artthrob artthrob

Archive: Issue No. 37, September 2000

Go to the current edition for SA art News, Reviews & Listings.


Something to ask? A comment to make on ArtThrob? Email us at All queries answered by Paul Edmunds, Feedback Editor.

From: Chantal Day
Subject: Definitions
Date received: September 13

I wonder whether you can refer me to sites that would help me define the following concepts: I am looking for concise definitions, and perhaps one or two examples of artists who fall into each category.

Indigenous Art
Transitional Art
Western Influenced Art
Contemporary Art

Thanks for you assistance!

Chantal Day

Chantal, firstly, I assume you refer to these definitions exclusively in the South African context. I think your best bet would be to go either to a library where you should find books that will help you with these definitions. Alternatively, one of the provincial galleries should be able to help you. You can email the South African National Gallery -

From: Frank Cahoon
Subject: Seeking art schools in Pretoria
Date received: September 09

Dear Madam / Sir,

I am seeking information re the possibility of attending day time art classes in Pretoria, for drawing, painting or ceramics (eg.raku). I anticipate moving my household from Washington DC to Pretoria some time in October 2000. I am also interested in working in any voluntary capacity in the arts area, if you know of any interesting volunteer programs in the area. I would appreciate any leads on these subjects.

Yours sincerely,
Robyn Spence

Robyn, there are a number of tertiary institutions which would offer painting or drawing classes, or could point you in the right direction. Technikon Pretoria would be one - (012) 318-5911. As for ceramics, I recommend you contact the South African National Crafts Council - They might perhaps know of some volunteer programmes which might suit you as well.

From: Etienne Joubert
Subject: Continental Shift Exhibition
Date received: September 08

Do you have any idea where I can get more information on Andries Botha's work exhibited on the Continental Shift exhibitions or the exhibitions themselves? I've come across a reference to Botha's work having been exhibited elsewhere, but nothing more specific than that.

Thank you and kind regards
Etienne Joubert

I am not familiar with this exhibition, perhaps a visitor to the site may be able to help you.

From: Etienne Joubert
Subject: Andries Botha
Date received: September 01

My wife (Maryna), a ceramic artist and Hons student in Fine Arts at Unisa, is working on a dissertation which focuses on the works of Jenny Holzer and Andries Botha. Do you perhaps have an email address or contact number for Botha? ArtThrob has proven to be an invaluable source of reference as far as my wife's studies and involvement in art in general are concerned - thank you for an excellent magazine and please keep up the good work.

Kind regards
Etienne Joubert

Firstly, thank you for the kind words. Secondly, as far as I know, Andries doesn't have an email address. You can, though, contact him at Technikon Natal on (031) 304-4824.

From: Neryl McCallum
Subject: wire art
Date received: August 26

I am doing some research for an essay on wire art and am particularly interested in the wire art in Southern Africa. I have been unable to find much information on why this art form began and why it has become so popular. Are you able to shed any light on this for me. I would greatly appreciate any information.

With kind regards
Neryl McCallum

I don't know too much myself but I do have some ideas on the subject from observations I have made. Firstly, wirework is fairly close to other kinds of basketry of which there is a rich tradition in South Africa. Unlike in other parts of the world, basketry is widely practiced by men in Africa. The same can be said about wirework. Secondly, there are purely economical reasons for the popularity of this craft. Wire is widely available, cheap and can be worked with relatively simple tools and resources. It is often employed with the same ingenuity as other waste materials are in developing economies all over the world. Wire products sell very well to both tourists and locals and provide thus an important source of revenue. Recently I gave some workshops in which I taught wirework and in my preparatory research I was surprised to find that there was a rich tradition of wirework in Eastern and Western Europe and also in America. More surprisingly, I found that many of the designs I see here today are fairly direct descendants of objects produced in the 19th Century in Hungary or France. So, I suspect that some years ago workshops were held here or a few artists had access to this material and it proved a source of inspiration for them. I do know that South African artist Walter Oltmann was doing some research on the subject. I don't have his address, but you will be able to get hold of him through Wits University where he works (

From: Elna
Subject: Karel Nel
Date received: August 14

Can you please help me? I am a matric pupil at Pietersburg High and have to do a project about Karel Nel for my art class which forms part of my year-end mark. I have no idea how to contact him or to get more information about him. There is nothing in our local library about him. I read an article about him on your website, but the information is still not enough. Can you please help me with his address or e-mail address.

Thank you very much,
Marli Engelbrecht
Tel: (015) 296-2305

Karel Nel teaches at Wits University. If you call them on (011) 339-6039 someone might be able to help you with his address or other contact details.