One of the artists showing her works this year is Miq Miles, who firmly believes that this is the best festival in South Africa. She is not the only one, a number of exhibitors feel this way.
Neels Deysel, an Innibos veteran, is quick to point out that this is his eighth Innibos, and all seven of the preceding were a sell-out for him. Another feather in his cap is the fact that he was the first Innibos artist ever to completely sell all of his paintings.
This year he is exhibiting with his wife Nelia, a talented artist herself. Their robust, brightly coloured farm scenes are eye-catching, uplifting and a definite must-visit.
One of the pioneering and highly respected artists is Gerhard Snyman, who signs his work “G’art”. He has relocated to the Cape and his stunning, energetic work is represented by Peter Meyer.
Gerhard’s faces are his trademark, and it’s obvious why they are so sought after, every slash of paint and streak of colour tells a story.
Michael Nolte’s realistic slate paintings of wildlife are indicative of the variety of medium that can be used to create a masterpiece, as is Amanda Cliengen’s fun and quirky work on wood. Fae Christou’s exquisite trees have a sense of starkness, the beauty of sharp, skeletal branches against pristine white snow.
Casjane du Plooy’s striking works inspire mood and emotion, while Lee Templeton’s contemporary Mona Lisa is a stark representation of a woman with a thousand-yard stare, a lost and faraway look, overlaid by sadness and a raw toughness that belies the soft lines of the work.
An interesting addition to the feesterrein this year is Gerhard Smit’s paintings on wooden pallets. His depictions of old cars, tractors and farm scenes are quaint and lovely. The added appeal of these works is that they are far more robust and forgiving than canvas, and are also more affordable, as many people find framing prohibitive.
One thing all of these, and the many other artists exhibiting this year have in common, is the fact that Innibos is their favourite festival of the year, and far superior than any other.
The vibe, the people, the laughter, camaraderie and sense of fun and wonder pervades every stall, and the artists love the fact that the people attracted by Innibos are almost like a family. This is a true old-times festival, all about the people, real home-grown food, drink and wares.
The art is quirky, offbeat, beautiful or traditional, and sometimes all of these at once, and the mediums used range from slate, stone and wood to canvas, wispy curtains, paper and Masonite board.
Some of the artists try something new and some stick to their known and loved formulas, but each one is worth a visit and a quick chat, all of which adds to the thrill and anticipation of this marvellous annual Lowveld gem.