………………………………………………………………..………………………………….. BY BILLY SUTER
TRIBUTES are pouring in on Facebook and elsewhere for popular Durban artist, stage designer and playwright Andrew Verster, who passed away peacefully on Sunday.
“It is with great sadness that we hear that Andrew Verster passed away. We have lost a treasure who did so much for the arts. Further details of a memorial will be posted later in the week,” writes Durban art doyenne Carol Brown on her Facebook page.
Born in 1937 in Johannesburg, Verster was a noted artist, a designer for theatre and a writer of short stories, articles and radio plays. He held more than 50 solo exhibitions, is represented in many major public and private collections, and has been awarded two retrospective exhibitions organised by the Durban Art Gallery.
He trained at the Camberwell School of Art and Reading University and lectured at the University of Durban-Westville (then University College, Durban) and Natal Technikon until 1976, when he gave up teaching to become a full-time painter.
Verster was the winner of the BBC World Service Playwriting Competition in 1992, with his work, You May Leave, The Show is Over. He was also commissioned by the BBC to write Future Past, featuring the voices of former South African actresses Janet Suzman, Rowena Copper and Estelle Kohler.
He designed the sets and costumes for Opera Africa’s Faust and Princess Magogo, as well La Traviata and Rigoletto, and designed also for the 2004 US production of Princess Magogo. Among his other theatre ventures were costume designs for the Barnyard Theatre’s 2004 production of The Rocky Horror Show and its 2006 production of Grease. He also designed costumes for a local production of Private Lives and the adult panto Sinderella.
Verster was a critic with The Daily News in Durban for 12 years and wrote a weekly column, From the Backwater, for four years. He was with the Film and Publication Review Board, and a trustee of the Durban Art Gallery, the Arts Work Trust, Very Special Arts, Artists for Human Rights Trust and the African Art Centre.
He had numerous public and private commissions, including sculpture and tapestry for the Reserve Bank Durban, art works at the Durban Hilton, and a tapestry in the ICC Durban.
Durban arts all-rounder Caroline Smart wrote: “A tribute will follow shortly and further details of a memorial will be posted later in the week. Treasure Andrew’s works if you are fortunate to have any.”
Durban artist Marianne Meijer labelled Verster as “the artist friend who guided many to increase their knowledge of what fine art really was about”.
Artist Sue Greenberg said: “Such sad news. Andrew will be remembered as one of Durban’s best artists as well a great friend to so many. RIP Andrew.”
BILLY SUTER reports that tributes are pouring in for popular Durban artist, stage designer and playwright Andrew Verster, who passed away peacefully on Sunday. … More Death of artist Andrew Verster
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. A visit to the exquisite, Moorish-themed The Orient in Elandsfontein, a terracotta, palace-like hotel peaking through bushveld and treetops, 25km from Pretoria, is not only a ‘bucket list’ destination for fans of luxury getaways and award-winning, five-star dining (see my separate review article under Food and Leisure). Nestled in the Francolin Conservancy, The Orient is also a haven for art-lovers, who have a treasure trove of treats to view in three large galleries in the Orient’s leafy surrounds. Other good news is that more galleries are plannedthere.
BILLY SUTER reports. …………………………………………………………………..…………………………………………….
MARI Dartnell, the petite, elegant and friendly art curator and general manager at The Orient, near Pretoria, nods her head vigorously, throws open hands to her sides then chuckles, when it is suggested there seems no end to the impressive art collections that greet visitors to The Orient.
“Ja, you’re absolutely right,” she says, going on to point out that after having first opened a museum accommodating many superb bronze works, large and small, by celebrated South African sculptor Tienie Prichard, she and her husband – The Orient’s wine director, Cobus du Plessis – recently completed two new large, two-storey galleries closer to the boutique hotel’s entrance.
The Orient’s first museum, The Tienie Pritchard Museum, at the bottom end of the Orient’s lush gardens, a short stroll from the hotel, was established in 2007. That was a year or so after Mari, Cobus and their uber-talented daughter, Chantel Dartnell, multi-award-winning chef at The Orient’s fine-dining Mosaic restaurant, opened their five-star establishment.
To keep improving and developing the family’s art collection, Mari and Cobus constantly acquire new paintings, sculptures, art nouveau antiques and other collectables which are displayed throughout The Orient and also in the 10 individually themed suites.
“Since the inception of our collection we have encountered outstanding local and international works of art, and with special exhibitions and frequent changes in the arrangement of the permanent collection, there is always something original on every visit to The Orient,’ states the getaway’s website.
