Diverse range of local art

A view of Durban’s KZNSA Gallery in Glenwood, where work by 25 local artists is now on show.


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.

Banele Khoza, whose Seeking Love exhibition opens at the Durban  art gallery on Tuesday, May 21.

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.

Participating artists are: Mpilo Makhanya, Bongani Luthuli, Lindokuhle Khumalo, Mlamuli Mkhwanazi, Mthobisi Maphumulo, Mduduzi Dzanibe, Londiwe Mtshali, Andile Maphumulo, Sthenjwa Luthuli, Lungisani Ndlovu, Nomusa Mtshali, Morgan Mohape, Sphephelo Mnguni, Ncumisa Mcitwa, Major Ndlovu, Mondli Mbhele, Zwelinjani Radebe, Shabo Bhengu, Mhlonishwa Chiliza, Khulekani Mkhize, Lindani Nyandeni, Nhlakanipho Gcwabe, Thembi Mtshali, Thalente Khomo, Wonder Mbambo and Nkosikhona Majola.

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.

Drawing Out the Lines, a work by by Umhlanga-based artist Angelika Anastasis, on show at the Blue Caterpillar Art Gallery in Pietermaritzburg.

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.

Mantombi, a work by Angelika Anastasis.

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

18 artists collaborate in the Midlands

Tahina Ratoarivony and Mat Li get creative at the workshop which has been held at  the Kings School, Nottingham Road, since April 1 and culminates with an open day on April 13.. All pictures by Thalante Khomo.


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.

Nkcubeko Balani of Grahamstown  is among the artists collaborating to make art together in the Midlands – at the Thupelo International Arts Workshop in Nottingham Road.

“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.

Participants are: Anushka Kempken (Jhb); Crawford Mandumbwa  (Zambia); Danisile Ncube(Zimbabwe);  Khaya Sineyile (CT); Lara Vlaska (Germany);  Mat Li (Madagascar); Ncumisa Mcitwa (Durban); Nkcubeko Balani (Grahamstown); Nomusa Mtshali (Durban); Owen Shikabeta (Zambia); Selloane Moeti (Durban);  Tahina Rakotoarivony (Madagascar); Vanessa Chen (CT); Thalente Khomo (Durban); Clive Sithole (Durban); Thami Jali (Durban); Anthony Cawood (CT) and Witty Nyide (Pretoria).

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

KZN: What’s On this weekend

Miriam Erasmus and Frank Graham are the stars of Burns Night in Kloof this weekend


ENTERTAINMENT on offer in Durban this weekend includes a salute to Frank Sinatra – titled Sinatra… Quite Frankly  – 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.

Anthony Stonier stars in Sinatra… Quite Frankly.

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.

Guitarist James Grace headlines at Hilton’s MiTH event on January 30.

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

Art and sexual relationships

Artist Simnikiwe Buhlungu is among those participating in the Mating Birds Vol 2 exhibition opening in Durban this month.


DURBAN’S KZNSA Gallery in Glenwood opens the year 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 from January 17 to 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 (Act No.5 of 1927, Act No. 23 of 1957, Act No. 57 of 1969),” 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 essay exposes how contemporary perspectives on sex, sexuality and sexual relationships have been shaped, contested or maintained.”

Local artist Lady Skollie.

Published in 1983/86, Nkosi’s novel is set in Durban’s segregated beaches and narrated by a black man awaiting execution for allegedly raping a white woman. The novel was equally critiqued and praised by many, including Henry Louis Gates jnr,  who remarked on how it “confronts boldly and imaginatively the strange interplay of bondage, desire and torture inherent in interracial sexual relationships within the South African prison house of apartheid” (New York Times, 1986) .

Meanwhile, South African writer Andre Brink (1935-2015) accused Nkosi of being fascinated with inter-racial sexual relations and of being guilty of “distortion and exaggeration”.

“Mating Birds Vol 2 uses the exhibition space to map the manner in which artists have intervened in the space of sexual politics. It also looks at how they continue to reshape the visual vocabulary of sexuality and sexual freedoms while questioning the way bodies are still impacted by the residual nature of repressing colonial and apartheid policies.”

