Archive: Issue No. 62, October 2002

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DURBAN
15.10.02 'Eye Operation' by Siphiwe Zulu at the BAT Centre
15.10.02 'Ups and Downs in Life' by Mfundo Mhlongo at the BAT Centre
01.10.02 New shows at NSA feature cartoons, photographs, young artists' work
18.09.02 Gwen van Embden, Janet Solomon, Milijana Babic and Ralph Bronzin at the NSA Gallery
01.09.02 'City' at the DAG

PIETERMARITZBERG
01.10.02 Julius Mfethe and SBYO Brett Murray at the Tatham Art Gallery
DURBAN



'Eye Operation' by Siphiwe Zulu at the Menzi Mchunu Gallery, BAT Centre

Opened this week is Siphiwe Zulu's exhibition of paintings at the Menzi Mchunu Gallery, BAT Centre. Zulu is a familiar painter on the Durban scene well known for his paintings with their intensively stippled surfaces.

The title of this exhibition refers to a persistent and degenerative eye problem, which has made it increasingly difficult for the artist to see properly and for which he needs a corrective operation. Zulu, however, also sees the exhibition as an "eye operation" because the artist is inviting the viewer to see beyond the visual surface of the works in order to sense the emotional feeling behind the images.

Zulu is a daydreamer and likes to fantasize and his works, whilst often engaging the subject of daily life, are infused with a mythic quality. The more he is involved in art, the more he feels possessed by the spirit of art -as if intoxicated. Having survived four near-fatal accidents, Zulu's works are a celebration of life. He says that he wants his paintings to "radiate, vibrate and resonate. If I can be able to achieve that in a painting, it would make me happy all the time and beyond".

As a Christian, he says that being an artist is like taking a cross and following Jesus. He feels as though he carries the aspirations of his community and he has to do his best to reflect the communal spirit. He feels his life has been a sacrifice and that a strong faith and a practice of art are closely related.

Zulu has previously exhibited at the Durban Art Gallery (1996), the Standard Bank Festival of the Arts, Grahamstown (1996), the BAT Centre (1997). African Art Centre, Durban (2000), the NSA Gallery, Durban (2002). His works are in the Carnegie Art Gallery, Newcastle and the Durban Art Gallery and the Kwa-Muhle Local History Museum in Durban.

BAT Centre, 45 Maritime Place, Small Craft Harbour
Tel: (031) 332 0451
Fax: (031) 332 2213
Email: info@batcentre.co.za
Website: www.batcentre.co.za
Hours: Mon - Fri 9am - 5pm, Sat - Sun 9am - 4.30pm




'Ups and Downs in Life' by Mfundo Mhlongo at the Democratic Gallery, BAT Centre

Opening next week at the Bat Centre will be Mfundo Mhlongo's 'Ups and Downs in Life' a multimedia and painting exhibition.

A young artist, Mhlongo has been mainly self-taught with a brief spell of tutelage under the guidance of My Vilakazi who introduced him to a variety of styles and techniques. Experimenting by himself he draws from direct everyday experience to fuel his work.

Opening: October 25, 2002, 5.30pm

BAT Centre, 45 Maritime Place, Small Craft Harbour
Tel: (031) 332 0451
Fax: (031) 332 2213
Email: info@batcentre.co.za
Website: www.batcentre.co.za
Hours: Mon - Fri 9am - 5pm, Sat - Sun 9am - 4.30pm


Sharp!

'Sharp!'
Market Photography Workshop

Lyndon Daniels

Lyndon Daniels
Suspense

Sifiso Yalo

Sifiso Yalo
Africa Flicks Mugabe, 2002
Pen and ink

Yalo is a Third Year Fine Arts student at the Durban Institute of Technology


New shows at NSA feature cartoons, photographs, young artists' work

'Black and White In Ink: Under the Skin of South African Cartooning' an exhibition of cartooning

Plus three other shows: 'Sharp!', an exhibition of photographs from the Market Theatre Photography Workshop, 'Suspension' the second instalment of Young Artist Project (YAP) an installation and animation by Lyndon Daniels and 'Imisebenzi yezandla 2' documentation of the NSA Training Arts Programme - all at the NSA Gallery

'Black and White In Ink: Under the Skin of South African Cartooning', curated by Andy Mason (Durban) and Anton Kannemeyer (Johannesburg) features the work of 25 South African cartoonists, from the celebrated giants of the field to unknown newcomers. The exhibition consists of two parts: a retrospective of the work of 12 anti-apartheid cartoonists who were active in the last two decades of the apartheid era; and new work by 13 emerging post-apartheid cartoonists.