The Tienie Pritchard Museum is special in that it is the result of a long friendship between the artist and avid collectors of his sculptures, Cobus and Mari.
Pritchard was commissioned by The Orient’s owners to create a large bronze of Mari with the cheetah Nandi, which was entrusted to Mari’s care by a sanctuary for threatened species in Hoedspruit, because the animal was born with a digestive defect that required special care. It was expected to live only six months.
When Nandi died at the age of four, Mari wanted to immortalise the memory of their relationship with the unique piece of sculpture. It now stands in their home in the Francolin Conservancy, but an early model by Pritchard is displayed in The Orient’s Tienie Pritchard museum.
Mostly highlighting Pritchard’s nude and semi-nude figures, often with animal figures or objects of animal origin, and depicted in a classical realist style, the museum’s bronze sculptures, textured or polished, are breathtaking in their detail and beauty.
The museum, which has many sculptures of historical significance, displays the bronzes on grey-white marble pedestals, some of them under skylights.
Keep an eye out for sculptures of Joan of Arc, Fallen Angel, Cleopatra, King Shaka, a terrific and large piece depicting the Persian slave market circa 1800 and another of my favourites, a large 1978 piece titled Discovery of Gold, originally commissioned for an arcade in Pretoria and removed after some political controversy.
Fascinating news and reviews of the works on show, as well as info relating to controversy involving some, is included among the gallery’s press clippings, photos and plaque information, making this a rewarding perspective of the career of one of the country’s top artists.
A striking, life-size bronze Pritchard sculpture that I admired in the museum when I first visited The Orient just over a year ago – that of the biblical Bathsheba leaving a bath, flanked by two lions on ornate pedestals – now has been given pride of place in the wonderful garden in the courtyard that separates The Orient’s two new galleries in the new Francolin Conservancy Museum complex.
Both two-storeys high, in terracotta and with wonderful arches and balcony areas, these galleries offer varied art, one of them still being in the process of being curated when I visited in mid-December.
Mari explains that Cobus now has a plan to add another, two-storey, circular building at the end of the two new galleries. It will have a domed top, she says, and will have a sunken garden that is likely to accommodate a tea garden.
The gallery that opened at The Orient around March 2019 is largely dedicated to South African impressionist painter Adriaan Boshoff and is a modern, expansive space, beautifully designed and curated by Mari and Cobus after they drew inspiration during visits to galleries in the US, Paris, Brussels and The Netherlands.
Nearly 90m in length, the gallery is a delight and I could easily have spent half a day there soaking up the wonders of impressionist Boshoff’s 140 or so paintings on display.
There are landscape scenes and farm paintings. Also lovingly displayed are the artist’s figure paintings in charcoal and acrylic washes, as well as his beautiful capturing of floral beauty and impressive still-life creations, in addition to varied sketches and drawings.
Particularly impressive is the fiery glow of enchantment that is The Streets of My Youth, Boshoff’s last work, uncompleted, which is on show a few steps away from a display of a simulated studio showing Boshoff’s easels, work clothes, brushes and canvasses with works in progress at the time of his death in 2007. Boshoff died in his studio while working on The Streets of My Youth.
Other wings of the museum accommodate works by the likes of Hugo Naude, William Timlin, Alexander Rose-Innes, Terrance McCaw, Gwelo Goodman, Cecil Higgs, Nita Spillhouse, W H Coetzer, Conrad Theys and Tinus de Jongh, among others.
If you wish to pay a visit to the galleries, or find out more information, get in touch with Mari Dartnell at firstname.lastname@example.org or +27 (0) 12 371 2902/3/4.
BILLY SUTER visited large garden museums accommodating impressive paintings and sculpture at the five-star The Orient, a boutique hotel in Elandsfontein. … More Treasure troves of diverse art
………………………………………………………..…………………………………………………… BY BILLY SUTER
AN EXHIBITION celebrating African weddings and marriage is scheduled to open on Heritage Day – Tuesday, September 24 – at Durban’s Phansi Ubuntu Art Museum at 500 Esther Roberts Road (formerly Frere Road) in Glenwood.
Titled UmShado, the exhibition will run until October 10 and admission is free to the public.
Museum manager, Phumzile Nkosi, says the reason for curating the show was to show show the beauty, especially on women, of black African culture.