The exhibition features artists Billie Zangewa, Dineo Seshee Bopape, Lady Skollie, Sabelo Mlangeni, Simnikiwe Buhlungu, Tracey Rose and Trevor Makhoba.

Reference materials are drawn from literature, including Bessie Head, Lebo Mashile, Lewis Nkosi, Makhosazana Xaba and Zakes Mda, as well philosophical texts, historical archives and other sources.

Gallery entry is free and all are welcome. A walkabout with the curators and participating artists is scheduled for 10am on Friday, January 18.

Mating Birds Vol 2 is made possible with funding from the Department of Arts and Culture.


BILLY SUTER reports that Durban’s KZNSA Gallery in Glenwood opens the year with a women-led exhibition, “Mating Birds Vol 2,” which engage with art and sexual relationships … More Art and sexual relationships

Trees from recycled material

Khehla Ngobese from KwaMashu. New to sculpture, typically working as a painter and illustrator, he is making an anti-pollution boat as his personal project, using wire.


SIX artists with different backgrounds and experiences have been collaborating on an innovative art project, Speak for the Trees, using recycled and found materials for the past few weeks, culminating in an exhibition to rub at Durban’s Community ZA Gallery from December 5 to 8.

Admission to the gallery, at 3 Millar Road, off Umgeni Road, Stamford Hill, is free and all are welcome.

Speak for the Trees, a Mzansi Arts Development’s Art for a Healthy Lifestyle project, is supported by the Arts and Culture Trust in association with the Nedbank Arts Affinity.

“Art for a Healthy Lifestyle is a campaign to promote community health and well-being through the medium of creative arts,” explains project producer, Lerato Bellinda Molemong from Mzansi Arts Development Ensemble, who initiated the project.

“Turning garbage into art is one of the fundamental projects in the campaign and holds a significant position in the cleaning up of the environment as well as in the spread of awareness around littering and waste disposal and its adverse health effects. It is a six-week project that results in a theme park filled with artworks by resident artists from  KwaMashu.”

Visual artist Christine Adams has been facilitating the process.

“We have been training for five weeks working in 3D media which has been a new experience for most of the participants, who typically are painters and sketchers,” she explains.

“We have made five life-size trees from recycled materials which will on display as the entre piece of the exhibition – called Speak for the Trees. The participants also have been working on individual pieces of work which will be exhibited alongside the trees.

“The process teaches art-making skills and interpersonal collaboration,” she adds.

“Art is a way of communicating. It is about expressing the self and sharing feelings – much like a language,” says Selbourne Sithembiso Shangase,  the most experienced art maker in the group.

Selbourne Sithembiso Shangase with his quirky “pigfish” sculpture and design sketch.

“Working collaboratively means teaching people without being aware that you are teaching. Art means we can express ourselves while impressing others.

“I am grateful to Andries Botha who nurtured and mentored me through the Community Arts Workshop. I am happy to be able to now mentor others. We must work together – collaboration is the only way. When two elephants are fighting, the grass suffers.”

“I am new to this having just finished matric,” says Lizeka Shezi,  one of the younger participants. “I don’t have any experience as an artist – it is my passion that is driving me and I love learning these new skills.”

The group is made up of six artists from KwaMashu gleaned through the ongoing MADE’s arts learnership programme. Participants are Sithembiso Shangase, Gift Dlamini, Thembinkosi Ngobese, Lizeka Shezi, Khulekani Mkhize and Zazi Nxumalo.

They are being mentored by project co-ordinator and exhibition curator, Christine Adams, with support from Selbourne Sithimbiso Shangase The intention is to learn from each other’s’ experiences during the process.

Established in 2005, Mzansi Arts Development (MADE) is a non-profit, community-driven organisation inspired by the lack of skills, slow growth and recognition of the SA arts industry.

MADE promotes arts and culture as a source of personal fulfilment and carves a potential career path for students and interns in a myriad art forms – performing and visual arts – affirming their skills through an integrated academic training and development programme.