The opening night will feature a unique 'Cartoon Jam', initiated by the organizers to capitalise on the presence in Durban of artists on the forefront of cartooning - including Joe Dog from Bitterkomix fame, Zapiro and Rico from 'Madam and Eve'. The 'Cartoon Jam' will be a collaborative cartoon and will be completed on opening night and will be on display for the duration of the exhibition.

Featuring an unusual selection of artists, both mainstream and underground, the retrospective side of the exhibition looks at a wide range of cartooning genres and styles, from the hugely influential political cartoons of Zapiro and Francis and Rico's Madam and Eve to the little-known rantings of self-published feminist cartoonist Wild Beast and N.D. Mazin's Vittoke in Azania. The exhibition will also feature prominent Durban cartoonist Daily News' Nanda Sooben, Richard Smith's famous Vorster-era strip, Smith and Abbot Ink, Len Sak's Jojo, Mogorosi Mothshumi's Sloppy, the late Derek Bauer's blistering satire and the infamous Bitterkomix are also on display, along with work by Alastair Findlay of City Press.

South Africa's cartooning renaissance is represented by Bethuel Mangena (Sowetan Sunday World), Sifiso Yalo (Umafrika), Siphiwo Sobopha (Sunday Sun) and Themba Siwela (Bona), as well as unpublished artists from the Durban Cartoon Project and the Jozi Comix Project. Past and future come together in this important exhibition that focuses on issues of identity in South African life and how these are reflected by cartoonists. A catalogue published in the form of a comics magazine will be launched at the exhibition.

The exhibition has two main functions. The first is documentary: to stimulate a process of discovering, documenting and interrogating South Africa's cartooning history. There have been very few attempts to gain an overview of South African cartooning and this exhibition takes a first step in the process of reclaiming this hidden history. The second function is interventionist: aiming to identify new cartoonists and help provide an enabling environment in which they are able to develop their skills and gather a popular readership.

'Black and White in Ink' forms part of an international comic art festival, 'Comics Galore', a six month programme of events dedicated to Comic Art in South Africa, presented and curated by Pro Helvetia, The French Institute of South Africa, Anton Kannemeyer and the Durban Cartoon Project.

The exhibition is organised in association with The Centre For Fine Art, Animation and Design, Durban, Artworks Publishing, Durban, Bitterkomix, Johannesburg/Cape Town, School of Fine Arts, Durban Institute of Technology and the Department of Graphic Design, Technikon Witwatersrand.

For more information please contact Andy Mason, Durban Cartoon Project Tel: 031 303 6466 Cell: 082 899 3091 e-mail: artworks@iafrica.com

In the Mezzanine Gallery is 'Sharp!' an exhibition of photographs from the Market Theatre Photography Workshop's book edited by Brenton Maart and TJ Lemon with an introduction by David Goldblatt

This visually superb publication and exhibition highlights the changing face of South Africa through the eyes of the Market Theatre Photography Workshop. Since the opening of the school in 1989 in central Johannesburg, the Market Photography Workshop (MPW) has been involved with a diversity of 'clicksters' - as students, teachers, mentors and community members. Founded by David Goldblatt MPW's function is to develop visual literacy skills in photography. Along the way, the MPW has helped develop important South African photographers. Utilising a variety of genres such as portraiture, socio-political documentary and advertising 'Sharp' captures a variety of visions.

Featuring works by contemporary award-winners such as Themba Hadebe, Jodi Bieber, Ruth Motau and Motlhalefi Mahlabe alongside narratives by David Goldblatt, TJ Lemon, Cedric Nunn and Jenny Gordon 'Sharp!' also captures politics, popular culture and society over the past 14 years through student eyes. Lolo Veleko, Makgotso Gulube, Bonile Bam, Sydney Seshibedi, Sylvia Moresche and Johnny Onverwacht amongst others are featured as well as individuals and communities around South Africa who are engaged with documenting their own lives.