The exhibition will highlight traditional utensils that were made and used at Umshado ceremonies. These include beer pots for umqhombothi and grass mat racks known as Amabaxa in Zulu tradition.
Crafters from the KwaZwelibomvu area will be in attendance to celebrate the exhibition’s opening.
Specific African accessories for brides will be used to decorate the life-sized dolls that the museum already houses. Accessories from Ndwedwe and areas outside of KwaZulu-Natal will be on display in celebration of African wedding heritage.
At the opening of the exhibition, refreshments will be served and donations are welcomed.
BILLY SUTER reports that an exhibition celebrating African weddings and marriage is scheduled to open on Heritage Day (September 24) at Durban’s Phansi Ubuntu Art Museum. … More Celebrating African weddings
…………………………………………………………………………………………. BY BILLY SUTER
DURBAN’S KZNSA Gallery will be represented by three local artists at the first edition of the Latitudes Art Fair at Johannesburg’s Nelson Mandela Square from September 13 to 15.
The gallery’s presentation will include the works of Sthenjwa Luthuli, Cameron Platter and Derrick Nxumalo. These will appear alongside works by other artists from South Africa, as well as artists from Uganda, Spain, Angola, Norway, America, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Germany.
A spokesman for the KZNSA says the Latitudes programme is curated to present the work of emerging artists predominantly from Africa and its diaspora “with the aim of creating a richer global understanding of African cultural production”.
“With the aim of the fair in mind we present three artists in different stages of their careers, all working with distinctive mediums, an articulated use of colour and an intensity that speaks to the vibrancy of the city in which they live – Durban.
“That intensity is carried through in the laborious art-making process each artist is compelled to use, whether it be relentless pencil marks, wood carving with utter precision or the painstaking use of ballpoint mark making.”
Sthenjwa Luthuli, born in 1991 in Botha’s Hill, KwaZulu-Natal. He joined Durban’s BAT Centre in 2010. Following on from this he was selected to be a part of the Velobala Mentorship Programme and was mentored by fellow local artist, Themba Shibase.
Since 2011 he has participated in several group exhibitions in KwaZulu-Natal, Johannesburg and in Bremen, Germany, where he painted a mural in the Concordia Tunnel. Luthuli reflects on spiritual and ancestral identity portraying figures that dance, fly and wrestle in the space.
In 2017 Luthuli was placed runner-up in the Sasol New Signatures competition. He was also selected to take part in a three-month residency in Germany, and had work acquired by the National Art Bank. In early 2019 he was part of a group exhibition at KZNSA, Ikhono LaseNatali: a body of work commissioned by internationally acclaimed visual activist, Professor Zanele Muholi.
Luthuli has been selected as one of five artists at the upcoming fair to participate in a special programme, Latitudes Limited, which includes his work being used to promote the fair on all social media platforms, street banners, an Aston Martin car-wrap and a limited edition of prints for VIP packages.
Derrick Nxumalo was born in 1962 in Dumisa, KwaZulu-Natal. He is a self-taught artist with an exploratory approach to his technique and subject matter. He creates obsessively detailed, graphic representations of land/cityscapes.
Nxumalo says that each artwork has its own pattern, in which details of vegetation and architecture are deployed with an understanding of perspective and colour.
A former gardener, miner and waiter, he added politics to his resume in 2003, when he was elected as a councillor for the district of Dududu in KwaZulu-Natal.
Nxumalo’s work is held in numerous collections, including Anglo Vaal Corporation, South African Breweries, The Durban Art Gallery, University of KwaZulu-Natal, and the University of Witwatersrand. He has participated in exhibitions in South Africa and abroad – the most recent being Our Africa Dreams, KZNSA Gallery, Durban, 2017.
Born in Johannesburg in 1978, Cameron Platter completed his BFA at the Michaelis School of Fine Art, Cape Town, in 2001. His work filters – through his own idiosyncrasy – the enormous amount of information available today.
Blurring the distinction between high and low, his eclectic and multi-disciplinary approach to art making, typically draws from a range of quotidian, unorthodox, disparate, and often over-looked sources.
Platter’s work has been exhibited at MoMA (NY), SFMoMA, Palais de Tokyo (Paris), Centre Pompidou (Paris), Le Biennale de Dakar (Senegal), and the South African National Gallery. He represented South Africa at the 55th Venice Biennale. His work is in the permanent collection of MoMA, New York.
His most recent solo exhibition at the KZNSA Gallery, GALAXY AS0-730223NMJ-ZSDSSS, took place in 2018.
