'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� 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
NSA Gallery, 166 Bulwer Road, Glenwood
Tel: 031 202 3686
Fax: 031 202 3744