MPW is funded by the CWCI Fund: A Joint Initiative of National Treasury and the European Union.

In the Multimedia Room is 'Suspension', an installation and animation by Lyndon Daniels who is the second recipient of an exhibibition in the NSA Gallery Young Artist Project (YAP). YAP is an ongoing NSA initiative to nurture and support young artists and the project is supported by funding from Pro-Helvetia (Arts Council of Switzerland) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

Daniels is based in Pietermaritzburg where he produces digital design and animation work for television and corporate videos. The animation process for Daniels is multilayered - he utilises drawings, found images and sculptural works to layer and build his animations - most of which are made for digital platforms. However, his main interest is in less commercially driven animation and installation work. 'Suspension' will incorporate some of the sculptural elements used in his animations.

Finally, the Park Gallery presents 'Imisebenzi yezandla 2'. This exhibition shows documentation of the various educational and development projects facilitated annually by the NSA Training Arts Programme. It will be opened by Debbie Matthew, Executive Director of the Aids Foundation South Africa

Opening: October 8
Closing: October 27

NSA Gallery, 166 Bulwer Road, Glenwood
Tel: 031 202 3686
Fax: 031 202 3744
Email: iartnsa@mweb.co.za
Website: www.nsagallery.co.za
Hours: Tues - Fri 10am - 5pm, Sat 10am - 4pm, Sun 11am - 3pm


Gwen van Embden

Gwen van Embden
Untitled detail, 2001

Janet Solomon

Janet Solomon
John (detail)
Oil on canvas

Milijana Babic

Milijana Babic
Invitation image, 2002
Drawing


'Hand Work' by Gwen van Embden, 'In Search of Lost Time' by Janet Solomon, 'nonsense' an installation by Milijana Babic and a photographic exhibition by Ralph Bronzin at the NSA Gallery

Four new exhibitions opened this week at the NSA Gallery. Primary among them is by Gwen van Embden's 'Hand Work' an exhibition built around the domestic terrain of her own experience.

Works in this exhibition are a collection of found objects, manufactured objects, photographs, printed ceramics, embroideries and book pages: objects that are the fragments she has used to construct a picture book that forms a narrative of her family history. Interrogating the domestic and family past and the present as it unfolds itself, the 'debris' of these processes are collected and carefully reconstructed and displayed.

Van Embden becomes 'keeper' of this domestic archive, investigating museum practices of collection and display - subverting these so that her 'domestic' position becomes that of a curator - the home and memoirs ground of and for artistic investigation and interrogation.

There will be a walkabout on the exhibition on Wednesday, September 18 at 12h30 and a panel discussion of the implications of work on Thursday, September 19 at 18h00 with Virginia MacKenny, Llianne Loots and Nise Malange. All are welcome and entry is free entry, but booking is essential.

In the Mezzanine Gallery Janet Solomon presents 'In Search of Lost Time'. Produced over the last five years the, mostly large-scale, oil paintings engage art history and its 'masterpieces'. Utilising portraits of people she knows the works exhibit traditional technical mastery while commenting on contemporary existential questions and interpretations of beauty. The exhibition is dedicated to a lost friend, Serge Menager.

In the media gallery there will be a special launch of the Young Artists' Project (YAP). Conceived and guided by gallery curator Storm van Rensberg the project allows four young artists annually the opportunity to a first solo-project with professional assistance. The project will culminate in the publication of a small-format catalogue and a public seminar and conference. Focusing on work that is installation and new-media based and not commercially driven, YAP aims to create a space for experimentation and contemporary work in the city, and through transparent processes to become informative and educative.

Receiving funding from Pro-Helvetia (the Arts Council of Switzerland) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) the project will be kicked off by Milijana Babic with her installation 'nonsense'. Babic, a Croatian by birth, has been living, working and studying in Durban for the past five years. Currently completing her B. Tech degree at the Durban Institute of Technology, Babic has participated in various public projects in the past year, notably during the recent Durban Designers' Emporium events at the BAT Centre with a knock-out installation titled Not-for-Sale.