Tickets for the Latitudes Art Fair at Johannesburg are: Day pass – R120 online, R150 at the door; Weekend pass: R250 online, R300 at the door. Children aged 12 and under enter free.
BILLY SUTER reports that Durban’s KZNSA Gallery will be represented by three local artists at the first Latitudes Art Fair in Johannesburg from September 13 to 15. … More Three KZN artists at new arts fair
……………………………………………….……………………………………………..…………. BY BILLY SUTER
THE Hilton Arts Festival, now in its 27th year and offering a wide variety of crafts, music, drama and other events in venues at Hilton College from September 13 to 15, will see a huge increase in the number of participating visual artists as well as a diversity of exhibitions.
Over the past few years the number of visual artists exhibiting at the festival has steadily increased. Conversations with the artists have strongly suggested to the festival management that the event is widely regarded as the best event of the year in KwaZulu-Natal for them, says festival director Sue Clarence.
Clarence adds that not only will there be 90 individual artists at the festival, but also top-notch exhibitions – the Absa Pierneef and van Wouw exhibition; and internationally acclaimed potter Andrew Walford’s Inspiration from Great Nature.
Strauss & Co, auctioneers, invite members of the public to bring their artworks to be valued.
“This wide variety of work means that the appeal to art lovers is wide ranging. It is possible for people to come and look and appreciate, but, very importantly, it offers the opportunity for people to expand their art collections. Prices range from the impulse-buy affordable to the more serious collectable: there is something to suit everyone’s pocket and personal taste,” says Clarence.
“Art will be exhibited in several areas. Be sure to see it all: in the Art Block, Memorial Hall, Grindrod Bank Theatre Foyer, Raymond Slater Library, Churchill and Bell Tower marquees. The Pierneef and van Wouw Exhibition can be found in the Absa Marquee, the Walford in the Normand Dunn Gallery and Strauss & Co in The History Room.”
Pierneef is widely considered to be one of the best of the old South African masters, and his work continues to serve as inspiration for future landscape painters. He is in excellent company with Van Vouw, who is known as the father of South African sculpture.
“They were pioneer artists who represented the top tier of South African art in its various forms, and their art continues to leave an incomparable imprint on the art world – making the decision to take a sample of their work to showcase at the Hilton Arts Festival a simple one. Our objectives are the same: to shine a spotlight on South Africa’s outstanding artistic talent,” says senior specialist art curator of Absa Art Gallery, Dr Paul Bayliss.
Bayliss will also give four public lectures: Pierneef and Van Wouw: Looking at a united narrative through the artwork of Pierneef and Van Wouw in an early South Africa, based on the works being exhibited at the festival in the Absa marquee.
His lecture will focus on the enduring love Pierneef had for the countryside, and the inspiration he took from it throughout his lifetime. It will also examine how Van Wouw was inspired by the rich tapestry of the people of South Africa and how they became his primary theme.
“Absa’s corporate collection, which is one of the largest in Africa as well as in the top 10 globally, confirms our ongoing commitment to preserving Africa’s abundant artistic heritage for posterity, and we believe in sharing this heritage with equally proud Africans through platforms like the Hilton Arts Festival,” says Bayliss.
“More than simply preserving the country and continent’s art legacy, though, Absa is committed to shining the spotlight on works of young African artists to bring their possibilities to life.”
This is why the winning artworks from the 2019 Absa L’Atelier competition will be featured alongside the work of the old masters in the Absa marquee. The Absa L’Atelier is one of the oldest art competitions for young artists. Now in its 34th year, Absa L’Atelier has built a strong legacy as a platform that allows the dynamic, inspiring and young visual artists of Africa to shine.
Absa buys artworks from these artists annually to add to its corporate collection. “The collection therefore contains works spanning several periods depicting the history of our country and this fits in with our overall objective to promote knowledge, understanding and practice of the visual arts, as well as to make the arts more accessible to the public,” concludes Dr Bayliss.
Entrance to the grounds of the festival is free and there is no charge for any of the exhibition areas.
The full Hilton Arts Festival programme will appear in KwaZulu-Natal copies of The Sunday Times on Sunday, August 11. Booking opens on August 12, and the programme will be live on the festival website from the morning of August 12.
The Festival is presented by Hilton College and tiso blackstar in association with Grindrod, Black Coffee, Extreme Events, DWR, Absa, Bidvest Car Rental, FNB, KZN Dept of Art & Culture, BASA, Southern Sun PMB, Stella Artois, Redlands Hotel, Martizburg Sun, Caxton, SA Artist, Loud Crowd Media and Sappi.
