In a homage to Hokusai’s 36 views of Mount Fuji, which showed Mount Fuji from a wide array of perspectives, 36 views of Table Mountain marks Thomas Cartwright’s solo exhibition at the Everard Read Gallery in Cape Town.
Juxtaposing this natural wonder of the world and the urban infrastructures of Cape Town, Cartwright references this feature of the Mother City rendering 36 unique moments with simplicity and elegance. From far-away viewpoints to close up, within the city centre and out into the more obscure outskirts of the peninsula, none of the paintings are the perfect postcard image we have come to expect of this beautiful city. Instead the artist investigates angles and toys with perspectives from the rooftops of the more affluent suburbs through to gritty motorways. This showcases an ever-so-slightly familiar Table Mountain and awakens in his audience new stories about what we thought we already knew.
Whilst this mountain acts as a constant visual beacon engrained in the fabric of the city, each of the 36 views of Table Mountain serves to draw our attention to another’s story; other possible narratives of domestic and urban lives. This remarkably beautiful body of work then, despite being devoid of human beings, serves as a metaphor for the varied peoples that live under its shadow, while ironically hinting at what was here before the Cape peninsula was settled, and what will remain long after we are all gone.’
The full exhibition was bought by an international collector.