Utilising a pared-down aesthetic and recurring symbols of childhood and home, Babic continues to search in her work for an elusive place of refuge for a little girl searching for her identity. In her Artist's Statement she says that, "in my work, the search for perfection is also a search for the child that I used to know. The idea of the imaginative as real is seen as a base for a conceptual home, as expressed through the use of a childhood vocabulary. The story of 'Alice in Wonderland' offers some of the many possible answers to questions of 'who' and 'where'. It was Alice's statement, 'I can't help it, I am growing' that made me strongly want to make it 'real'" .

Finally on the Arts Caf´┐Ż Wall is a photographic exhibition by Ralph Bronzin. Bronzin recently returned home from a few months of travelling alone around Western Europe. He states that "travelling alone allowed me to be selfish; being away from my support system, and the niche that living in the same city most of one's life can create, encouraged me to explore and redefine the boundaries that enclose and explain my world."

The exhibition is a selection of images seen on his travels and it reveals a sharp eye for detail and the unexpected. A mixture of still life, unrehearsed portrait, and landscape the show successfully engages the viewer with its personal vision.

Closing: October 6

See Reviews

NSA Gallery, 166 Bulwer Road, Glenwood
Tel: 031 202 3686
Fax: 031 202 3744
Email: iartnsa@mweb.co.za
Website: www.nsagallery.co.za
Hours: Tues - Fri 10am - 5pm, Sat 10am - 4pm, Sun 11am - 3pm


Lorenzetti

A photo by Lorenzetti
from 'City' an exhibition about daily life in Chicago


'City' at the DAG

Chicago is Durban's twin city so, as part of the 'Celebrate Durban Festival' being held by the City of Durban, the Durban Art Gallery will be showing 'City', an exhibition of photographs from Chicago.

Chicago, located in the heart of America's great Midwest, is a major metropolis on the shores of the Great Lakes. On a quest to create a lasting record of life in Chicago, more than 200 photographers spent 366 days canvassing the city and chronicling its people, places and personalities. The project's eclectic mix of styles and approaches - from photojournalism to fine art photography - has blended into a rich historic document of life in Chicago today.

Inspired by the Chicago 'City' project a workshop on documenting life in Durban will be held with the Imvunge Photographers (originally an initiative of the Friends of the Durban Art Gallery under the auspices of Moses Khubisa) during the run of the show. Results of this workshop will be shown at a later date.

Opening: September 21
Closing: October 5

Durban Art Gallery, 2nd floor, City Hall, Smith Street
Tel: 031 311 2262
Fax: 031 311 2273
Website: www.durban.gov.za/museums/artgallery
Hours: Mon - Sat 8.30am - 4pm, Sun 11am - 4pm

PIETERMARITZBURG

Julius Mfete

Julius Mfete
Untitled
Wood

Brett Murray Brett Murray
Zulu Heaven
Painted metal
190 x 115 x 11.5 cm


Julius Mfethe and SBYO Brett Murray at the Tatham Art Gallery

Julius Mfethe is a self-taught sculptor who works principally in wood. Finely carved and meticulously finished these intimately detailed works appear narrative. Far from being merely illustrative however they depict the figures and animals of a rural life transformed by the encroachment of western materialism.

Currently featured in an article by Hazel Friedman in the new contemporary South African arts magazine 'About South Africa', Brett Murray, as winner of the 2002 Standard Bank Young Artist Award, is travelling the country. Once referred to as "The Dark Prince Of Pop" this Cape Town based sculptor believes in bringing pop icons into the hallowed precincts of serious art and getting serious art out onto the streets. Irreverent and gutsy, in 'White Like Me', Murray takes the mickey out of the arrogant, using visual satire to show up the absurdities within the South African psyche. He wants as he says, to "entertain critically", to "hit the funny bone rather than to tickle it", in his off the wall comments on post-apartheid society.

Julius Mfethe
Opening: October 1
Closing: October 27

Brett Murray
Opening: October 8
Closing: November 3

Tatham Art Gallery, corner Longmarket Street and Commercial Road
Tel: (033) 342 1804/01
Hours: Tues - Sun 10am - 6pm

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