BILLY SUTER reports that there will be a huge increase in the number of participating visual artists, as well as a diversity of exhibitions, at this year’s Hilton Arts Festival. … More Feast of art at Hilton festival
…………………………………..…………………………..…………………………………………….. BY BILLY SUTER
TWO new art exhibitions are being held in Glenwood in Durban this month – one, at the Phansi Museum at 500 Esther Roberts Road, highlighting unity between two local cultural organisations, the African Art Centre and the Phansi Museum.
The other, at the KZNSA Gallery at 166 Bulwer Road, features work by Centre for Visual Arts post-graduates and staff. It is described as “a cross between site-specific installation, collaborative work and a creative eruption”.
Having opened at the Phansi Museum at 11.30am on Saturday, July 20, Resilience is an exhibition that marks the African Art Centre (AAC) celebrating 60 years of supporting KwaZulu-Natal artists, having now moved into a spacious room in the 19th century Roberts House that accommodates the Phansi Museum.
The AAC’s coveted range of wood décor items, sculptures, bead work, accessories, jewellery, paintings, arts and crafts are for sale there.
“The idea is also for the AAC to curate regular exhibitions which will be held in Roberts House utility room – currently used for meetings, film screenings, workshops and projects, all of which will continue,” says a spokesman.
Resilience was curated by former AAC director and respected authority on African art, Anthea Martin. The title talks to the process of adapting in the face of adversity, tragedy or stress.
A joint exhibition opening and celebration of six active decades was arranged for the exhibition, which was opened by Ursula de Haas, chairperson of the African Art Centre; and Paul Mikula, managing trustee of the Phansi Museum.
The group exhibition showcases the talents of many of the visual artists affiliated to the ACC – both experienced, named artists and rising stars. Among the artists whose work will be on display are Sfiso ka Mkame, Zamani Makhanya, Malibongwe Shangase, Sibusiso Duma, Major Ndlovu, Jabulani Cele and Kenneth Shandu.
“Typically, the AAC is more than a retail outlet – it is a creative hub for art-makers and crafters, many of whom spend time on site. On Fridays, visitors can watch artists at work on their beading, jewellery-making and woodwork,” adds the spokesman.
“The joining of these two remarkable veteran organisations makes Roberts House an even more attractive, bustling and in-demand destination than before – most especially for visitors, tourists, cultural outings and educational institutions. In challenging financial times, combining resources and spaces makes sensible economic sense too.
“This perfect marriage offers a retail component to complement Phansi, enabling visitors after having seen the remarkable collection of artefacts, effectively to buy contemporary versions of the pieces on display. Visitors can now see the old and the new side by side.”
The KZNSA Gallery exhibition opening at 6pm on Tuesday, July 23, is titled instæruption and is free and open to all.
The exhibition is described as is a cross between site-specific installation, collaborative work and a creative eruption that coexists with CVA post-graduate and staff exhibition. It seeks to interrupt the traditional relationships between viewer, work and space.
“View instæruption to see, understand and experience their production environment in a different way. What we traditionally think of as our materials also have natures and intelligence. It becomes a doorway to realising we are an element of communal intelligence,” says a spokesman.
“UKZN’s CVA offers postgraduate study for artists at the diploma, honours, masters and doctoral level, in addition to the Bachelor of Arts in Visual Art (BAVA) undergraduate degree.
“This exhibition of postgraduate work includes interdisciplinary explorations as well as ‘traditional’ media of drawing, painting, printmaking, ceramics, sculpture and digital art. The CVA aims to support undergraduate students to become ‘entrepreneurial thinkers and doers’.”
BILLY SUTER reports that two interesting art exhibitions are running this month at galleries in Durban – one titled “Resilience” and the other, “instæruption”. … More Two new Durban exhibitions
………………………………………………………………….………………………………………………… BY BILLY SUTER
ART works by several KwaZulu-Natal artists will go on sale at a special fundraising event at Durban’s Phansi Museum, 500 Esther Roberts Road, Glenwood, from noon on Saturday, June 29.
The art and resulting exhibition has been created specially for the event, under the banner Be Inspired by Phansi. Admission to the event is R100 a head and art works will sell for R400 each.
Durban architect Paul Mikula founded the Phansi Ubuntu Art Museum in 2005, in the former home of Esther Roberts, one of Durban’s iconic freedom fighters and social anthropologists.