It is hoped that the Speak for the Trees exhibition will find a more permanent place to be displayed, after the initial display, in one of the city’s parks or public places.

BILLY SUTER reports that six artists from different backgrounds have been collaborating on an innovative art project, “Speak for the Trees”, to be viewed in Durban early in December. … More Trees from recycled material

Fibreworks art and a creative forage

A work by Jeanette Gilks titled Draped Forest. It forms part of the EDGE exhibition.


DURBAN’S KZNSA Gallery bordering Bulwer Park in Glenwood is presenting  two new interesting and diverse exhibitions until October 28.

The Main Gallery is hosting EDGE by National Fibreworks, while the Mezzanine Gallery is showcasing a solo exhibition by Durban artist Grace Kotze. Both exhibitions opened on October 10.

EDGE marks the 20th anniversary of the South African Fibreworks group which is displaying recent work of Fibreworks members. There are three parts to the show: an open, non-themed section; a themed section where Fibreworks artists were challenged to create a new work in response to an existing South African artwork displayed in any South African gallery or museum; and finally, a Major Minors display of 25cm x 25cm works.

“During the course of the exhibition, a textile installation will unfold where members of the public are invited to participate in a collaborative artwork,” says a gallery spokesman.

Tilly de Harde’s Edge of Extinction, part of the EDGE exhibition in Durban.

“The idea of a Fibreworks collective was conjured up in 1998 by a group of female friends. While some came from quilting backgrounds and others were trained in graphic design or fine art, they were united in the commitment to promote fibre and textile art as a serious art form’

Jeanette Gilks, Fibreworks’ chairman and a founding member, says” ‘We were all interested in creating a group dedicated to promoting change within the existing art and craft platforms in South Africa, and we were keen to generate interaction, present new challenges and foster critical input from our members”.

The exhibition is accompanied by a public participation programme. Small squares of white fabric and various kinds of recycled objects – for example,  aluminum pull-tabs and buttons – will be available, and members of the public are invited to create a ‘Square of their Thoughts’. Any thoughts or images!

These small material tiles will be displayed on the gallery floor as an expanding installation. Anyone can add their thoughts to the growing body of the collaborative TEXT-TILE artwork.

Spoils of a Creative Forage is the title of Grace Kotze’s exhibition which tells of her present creative meanderings.

Kotze’s exhibitions usually consist of a very limited subject base through which she explores her concerns.

She says in a press release: “At present, my mind is like an overactive mouse, scurrying through an overstocked pantry gathering delicious visuals. Hence Spoils of a Creative Forage is full of a myriad subjects held together by an emotional pull.

“I am very conscious of humanity’s attachment to objects through emotional bonds formed by family stories, memories of past experiences and associations. These objects become almost like a talisman that hold some greater power than inanimate objects.”

Interwoven with these themes are the creatures of Durban that bring suggested movement into the genre of the still life

“As much as I love still lives, adding a subject that moves always allows me to exhale during the creative and viewing process.

“All the birds and animals that I paint are ones I have stalked and photographed in Durban. This gives me a deeper understanding and compassion for the manner in which they have to navigate their way around the city.’

A work by Graze Kotze that forms part of her Spoils of a Creative Forage exhibition in Durban.


BILLY SUTER reports that Durban’s KZNSA Gallery in Glenwood is hosting two interesting new exhibitions until October 28. – works by the Fibreworks group and by Grace Kotze. … More Fibreworks art and a creative forage

Music, food and Phansi Museum art

Resident artist Peter Engblom and a section of The Community Murals Project at the Phansi Museum in Glenwood, Durban. Picture by Niamh  Walsh-Vorster.


IN CELEBRATION of Heritage Month, Durban’s Phansi Museum at 500 Esther Roberts Road, Glenwood, will present music, food and art from 5pm to 7.30pm on Thursday, September 13.

Join artists Ildo Nandja, Milton Chissano, Hailey Fudu and Ashantewaa Ngidi for an intimate evening of unity building, music and dinner to celebrate diversity during Heritage Month.

