Archive: Issue No. 59, July 2002

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

01.07.02 'Baggage' at the Alliance Française
01.07.02 'Violence' - a 'Pulse' project at the NSA
01.07.02 'Amulets and Dreams' - Guy Tillim and Omar Badsha at the DAG
17.06.02 'Woven Botanics' - Angela Shaw at Koop
01.06.02 Guy-Andre Lagesse - 'Mari-Mira' on Durban beachfront

17.06.02 Jacques Fuller at the Tatham Gallery

'Baggage' at the Alliance Française

'Baggage', an exhibition of 38 lithographs by a range of South African artists on the theme of baggage, will be on show at the Alliance Française in Durban. Rich in its literal evocation of travel as well as loaded in its symbolic and psychological meaning, the show promises to be interesting.

Opening: July 10 at 5.30pm

Alliance Française
Tel: 031 312 9582 (Fern)

Bharti Kerr

Bharti Kerr
Bindhi covered log

'Violence' - a 'Pulse' project at the NSA

International artists have jetted in from Argentina, India and Brazil to participate in Greg Streak's latest 'Pulse' project (also see News). Planned to open simultaneously in Durban and Nieu-Bethesda on July 5, 'Violence/Silence' hopes to engage with the many separate and connecting faces of its title.

Marco Pollo Rolla (Brazil), Bharti Kerr (India) and Adriana Lestido (Argentina) joined the South African contingent of Luan Nel, Carol-anne Gainer, Paul Edmunds and Greg Streak for a minibus journey to the town of Nieu-Bethesda in the Great Karoo for the first leg of the project. Ivan Grubanov, who experienced visa problems in Amsterdam that prevented him catching his flight, is the last member of the team and was to arrive later. They form the core of Mark Wilby's !Xoe biennale which takes on a different look this year.

In its completed form the exhibition 'Silence' will take place in and around Nieu-Bethesda while 'Violence' will take place at the NSA Gallery in Durban. Both shows will involve the same group of artists and the shows will open simultaneously, albeit 1200km apart. 'Violence' and 'Silence' will come together as one exhibition in a space still being decided on in Cape Town later in 2002.

A mini conference will be held in Durban on July 19 and will explore the diversity of these themes. A publication/video documentary will be launched at the opening of the culmination show in Cape Town. 'Pulse' is currently upgrading its website at where more in-depth information regarding the project will soon be found.

Opening: July 5 at 6pm
Closing: July 28


NSA Gallery, 166 Bulwer Road, Glenwood
Tel: 031 202 3686
Fax: 031 202 3744
Hours: Tues - Fri 10am - 5pm, Sat 10am - 4pm, Sun 11am - 3pm

Guy Tillim

Guy Tillim
Street Children, Cuito, Angola

'Amulets and Dreams' - Guy Tillim and Omar Badsha at Durban Art Gallery

'Amulets and Dreams - War, Youth and Change in Africa' is an exhibition of photographs from a book by Omar Badsha and Guy Tillim. Badsha and Tillim are two of South Africa's leading documentary photographers and the presentation of their work at the DAG coincides timeously with the week of the African Union conference to launch the African Union (also see News).

The title of the book and exhibition refers to the amulets and charms worn by child solders to ward off bullets in combat. Many of these children, tragically numbering in the thousands, are press-ganged into combat and rarely have anything resembling a normal childhood. Badsha and Tillim do not, however, dwell on the predictable pathos of such a situation but through their lens record the resilience and hope that is also present. They have documented the wars and civil strife in six African countries: Angola, Mozambique, Burundi, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia and Eritrea.

When the exhibition leaves Durban it will tour South Africa, then travel to venues in Ethiopia, Angola, the UK, France and the USA.

Opening: July 4 at 6pm

Durban Art Gallery, 2nd floor, City Hall, Smith Street
Tel: 031 311 2262
Fax: 031 311 2273
Hours: Mon - Sat 8.30am - 4pm, Sun 11am - 4pm

'Woven Botanics' - Angela Shaw at Koop

Koop, the recently opened design and furniture store near the NSA Gallery, is expanding its repetoire with an exhibition of photographs by Angela Shaw. Entitled 'Woven Botanics', the exhibition comprises large-scale, elaborate tapestries of woven photographs that merge abstraction and the representational into one. Shaw describes them as "series of photographs of my favourite South African plants - kokerbome, aloes, banana palms, cactuses and others - that are woven and crafted together. The pieces explore the colours, textures and forms of the plants and how the forms start to become abstract while the plants remain totally recognisable. The series is about a love of growing things - the deliciousness of typical South African botanics."

Opening: June 18 at 6pm

Koop, corner Bulwer and Ferguson Roads, Glenwood
Tel: 031 202 8091

Guy-Andre Lagesse

Guy-Andre Lagesse at work on Durban beachfront

Guy-Andre Lagesse

Guy-Andre Lagesse
Construction in progress

Guy-Andre Lagesse - 'Mari-Mira, The Fancy Shack Spirit' on Durban beachfront

'Mari-Mira' is Creole slang that can be loosely translated as "enormously fantastic" or "terribly eccentric". It is the word Guy-Andre Lagesse has chosen to describe his transportable village that has already had incarnations in Mauritius, Marseilles and Paris before landing in Durban.

Lagesse, a Mauritian artist born in South Africa, travels the world looking for ordinary people, who may not even consider themselves artists, who re-fashion their worlds from the detritus around them. Setting up collaborative projects, he builds houses and parks from commonplace objects - swings and lookout towers from rubbish bins, table football games from driftwood, and flowers from plastic rubbish. Visitors are encouraged to walk around his "fancy shack lands" and physically experience the strange and inventive structures. These include an ingenious house in which everything is made from recycled materials. Often with more than one function, every object is detachable - the sink, the bar, the cupboard that becomes a bed and the bed which becomes a table.

Lagesse's vision is poetic - he seeks the unexpected in the banal; he embraces play, the unexpected and the kitsch. He wants to unearth the whimsical and the lyrical in the prosaic - above all, to tap into and celebrate the extraordinary creativity that exists in ordinary human beings.

In Durban he is working with a number of local artists: Jabulani Mhlabini, a ceramicist whose skills were inherited from his father and grandfather and whose production is linked to ancestral beliefs; Sbusiso Mbele, better known as the "aeroplane man" because he has built his own aeroplane house from corrugated iron, old taxis and busses; and Pat Khanye, who makes tapestries out of plastic bags. Helping Lagesse on the environmental front is Michael How Long, famous for his creation of a free garden in Umlazi where people come to celebrate marriages and birthdays.

'Mari-Mira, The Fancy Shack Spirit' will be open to the public for guided tours or free self-discovery from June 8. It can be found on the Pavilion Site on North Beach in front of the Military Museum.

Opening: June 8
Closing: July 31



Jacques Fuller at the Tatham Gallery

Jacques Fuller has been active as a sculptor in Bloemfontein for almost two decades, but this is his first solo show. Created over the last two years, the work on display is strongly figurative and mainly in metal: steel, copper and brass. Ranging from small, delicately forged animals to almost life-size figures, the work is informed by satire, humour and caricature. The exhibition is sponsored by Sanlam.

Opening: June 20 at 6pm
Closing: July 21

Tatham Art Gallery, corner Longmarket Street and Commercial Road
Tel: 033 342 1804/1
Hours: Tues - Sun 10am - 6pm