Kyle Jardine’s art captures Cape Town in lockdown vigil


VIGIL, a body of work by Kyle Jardine, forms part of a group exhibition at Young Blood Gallery from February 4, 2021. Jardine is a self-taught artist – with a film degree and musical theatre licentiate – who has explored and experimented in multiple mediums, though his preferred medium is ink on paper. His work is predominantly architecturally focused, drawing inspiration from local heritage buildings. Whether Victorian, Edwardian or Cape Dutch, the structural details, shape and design of Cape Town’s buildings fascinate Jardine.

“I enjoy capturing street scenes, the crowded overlapping buildings, the juxtaposition of the old and new world, as well as the detailed facades of historic buildings. The joy, for me, is in the quirks; the patterns, the unexpected shapes, the squiggly lines. There is something new that is awakened by giving these majestic buildings a comical style in the interpretation,” says Jardine.

“My love for design, décor, art and fashion also extends into the creation of interior-style illustrated pieces. Colour, prints, antique furnishings or chic modern styling all inspire the creation of comical and quirky reimagined spaces.

“I strive to breathe a new light into the city, with vibrant colors and capturing its personality.  My recent body of work is inspired by the exploration of colour play and the stages of light at different times of the day. I’m always excited to create and see where my imagination takes me.”

Vigil, a noun meaning “the act of keeping awake at times when sleep is customary” or “an event or period of time when a person or group stays in a place and quietly waits, prays, etc, especially at night” is a series born from Jardine’s musings on the South African lockdown and its psychological impact on city dwellers.

“As a born and bred Capetonian with a deep-seated love for this city in my heart, seeing our beloved streets, entertainment venues, beaches and promenades uninhabited and desolate for months on end was initially heartbreaking,” says Jardine. “However, as the time dragged on and we began to learn to interact with the city in different ways, I realised that there was a sense of vibrancy and life in Cape Town that seemed to exist outside of our current inability to interact with it. This lead me to start thinking about what makes a city; what defines its personality insofar as what its inhabitants and visitors experience it to be?

“For me, Cape Town’s energy has not been diminished by the lockdown, just altered. When I look out on the city at night, I do not see an abandoned ghost town. Instead, I see a mysterious place, brimming with the energy of myriad lives being lived in enforced privacy; a collective vigil being kept for our city while she sleeps.”

“The Long Night”

Appropriate then, that Vigil will be exhibited in the heart of the city centre: Young Blood Gallery, 70-74 Bree Street, Cape Town. Opening hours 9am till 5pm, Mondays to Fridays. For more information, call 021 424 0074,[email protected], or click here. Instagram @youngblod_ct

For more information about Jardine’s originals, prints and commissions, click here, email [email protected], and follow @kylejardineart on Instagram.


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