Prebook your discounted tickets on Quicket for R100 (R50 per child). This includes dinner.

Also note that the museum is currently hosting The Community Murals Project until September 21. This has history remembered through an eight-panel visual project by resident artist, Peter Engblom, who created the collages in the Roberts House Cowshed adjoining the museum.

“A remarkable figure in the art world of our province was Terry Anne Stevenson, the friend and confidant of so many grassroots artists. Through their murals her group, together with the people who often illegally occupied public spaces, reclaimed them all over the province,” says a gallery spokesman.

A section of the an eight-panel visual project by resident artist, Peter Engblom.

“Who can forget the Human Rights murals on the Durban Prison wall – all three layers of them. The Bat Centre murals, the grand and giving Umkubulwana at Berea station and the Market. No wall was safe in those early days of democracy.

“No school, no railway station, no under- or overpass, or lonely wall could withstand a Community Murals attack. Many individuals branched out and became remarkable artists in their own right.

“Terry Anne, through her relationship with the African Art Centre, Rorke’s Drift and quite a number of informal and formal art collectives, became the conduit through which many township, rural and urban artists entered the public space.

“In her memory and all those who worked with her, the trustees decided to embark on a legacy project that will be of long-lasting value. It follows the arts in KZN from the days, about 200 years ago, when records were first kept.”

The plan is to tell this history around a number of nodes with which people are   familiar. The influence of the missions; training of techniques and concepts of western art and religion in places like Ceza, Rourke’s Drift and Marianhill; Ndaleni; the celebration of indigenous art during the Grossert years; Adams Mission and the importance of the African Art Centre, the Community Art Project and the Bat Centre.

“From these we branch out and follow leads in all directions. All is placed against a backdrop of the politics and social engineering at the time.”

BILLY SUTER reports that Durban’s Phansi Museum in Glenwood, in celebration of Heritage Month, will present music, food and art from 5pm to 7.30pm on Thursday, September 13. … More Music, food and Phansi Museum art

Platter of colourful art works

A work by Johannesburg-born artist Cameron Platter.


A COLOURFUL exhibition by a noted Johannesburg-born artist whose work appears in collections all over the world – including the Museum of Modern Art in New York – opens at the KZNSA Gallery in Glenwood, Durban, next month.

The exhibition of new paintings, sculptural assemblages, collages and video is by Cameron Platter, titled GALAXY AS0-730223NMJ-ZSDSSS. It will run in the gallery’s Main and Mezzanine Galleries, as well as the Media Room, from September 6 to October 7.

A painting by Cameron Platter.

The opening, at 5.30pm on September 6, will be preceded, at 4pm that day, by Platter hosting a question-and-answer session. All are welcome and entry is free.

Platter’s work also appears in the Iziko South African National Gallery; the FRAC Centre, Pays de la Loire, France; Margulies Collection, Miami, US; The Zietz MOCAA, South Africa; and The New Church Collection in South Africa.

His work has been featured in The Los Angeles Times, Artforum, NYAQ, The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, Vice Magazine and the NKA Journal of Contemporary African Art.

Platter was born in 1978 in Johannesburg. He graduated with a BFA in painting from the Michaelis School of Fine Art, Cape Town, in 2001, and now lives in KwaZulu Natal.

BILLY SUTER reports that an colourfyl exhibition by a widely acclaimed, Johannesburg-born artist opens at the KZNSA Gallery in Glenwood, Durban, next month. … More Platter of colourful art works

Artistic flights of fancy…

A work by Darryl Houghton on the Themes exhibition headed for Durban’s KZNSA Gallery in Glenwood,


TWO new exhibitions, Flight of Fancy by Ceramics Southern Africa, and Themes, a group exhibition by Garret Artists, open at Durban’s KZNSA Gallery in Glenwood on Tuesday, August 21.

Running until September 2, Flight of Fancy will be in the Main Gallery. It will showcase work of the members of the KwaZulu-Natal branch of Ceramics Southern Africa, with guest artists Margot Rudolph and Phumlani Nyawo.