The house and the outbuildings have been the nurturing ground of many artists and architects who went on to contribute significantly to the cultural tapestry of South Africa. This collection is now recognised as a national asset and is visited by thousands annually.
“Local artists have been invited to reinterpret, in a medium of their choice, the Phansi Museum space. The final artworks will be sold to raise funds for the museum, allowing people to go home with something created locally in support of Phansi’s mission to preserve Indigenous artifacts and knowledge,” says a spokesman.
Participating artists include Bronwen Findlay, Grace Kotze, Lee Scott Hemson, Pam Benporath, Catherine Stempowski, Lorraine Wilson, Camilla Kinnear, Dina Cormick, John Roome, Garth Walker , Louise Torr, Daryl Houghton, Dane Stops, Karla Nixon, Hermine Coleman, Cameron Platter and Derrick Nxumlo
Also contributing are Elliott Mkhize, Sfiso ka Mkame, Maggie Matthews, Pascale Chandler, Nindya Bucktowur, Nikhil Tricam, Lara Mellon, Hlengiwe Dube, Kay Smart, Jannie van Heerden, Sibusiso Duma, Jo Anne Kuter, Anthea Martin, Jane Bedford, Jenny Pudifen, Mariek Petzer, Joseph Manana, Nicole Pletts, Pascale Chandler, Neith Moore and Anne Cleveland.
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. BY BILLY SUTER
SOME interesting things are happening on the Durban and Pietermaritzburg art scenes, including the opening, at 6pm on Tuesday, May 21, of an exhibition by Banele Khoza, titled Seeking Love. This will be at the Durban Art Gallery in the City Hall building.
Also of note is an exhibition by various local artists, running until June 2 at the KZNSA Gallery in Bulwer Park, Glenwood, titled Ikhono Lasenatali.
Note, too, that Pietermaritzburg’s Blue Caterpillar Art Gallery is hosting an exhibition by Umhlanga-based artist Angelika Anastasis, who works in ceramics and oils.
There will be a free walkabout with artist Banele Khoza from 10am to noon on Wednesday, May 22, at which this 2017 Gerard Sekoto award-winner will discuss his work.
Seeking Love, running until June 21 at the Durban Art Gallery, is a collection of work that reflects the complex nature of love, how important it is to acknowledge the heart’s desires and to also learn self-love – which Khoza wants people to walk away from the exhibition thinking about.
“This exhibition is an open love letter to whoever is watching or reading my work – also to God/All/The universe. I am confessing that I am ready, and I am letting go of the search,” explains the artist.
Khoza is a Swazi-born and South African-based visual artist. He first enrolled at the London International School of Fashion in Pretoria, but soon realised his passion was in the Fine Arts realm.
He holds a B Tech in Fine Arts from Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria. In 2017, he won the prestigious Gerard Sekoto Award and with it a three-month residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris.
The Durban Art Gallery is open seven days a week – from 8.30am to 4pm Mondays to Saturdays, and from 11am to 3.45pm on Sundays and public holidays. Entry is free and all are welcome. For more info, phone (031) 311 2264 / 9.
The current KZNSA Gallery exhibition, Ikhono Lasenatali is a collection of commissions by acclaimed South African visual activist, Zanele Muholi, to 25 young KwaZulu-Natal visual artists to reinterpret Muholi’s self-portraits from the Somnyama Ngonyama project in each young artist’s medium and technique.
The exhibition at the KZNSA, curated by Bajabulile Dhlamini and Thobeka Bhengu, celebrates KwaZulu-Natal’s talent and provides a platform for the young artists to showcase their skills and craft.
Ikhono Lasenatali also forms part of a 25 Years of Democracy commemoration, with the interpretations of Somnyama Ngonyama by mostly ‘born-free’ artists speaking to social ills and touching on Muholi’s themes of gender, race, politics, sexuality, collaboration, and collectivism.
There are numerous educational activities planned throughout the exhibition, including public and schools walkabouts. These will facilitate in-depth discussions on national, continental and international issues relevant to the artworks selected.
Discussions will also provide a vibrant overview of South African contemporary art and art history, encouraging participants to engage in critical thinking and analysis through visual interactions and experience.
For more information on the exhibition, the education programme or to book a walkabout for a school, contact Thobeka Bhengu at 073 968 0825 or the KZNSA Education Officer, Summaya Menezes, at 083 307 8619.
