Gearhouse Splitbeam has been supporting the arts, and theatre, by becoming involved with an interdisciplinary ‘incubation’ space The Centre for The Less Good Idea in Maboneng to which it supplies Lighting, Audio and Audio Visual on a long-term rental basis, ensuring that the artists at work there experience the nuances that technical reinforcement can bring to their work throughout the course of the work’s development.
In 2016, internationally acclaimed South African artist, William Kentridge, realised that he was at a stage in his career where he had the capacity to create, fund and sustain a space to support artists in the process of their artistry. He founded and continues to financially support, The Centre for The Less Good Idea, a place where artists are encouraged to test, to try, to fail – in the process allowing work to develop that might otherwise not have been made.
“The less good idea is not a bad idea, but rather the secondary idea; one that only becomes apparent once the artist is in the space and making. William’s own process embraces this fully and so he makes an excellent mentor for other artists.” explained the centre’s ‘animateur’, Bronwyn Lace.
An artist in her own right, Lace is tasked with bringing life and energy to the space. Hers is a catalysing role; identifying artists and work, encouraging the ethos of remaining in one’s process, remaining playful and encouraging artistic risk. She elaborates on why Gearhouse Splitbeam is a good fit for the Centre. “I absolutely feel that what Splitbeam does in the industry, what it does for both young and established artists is seminal and very important. There are incredible educational aspects to what Splitbeam offers and the Centre has very similar ethics so I think that the synergies are absolutely there for the two organisations.”
Lighting Designer, Wesley France, who is involved in lighting 90% of the performances in the centre designed the permanent loan arrangement with Splitbeam. “He is an incredible asset to The Centre as his extensive experience in the industry means he acts both as one of the country’s best lighting designers and simultaneously a technical mentor to us all” said Lace.
Lace Concluded: “We started off hiring equipment on an ad-hoc basis, but as we have grown and gained momentum we have realised that a long-term hire, giving us access to Splitbeam’s staff and advice is the way to go. We’ve got more than monthly events, as well as two seasons per year which means we’re occupied with rehearsals, development and showing full-time in the Centre. Now we have full-time equipment in place on the long-term loan. Thank you Splitbeam.”