A work by Margot Rudolph in the Flight of Fancy exhibition.

Rudolph obtained her national diploma in Ceramic Design at the Pretoria Technikon in 1986. She returned full-time to pottery and opened her own studio in 1996.

She works mainly in stoneware combined with colours, and her individual style embraces a distinctly African theme. She draws inspiration from indigenous plants and textures, manifesting in vibrantly unique ceramic works of art.

Rudolph has won an award on the regional ceramic exhibition and has exhibited on regional and national exhibitions organised by the Ceramics SA, as well as various group exhibitions and solo exhibitions.

Phumlani Nyawo has been involved in ceramic art since 2006, but says he learnt a lot from his brothers when he was a youngster and still living at home in Pongola. “My brothers made the pottery and inspired me to get involved in art.”

Besides his brothers, Phumlani says other artists such as Clive Sithole have had a huge impact on him as an artist, and he has learnt a lot from them.

He uses time-honoured techniques. His forms are contemporary, dramatic yet timeless. His beautiful ceramics are ideally suited for placement on coffee tables, bookshelves or anywhere they can be seen at eye level for guests to admire.

Themes, also running until September 2, is an exhibition from the Garret Artists group, which has been in existence for 25-plus years and comprises a number of local artists who meet once a week to make art and exchange ideas.

The essential focus of the group is on drawing, but that term is loosely interpreted to mean works on paper. This broad definition of ‘drawing’ even allows for the inclusion of printmaking, and a series of lino prints are included in the exhibition.

Media used ranges from graphite pencils to paper collages and from charcoal sticks to drawing inks.  In other words, the artists explore a wide range of mark making materials and this adds a particular vitality to their works.

The artists work around a broad common theme over a number of weeks with each theme serving as a means of providing the art making process with both direction and unity. However, the aim is for each artist to investigate a given theme in a very personal way within very broad parameters.

Personal expression is thus paramount and no tuition, as such, is given.  Constructive criticism of the artworks is invited and plays a vital and integral role within the group.

Members can learn from each other in a supportive, affirming environment and so strengthen their own art making processes.  A range of themes will be discerned within the current exhibition and include ‘coastLINES’, ‘Shoes’, ‘Plants in Containers’, ‘Vessels’, and ‘Buildings’.

A colourful woodcut print by Ezequiel Mabote, on show in Pietermaritzburg..

Still on the local art scene… note that some colourful new woodcut prints by Ezequiel Mabote are now to be seen at The Blue Caterpillar Art Gallery, which is housed in the same complex as the fascinating Butterflies for Africa attraction at 37 Willowton Road in Pietermaritzburg.

“We’re delighted to present a new collection by one of Southern Africa’s most popular woodcut artists – from the quirky to the serene, these woodcut prints demonstrate Ezequiel’s fine workmanship in delivering pieces alive with joyful movement and creativity,” says curator Jeni Cramer.

Mabote is a self-taught artist from Mozambique who got his inspiration as a child, learning from older boys in his neighbourhood who did woodcarving and fabric design.

He learnt the basics of art at school but was forced to abandon these studies to find work to support his family. Later in life he got the opportunity to study fine art at the Nucleo de Arte in Maputo, where he developed his skills in woodcut printing.

“The high degree of quality and professionalism in his work is testament to his talent and dedication to art. Ezequiel’s work has been exhibited in a number of galleries worldwide, including several exhibitions in New York and Chicago,” says Cramer.

For more details contact (033) 3871356 or visit the website: www.artsales.co.za.

For my review of the gallery and the delightful Butterflies for Africa enclose – which has attracted more than 100 species of butterfly to a 6 000 square-metre garden created soley to attract the creatures – click here: https://wp.me/p8dL0W-156

BILLY SUTER reports on two new exhibitions, ‘Flight of Fancy’ by Ceramics Southern Africa and ‘Themes’, a group exhibition by Garret Artists, opening at Durban’s KZNSA Gallery soon. … More Artistic flights of fancy…

Madiba focus at Hilton Arts Festival

This massive Mandela work. made up of crochetted blankets, was unveiled at Zonderwater Prison outside Cullinan in celebration of Nelson Mandela’s centenary. Picture by John Hogg.


