more than 30 years and represent their creative, personal and professional journeys.
Deeply respected within the South African art community, the pair have formed a close relationship with several of the country's most famous artists, particularly William Kentridge with whom they collaborated on the production of the 1997 performance Ubu and the Truth Commission. Dedicated to raising a voice against the discrimination facing the LGBT community, works by acclaimed activist-artists such as Clive van der Berg and Zanele Muholi also form part of the collection on sale, as do works by their famous art school peers Simon Stone, Marlene Dumas and photographer Billy Monk.
Significantly, the collection includes a number of works that directly influenced The Handspring Puppet Company's distinctive style. These include drawings by the late great Dumile Feni, a velvet corkwood articulated sculpture Skeleton by Dr. Putuma Seoka and a historical colour lithograph titled Head of a giraffe by French explorer, Francois Le Vaillant that was the inspiration for the giraffe puppet from Tall Horse (2004).
Online Talk with Adrian Kohler and Basil Jones
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Exhibition and live auctionView the pre-auction exhibition at the Aspire Art Auctions Gallery at 32 Bolton Road from Nov 23-30, open daily from 09:00-17:00. The live auction takes place on Tue Nov 30 from 18:00.
How to bid at an Aspire Art auctionThis auction is happening live at the Aspire Art Auctions showroom in Rosebank. To place a bid you first need to register an account on aspire.net. Click the user icon in the top right-hand corner of the screen and complete the ‘Create My Account’ form. Once you have activated your account you will be able to register for upcoming sales directly online at the Upcoming Auctions page and place pre-auction bids. You can also bid in real-time at live auctions via the website's platform Aspire Live or join in the thrill of the chase at the showroom.
Browse the auction and find out more about registering and bidding with Aspire Art auctions here.