Update to the Scheryn Art Collection to address various concerns raised in the media
We are aware of various reports surrounding the resignation of Mark Coetzee from Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) which suggest that the Scheryn Art Collection had a role to play in his resignation. Out of respect for the legal proceedings, we have waited to address these reports with the hope that the Trustees of Zeitz MOCAA would release a statement providing further details into Mark’s resignation. As this has not happened we believe the time is right to address the concerns related to the Scheryn Art Collection.
Chief among them was that there was a conflict of interest between Zeitz MOCAA and Scheryn Art Collection which led to Mark’s resignation. This entirely untrue and is complete speculation on the various reporter’s behalf. The Management of Zeitz MOCAA are available to confirm this.
We had conversations with Mark Coetzee when the collection was launched in 2015. Our interactions have been around our donation to Zeitz MOCAA in 2015. Other than that we have no day to day interaction with Mark Coetzee or the museum. None of our directors, management or staff sit on any of the museums boards, trusts or committees. Our relationship has remained purely professional, ethical and above board.
Scheryn is one of many private sector donors as we believed that Zeitz MOCAA would provide an important platform for African Art. We believe strongly that it has an important role to play in the sustainability of African Art and in the greater global conversation around African art. We believe that it is important to support institutions of this nature and will continue to do so in the future.
At this moment we would also like to provide an update on Scheryn and its role in the broader arts community. In 2015, Scheryn was initially launched as a fund but after consultation with our advisors and the wider art community we realized a fund was not the platform to make a meaningful, sustainable, long lasting and positive impact on the broader arts community. Therefore, in 2016, Scheryn was re-established as a dedicated private collection.
Scheryn is unique in that it can welcome fellow collectors. In this sense the collection becomes a gathering point for collectors to combine their collection in order to create a more meaningful conversation than they could have individually. As of 2018 we were thrilled to welcome Piet Viljoen into the Scheryn Art Collection. We believe that this is an endorsement of our unique approach. At the time that Piet was closing the physical space of the New Church Museum he was looking for collaborations that embraced alternative conduits for investigating, contextualising and exhibiting his collection with the aim of reaching diverse viewing audiences in an ongoing and multi-pronged fashion. After discussions it was agreed that the Scheryn Art Collection could provide this platform.
Our focus for Scheryn is to continue to build the collection around African Contemporary Art. We believe that art from Africa has the unique ability to continually challenge preconceptions of what African art is. Africa is a continent of rich diversity and contradiction and its artistic production mirrors this. Cutting edge global art trends are combined with traditional techniques to provide unique perspectives on numerous social issues and celebrate Africa’s diversity. The creativity of the continent is showcased through various mediums and conceptual ideas in a way that challenges stereotypes and forces viewers to re-evaluate their views on African creativity.
We want to support this by being active participants in the African Art Market and by supporting artists, galleries, museums and auction houses, being involved in both public and private initiatives locally and abroad, sponsoring residencies, loaning works from the collection and building the collection until we have the capacity to display it.
If you have any queries with regards to the above, please don’t hesitate to contact Brett Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org or +27 79 936 6393.