IN HONOUR  of Nelson Mandela’s centenary year, the Hilton Arts Festival in September will have a special Madiba focus – from art work to theatre, blankets to installations and massive public art sculptures – when the event runs at various venues in the Hilton College grounds from September 14 to 16.

Two massive outdoor exhibitions have been arranged, the first being the thought-provoking “Think” bench, encouraging patrons to think differently. Rand Merchant Bank commissioned self-taught sculptor and artist Louis Olivier, who regularly works with the renowned William Kentridge, to create a series of art works that are both functional and attractive. The massive structure, spanning 14m, is one of a series of ‘benches’ which adorn public places – in this large-scale project that has been underway for some years.

Oliver was commissioned by RMB through its art curator, Teresa Lizamore, to create a pair of contemporary bookends inspired by Auguste Rodin’s The Thinker. This evolved into the benches – a larger scale version of the book-end concept.

Detail from T.O.L.E.R.A.N.C.E, a monumental public art sculpture consisting of nine letters in bronze.

The “Think” bench spells ‘THINK’ from one side and from another appears to be life-size figures interacting at different angles.

The second work will be based outside the school’s Chapel: T.O.L.E.R.A.N.C.E is a monumental public art sculpture consisting of nine letters in bronze.

International artist Guy Ferrer – who is French of Mediterranean origin – created this work as an ode to tolerance, depicting priests, wise men and pilgrims entwined in the letters, which suggests a religion, belief or spirituality. His starting point was a quote by the Dalai Lama: “It is not of importance that one be a believer or not:  what is important is to be tolerant”.

In Buzz Room 3, a collection of John Meyer’s artworks, Mandela: A Life’s Journey, will be on display. The collection of numbered signed prints, owned by Andrew Dunn, is on permanent loan to Hilton College and will be curated, thanks to The Everard Read Gallery and the Tatham Art Gallery, for the public to appreciate. The 16 prints need to be viewed in sequence and follow the story of Madiba’s life.

Making its second appearance at the festival, featuring in Buzz Room 1, is the participative initiative, 67 Blankets for Mandela. This ‘Knitting Revolution for Nelson Mandela’ sparked ‘Knitwits’ from around the globe to contribute and create blankets and scarves for the thousands of less fortunate during winter.

They recently broke the Guinness Book of Records record for the world’s longest scarf, measuring in at over 29 km.

Inspired by the life and character of Mandela, pianist, composer, arranger, Burton Naidoo has transcribed some of Madiba’s most iconic speeches. The concert, entitled Our Song, includes the words of the speeches harmonised in the effort to create a musical backdrop to these important pieces. Burton has also written new compositions to compliment the performance.

Written for solo piano and track, the works audiences can expect include speeches from the Rivonia Trial, praise singing from Sthembile Mlangeni and Zolani Mkhiva at the inauguration, as well as FW De Klerk’s announcement to free Nelson Mandela at Parliament, 1990.

Naidoo has performed throughout the world and continues to push the boundaries of his musical imagination. This concert is scheduled for 2pm on Saturday, September 15.

The festival would not be possible without the generous support of Hilton College, Tiso Black Star, Grindrod Bank, Black Coffee Design, DWR Distribution,  Extreme Events, Bidvest Car Rental,  KZN Dept of Arts & Culture, Redlands Hotel, Assitej South Africa, Loud Crowd, Sappi,  BASA, Corona and Capital Media.

The full festival programme will be available on Sunday, August 12, in The Sunday Times and on the festival website. Bookings open online on August 13.

T.,O.L.E.R.A.N.C.E is a large-scale public art sculpture consisting of nine letters in bronze.

BILLY SUTER reports that the Hilton Arts Festival in September will have a special Madiba focus – from art work to theatre, blankets to installations and massive public art sculptures. … More Madiba focus at Hilton Arts Festival