Jenni Cramer, the curator of Pietermaritzburg’s Blue Caterpillar Art Gallery, describes as “fresh and exciting” the latest exhibition by Angelika Anastasis, which opened this week and runs until the end of August.
Anastasis is an artist who has always loved colour which she uses with ease in her canvases. This contrasts with the refreshing starkness of her ceramic pieces.
“This artist has a wonderful way of expressing herself through confident use of colour and also bold outlines used on the canvas. All of her pieces on display include the image of a woman, but with many different interpretations, and also individual ‘stories’ which are partnered with each painting,” explains Cramer.
Anastasis won the Regional award for Ceramics South Africa 2017. She is both a ceramic and a contemporary oil artist.
She has exhibited both in Johannesburg and Durban, in joint painting exhibitions with Jody Waterson and with Nicole Pletts, as well as participating in a number of group exhibitions. She has sold work both locally and internationally.
Anastasis worked for many years as a counsellor, using her psychology background and UK training as a hypnotherapist and psychic within the ‘mind-body’ space. Within this space she learned of the significance of symbols, seeing them as hints of intuition to take direction.
Angelika uses symbols in particular birds as a reference to one’s intuition and inner knowing. The heart also features in many of her paintings, and she sees the heart as allowing one to overcome fear, our biggest stumbling block.
She is inspired by women, focusing on their strengths, vulnerabilities and archetypes. A cacophony of colour is diametrically opposed to the formal shapes Angelika experienced in London. The triangular shapes of Proteas and softer shapes of roses also draw her in.
Working primarily with oil colours and with a loose natural style, she is currently exploring the world of mixed media by bringing in more graphic shapes.
The Blue Caterpillar Art Gallery is at Butterflies for Africa, 37 Willowton Road, Pietermaritzburg, The number to call for more information is (033) 387 1356.
BILLY SUTER reports on three diverse art exhibitions currently to be seen in Durban and Pietermaritzburg– including one involving work by 25 local artists. … More Diverse range of local art
………………………………………………………………………………..…………………………… BY BILLY SUTER
EIGHTEEN artists from around the world are collaborating to make art together in the Midlands – at the Thupelo International Arts Workshop, a free open day for which is planned from 10am to 3pm on Saturday, April 13.
The venue is the Kings School, Nottingham Road, where the workshop began on April 1. The open day will see the work on display for public viewing and audience engagement.
Self-directed education through interactive creative practice, exchange of ideas and skills mark the international workshop, which has artists from five countries working together in various disciplines.
This is an initiative of the Cape Town-based Greatmore Studios, which received a great response from close to 80 art makers from all over the world wanting to be considered for one of the spaces to benefit from this opportunity. The multi-lingual, multi-cultural participants work and live on campus at King’s School for the duration of the residency.
“The idea behind the workshop’s ethos is about creating space for making art without the pressures of structured conventions often accompanying the so-called ‘mainstream’ institutions,” explains Witty Nyide, co-ordinator for both regional and international KZN-based Thupelo workshops.
“It is open to self-motivated visual artists who are keen to expand their ideas, exchange knowledge and experiment in fellowship with other artists
“This also encourages a space for sharing skills and ideas in an innovative environment where artists feel safe to experiment and learn from one another.
“Since 1985, each workshop, regional or international, has had its own identity which unfolds as the workshop progresses. The material budget is often quite low, so sharing and the use of found objects or donated materials is encouraged,” adds Nyide.
Thupelo, which is a Sotho phrase meaning ‘to teach by example’, was initiated in 1985, in Johannesburg, by David Koloane, together with the late Bill Ainsle and a group of artists.
Both regional and international Thupelo workshops were initiated in response to a need for interaction between artists and are therefore artists-led. It is part of the international Triangle network of studio and workshop initiatives. Durban hosted a regional workshop last December.
If there is demand for a bus to take people from Durban to Midlands and home again for the morning, one can be organised for a nominal fee. Should you be keen to take arranged transport, contact Witty Nyide at 076 333 3671.
BILLY SUTER reports that 18 artists are making art together in the Midlands – at the Thupelo International Arts Workshop, a free open day for which is planned for April 13. … More 18 artists collaborate in the Midlands
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… BY BILLY SUTER
ENTERTAINMENT on offer in Durban this weekend includes a salute to Frank Sinatra – titled Sinatra… QuiteFrankly – which is to be staged at the Umbilo branch of the Rhumbelow Theatre, 42 Cunningham Road, off Bartle Road.
