AN ARTIST’S LEGACY: FATHER & SON MAKE 3D ART
Discover unique three dimensional art created by father and son duo, Ken and Dean Maloney.
Along the Garden Route, tucked away in Groot Brakrivier, is the coastal hideaway of Seeplaas. Here, artist Ken Maloney and his family are building their legacy along their panoramic seaside landscape. With the coffee shop run by his daughter and the gift shop run by his wife, Ken and his son, Dean Maloney head up the art gallery where they display their own unique creations.
At Seeplaas, guests can enjoy a one-of-a-kind accommodation in an inflatable bubble. With unspoilt views, guests can overlook the ocean, stargaze, and track the movements of the sun and moon right from their bed. This experience is the first, and currently only one of its kind in South Africa.
However, this isn’t the only awe-inspiring feature at Seeplaas. A trip into the Maloney Art Gallery, Father & Son, features Ken and Dean’s three-dimensional art that seems to come to life. With added light to the pieces, the scenes seem ever-changing, elusive, and surreal. The construction of the artworks uses a carving technique and creates an illusion of depth and reality.
Ken explains, “Over the past 18 years, I’ve done a huge collection of art pieces, and as Dean became an artist in his own rite, he developed a range of art pieces as well. The new concept came when Dean opened the gallery. We decided to develop a range of art together.”
“It’s a father and son working together on one art piece,” explains Dean. “We both carve it, we both paint it, and it will be signed ‘Ken and Dean Maloney’. For us, it works. It’s great to work together and create something special.”
The creative process starts with Ken and Dean finding an image of old, classic architecture, normally tracing back to Europe or the Middle East. Then the two work on a three-dimensional mould, begin to plaster it, and then carve it out. Once it’s finished, they’ll start painting their piece.
The real magic begins when ‘sunlight’ is added to the piece through artificial light. This gives the artwork depth and realism. Moving a light to different areas of the frame, Ken can mimic the changing times of day. He explains, “As the ‘sunlight’ comes into the ‘room’, you’ll have a different effect of light, enhancing the colours and the mood of the art piece. From full daylight, to afternoon, to evening.”
Working together as father and son has its ups and downs, but Ken and Dean wouldn’t have it any other way. Their differences complement one another, and their separate experiences as artists make their combined work richer – and it shows. Their work is building a reputation as investment art with both local and international collectors.
Ken admits, “Is it fun working together? Absolutely. There’s good days, bad days, but it’s about the legacy which is more important than anything else.”
To find inspiration close to home, Ken and Dean paid a visit to the secluded Noetzie beach in Knysna with unusual castles, harking back to a time long gone by.
Built in the 1960s, Lindsay Castle sits overlooking the pristine beach, bordered by lush forest and fynbos. Property Manager, Linda Kemp explains, “This castle attracts artists and world travellers. People from all walks of life have come here because of the inspiration that you get from the castle architecture, the fishing, the beach, and just from living in this secluded space.”
As father and son explore the castle and collect inspiration for their next piece, they reflect on their legacy and time spent together.
While Dean shares, “It’s amazing to be able to do art with my father – the man who taught me art,” Ken adds, “As a father, it’s a total privilege to walk with my son and create a legacy. To me, he’s an absolute inspiration for what he’s achieved. I honour him for following the path I created.”
With two generations already working as one, the Maloney legacy is well secured, flying the flag high for South African art.