Archive: Issue No. 59, July 2002

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Sue Williamson

Sue Williamson
From the Inside: Johannes Bukhali, with parents (2001)
Work selected for Jhb Art City

Berco Wilsenach

Berco Wilsenach
Porcupine quills, perspex, glass

Click here to watch MPG clip (380K)

Wim Botha

Wim Botha
Carbon Copy (Madonna del Parto col Bambino)
Anthracite, epoxy resin, liquid petroleum gas

Kathryn Smith

Kathryn Smith
'There was nowhere to go; the small of her back was pressed up against a writing desk' (with apologies to Kathryn Smith)
LED sign and Lambda prints

Wednesday June 19

The João Ferreira Gallery phones the studio at about 10am to say want to do an interview on my 'From the Inside' exhibition after lunch. A quick downwards glance at my studio sludgies tells me that I do not wish to appear on national television looking quite as scruffy as this, so I go home to change. The interviewer is Warda Hartley, who is doing the arts stuff along with general news stories now that Roger Lucey has left the station. She's very relaxed about the whole thing, so it all goes off quite smoothly, and to my surprise Warda says it will be on the news hour tonight. Tell about four people, and sit down apprehensively in front of the set at 7.30pm, but it's not on. Vague feeling of relief at not having to look at myself followed by greater relief that I hadn't spread the word more widely.

Friday June 21

Hear from various sources that the interview was on the news last night, Thursday. I'd forgotten about it, and hadn't watched.

Phone call from Johannesburg to tell me that one of the prints from the show has been selected for the Art City project, which will tie in with the World Summit on Sustainable Development from August 26 to end of September. Good news! Up to 30 works will be massively blown up and printed to cover whole sides of buildings in the downtown and other selected areas of Johannesburg. The organisers are publicising it as "the world's largest outdoor art gallery". Apparently it is planned to make this an annual event, using new images each time.

Wednesday June 26

An opening tonight - at the Bell-Roberts. The title of the show is 'Grime' and is a follow-up to the applauded show 'Clean' which showed at the Millennium in Johannesburg last year. The Bell-Roberts has been transforming itself over the last few months, and one now enters through a coffee shop, shortly to carry a full range of art books and magazines, and gains access to the gallery through that. Normally a pristine white, the walls have been painted a dark ash grey to tie in with the 'Grime' theme. A number of the artists have come down for the opening - Kathryn Smith, Christian Nerf and Wim Botha. Is it another exhibition tie-in that they are all dressed in black, or just normal art world gear?

Kathryn tells me that the Trinity Session, of which she is one of the trio, has been appointed to select art for the Big Brother house. This is supposed to raise the intellectual level of the repartee among the next intake of housemates, who will be instructed to discuss the artwork on camera! Apparently gallerist Linda Givon shrieked with laughter on hearing of this turn of events, but it's not altogether a new idea - it was tried out on the English version of Big Brother and was a success. At the end of the current run, the work will be sold on auction for charity.

Friday June 28

Today noon is the closing date for those who registered to submit proposals for artwork for the International Convention Centre to submit first sketches and a provisional budget. Everything has to be on A3 boards, and totally unidentifiable - any information which might reveal who the artist was could lead to disqualification from the competition. Consequently, each set of work is assigned a number. The judges will be: Neville Dubow of Michaelis; Marilyn Martin, director of the SANG; Zola Mtshiza, curator at the SANG; Revel Fox, architect; Anya van der Merwe Miszewski and John Ferendinos, architects; Lucien le Grange, architect; David Jack, who headed up the development of the waterfront; Laurine Platzky of the Provincial Administration; and Basil Tommy from the City of Cape Town. I note that over 40 numbers have been allocated to submittors. It will be interesting to see what happens. Of course, I wish I'd had another two weeks to work on my proposal. Doesn't one always?

Saturday June 29

The last day of my show at João Ferreira's. We've sent out an invitation for mid-morning coffee and sandwiches to encourage those who might have intended to come but not actually made it up to now. I'm delighted to welcome Rayda Becker, a migrant from Johannesburg, here for a year to organise the art collection of the Houses of Parliament, Michael Godby of UCT and Sandra Klopper, head of the art department of the University of Stellenbosch, plus a whole group of other artists and friends. A relaxed ending to the show.


Gallery-hopping in Cape Town

The Dak/Art Biennnial in Senegal

Sue Williamson in Jo'burg

'Who defines the contemporary? Biennials and the global art world'

Smithsonian's National Museum for African Art, Washington

Homeport at the V&A Waterfront

Jo'burg & the Joubert Park Project

Artist Matthew Hindley at the World Wide Video Festival

Exhibitions in Chicago and Washington

A visit to South Africa House in London

Joubert Park Project; Art Spaces in Gender Perspective, Germany

'Homeport' collaboration; Joubert Park Project; Omar Badsha