Performances are scheduled for 8pm on Friday and Saturday (January 25 and 26) and 2pm on Sunday (January 27).
The show stars Anthony Stonier and pays tribute to all the great hits associated with Ol’ Blue Eyes.
Tickets cost R150 each (R130 for pensioners and students with cards). Book at Computicket outlets or phone Roland Stansell at 082 499 8636.
These are also the ticket prices and contact numbers for Burns Night, an evening of Scottish music and poetry, to be staged at the Rhumbelow Theatre’s Kloof branch at Tina’s Hotel, 14 Beryldene Road, at 8pm on Friday and Saturday (January 25 and 26) and 2pm on Sunday (January 27).
Featuring Miriam Erasmus, Frank Graham and The Durban Regiment Pipe Band, the event is a celebration of the life, music and poetry of Robert Burns, the author of many Scots poems.
A reminder that Durban’s KZNSA Gallery in Glenwood opened its year this week with a women-led exhibition, Mating Birds Vol 2, which is said to engage with art and documents dealing head-on with the effects of colonial and apartheid laws in South African contemporary sexual relationships
Scheduled to run at the park-side gallery until February 10, the exhibition is curated by Gabi Ngcobo with Sumayya Menezes and Zinhle Khumalo.
“Mating Birds Vol 2 is a curatorial essay that takes the late Lewis Nkosi’s novel, Mating Birds, as a starting point. The novel is used to visualise the troublesome histories associated with the Immorality Acts of the parliament of colonial and apartheid South Africa,” says a spokesman.
“The effects of these acts are presented through the staging of an exhibition as an essay that draws on original artwork as well as reference material from art, literature, philosophy, legal documents, letters, newspaper clippings and exhibition catalogues, among other sources.
The exhibition features artists Billie Zangewa, Dineo Seshee Bopape, Lady Skollie, Sabelo Mlangeni, Simnikiwe Buhlungu, Tracey Rose and Trevor Makhoba.
Gallery entry is free and all are welcome.
Looking ahead… a treat is in store next week with guitarist James Grace, one of South Africa’s leading concert artists, lined up as the headliner on Wednesday, January 30, at the fortnightly Music in the Hills (MiTH) event, held in a barn at The Knoll Historic Guest Farm, Knoll Drive, Hilton.
In recent years, James has appeared with the Cape Philharmonic, the KwaZulu- Natal Philharmonic, the Johannesburg Festival, the Johannesburg Philharmonic and the Free State Symphony in concerti by Rodrigo, Villa-Lobos, Giuliani and Vivaldi.
He studied at the Royal College of Music in London as a Foundation Scholar with Carlos Bonell. Upon graduating he became the first guitarist in the history of the college to receive the Tagore Gold Medal, an annual award presented to the most outstanding student.
James has recently released his sixth solo album, Chilled, under his own record label, Stringwise Records. His previous two releases, Sevilla – Music of Spain II and Café Latino, both topped the Classic Fm Top 20 South African Charts and earned James SAMA nominations for Best Popular Classical Album and Best Instrumental Album respectively.
He will perform from 9pm on January 30, following an 8pm performance by Brian Bedingfield (of Hairy Legged Lentil Eaters), who will showcase his new solo project, called Finger Trouble, with some help from friends old and new.
Brian will interlace his performance with stories about life, the universe and songwriting.
Performing from 7.30pm will be Byron Love, who was born and raised in Pietermaritzburg. He started out on the local pub circuit after completing his compulsory “national service” and has been gigging ever since, with stints in Pietermaritzburg, Durban, Ballito and the South Coast.
Byron performs covers and also writes his own material. His first album, The Byron Love Consortium – Free Rebel, was released in 2013.
Opening the MiTH programme on January 30 will be Sivan Cruywagen, a Grade 12 student at GHS in Pietermaritzburg, who has been singing since she was eight.
Her genre is classic soul, with covers from London Grammar, Adele, James Arthur, Lana Del Ray and others.
MiTH a semi-open mic music club whose doors open at 6pm and the music flows from 7pm. Admission is R40 at the door.
Take along your own booze. Food and soft drinks are available for sale. Ca;; Charles Websyer at 082 331 7271 if you require directions or more information.
BILLY SUTER reports on entertainment events in and around Durban this weekend, including a Frank Sinatra tribute show, a fascinating art exhibition and a ‘Burns Night’ celebration … More KZN: What’s On this weekend