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Carol Mangiagalli Solo Exhibition 2020

Well-known Caledon artist Carol Mangiagalli used the lockdown period very productively to work towards her new solo exhibition “Table Mountain Revisited” which opened at Chandler House, Cape Town on 31 October.

South African-born Mangiagalli spent her early childhood in Zambia. Mangiagalli says: “I have been drawing since a young age. I always carried a little notebook around in which I made drawings of nature, flowers, birds and insects. Sadly, this book got lost during one of our many moves.”

Mangiagalli, who paints in the naïve style, studied at the Durban Art School and the Johannesburg School of Art. “Although I learned everything about perspective at art school, it has never been important to me. I pay more attention to my imagination, colour, decoration and some humour.”

From 1990 to 2007 Mangiagalli worked at the Caledon Museum where she organised and curated local art and history exhibitions for the museum.

Mangiagalli’s medium is acrylic on board, but in the past she has done many glass as well as cloth paintings. She has partaken in numerous local exhibitions, including her 2012 solo exhibition at the Irma Stern Museum, as well as exhibiting at the annual “International Art Naif” in Barcelona, Spain, in 2014 and 2015. Her book “Carol Mangiagalli Art” was launched in 2012. She has also illustrated a number of books.

Mangiagalli says: “I started working on this exhibition about a year ago already. Although most of the paintings were done during the lockdown period, my theme was Table Mountain and Cape Town, past and present. Some paintings do, however, reflect the effect Covid has had on us. Empty streets, people during lockdown looking out from their windows and health workers dressed in PPE’s.”

Michael Chandler of Chandler House says the following about Mangiallis work currently being exhibited: “We are delighted to welcome her joyful work into the Voorkamer Gallery after a very strange and challenging year. The pandemic appears in the work quietly as if to acknowledge the event but not allow it to take front stage. The child-like rendering of Table Mountain and the scenes serve as a gentle reminder that in tough times it can be helpful to look at the world through the eyes of a child. Mangiagalli would like us to believe that wonder, optimism and joy will help us reclaim our old lives that many of us feel have been lost.”

Mangiagalli says: “I am very pleased with how the works are displayed at Chandler House. They are beautifully hung and the wall colour complements the paintings very well. Quite a number of the paintings have been sold already and for this I am very grateful. I think online advertising played a big part in this as people could browse through a virtual gallery.”

The 18 paintings, a few quirky painted paper maché buildings and two chairs decorated with fynbos designs will be on display at Chandler House, Church Street, Cape Town throughout November.

Written by: Mitzi Buys


Gillian Williams of Chandler House and Carol Mangiagalli at the opening of Mangiagalli's exhibition

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