Archive: Issue No. 73, September 2003

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01.09.03 Italian artist Luisella Carretta at DAG
01.09.03 Red Eye @rt at DAG
01.09.03 Heritage Day exhibition at the DAG
01.09.03 Dance installation at DAG
01.09.03 Clay and fibre exhibition at NSA
01.09.03 'Thwasa', 'Recent work from a different homeland' and 'Pools and Nymphs' at NSA
16.08.03 New work by Colbert Mashile and Njabulo Hlongwane, at the NSA
16.08.03 Michael Croeser at the Cupboard Gallery


Luisella Carretta

Luisella Carretta
untitled installation

Italian artist Luisella Carretta at DAG

'Tropic Of Capricorn' is an exhibition by Italian artist, Luisella Carretta. The exhibition is being brought to the Durban Art Gallery by the Consulate of Italy as a diplomatic exchange between the port cities of Genoa and Durban and will be part of the 'Celebrate eThekwini' Festival.

Caretta's work draws upon the natural environment for her installations. She has worked on the themes of birds, bees and bats and completed her first drawings of the flight of birds in 1973. Registering the arrival and departures of house martins from their nests she reproduced actual flight paths with notes and observations using drawing, photography, text and maps in her installation. Her materials are varied ranging beyond conventional media to include leaves, sand, bark, cotton and ribbons.

Also utilising body performances, she has worked on how humans move in space, observing paths people take and their behavioural patterns, documenting and recording them like the flight of birds and bees. The results give data on choices of transgression or conformity, naturalness or artificiality in relation to codified paths, functions and the environment. Carretta collaborates closely with ornithologists and entomologists, and in 1986 was invited to take part in the Venice Biennale in the 'Arte e Biologica' section.

As Caretta's work is particularly concerned with movement it was considered appropriate to invite local choreographer Jay Pather to create a short dance piece for the opening event, which the artist will attend. Carretta will be in Durban for two weeks giving talks and holding open discussions about her work.

Opens: September 17, at 6pm
Closes: October 26

Red Eye @rt

untitled invitation image for Red Eye @rt

Red Eye @rt at DAG

Red Eye Art for the month of September will be a bumper event and will fall under the 'Celebrate eThekwini' banner. It will also coincide with Heritage Week so, perhaps not unexpectedly, artists across the disciplines will present works that engage the theme of heritage; deconstructing, provoking and representing it from contemporary perspectives. Theatre, dance, installation, visual art, fashion and music will come together under the guidance of local dance Guru, Jay Pather who is taking the helm as curator.

As in past Red Eyes the event is a movable feast. Beginning inside the Durban Art Gallery and Natural Science Museum it later progresses outside to the front of the City Hall where performances will take over Farewell Square. The night then explodes into a ballroom dance spectacular before ushering in a party with DJ's and the crew from the Lovelife truck.

The range of artists includes choreographer Boyzi Cekwana and his Floating Outfit Project, back from touring Sweden and Switzerland. Other companies include the Fantastic Flying Fish in a work choreographed by Quinton Ribbonaar, the Phenduka Dance Company choreographed by Sifiso Kweyama and the Flatfoot Dance Company choreographed by Llianne Loots, with an excerpt from her successful 'Orion Project'. A theatrical tongue-in-cheek poke at heritage features Hip Hop dancers choreographed by Marise Kyd.

Also included are works by Neliswa Rushualang, Siyanda Duma and Musa Hlatshwaypo. Theatre work features Mlungisi Zondi, Clifford Hughes and the inimitable Krijay Govender as well as various "surprise" film festival screenings.

Representing the visual arts are Jan Henri Booyens, Wendy van de Weg, Karyn Bradtke and various students from the multimedia VEGA school who will team up with Storm Janse van Rensburg for a 'Mobile Museum' project. Performance, poetry and installation include pieces by Ayanda Mabija, Zoroh, Sbu, Mlungisi Shangase and Pascar Dube.

Funky fashion will feature ranges from the likes of Britt Cormack, Ayanda Maphumulo, Nguni Shades and Shannon Coyne before the DJ's from 'Skayi' take the stage.

Entrance is free courtesy of the 'Celebrate eThekwini' initiative.

Opens: September 19, 6.30pm


Welcome Danca

Welcome Danca
I need, 2003

Heritage Day exhibition at the DAG

The DAG hosts 'My Roots', a special Heritage Day exhibition. The Heritage Day exhibition was started by Education Officer Patricia Khoza in 1997 and has gained momentum over the years. This year's theme 'My Roots' focuses on the many and diverse cultures of Durban making this an appropriate event for the 'Celebrate eTthekwini' Festival.

The opening event on Tuesday September 23 will focus on not only the visual but also traditional performing arts. Creating a festive atmosphere it will be a highlight of 'Celebrate eThekwini' month. A series of events will coincide with the exhibition. See workshops.

Opens: September 23
Closes: October 26

Jay Pather

Jay Pather's Siwela Sonke Dance Company performing in �Home

Dance installation at DAG

Jay Pather's Siwela Sonke Dance Theatre follows its successful 'CityScapes' presented at the Durban Art Gallery last year with their latest work 'Home'. The National Arts Festival especially commissioned the production for this year's Main Festival Programme. Chosen as one of ten "Must See" productions at the Festival by The Star 'Home' played to critical and popular acclaim.

The production comprises a series of works set inside various 'home' spaces: a bedroom, a kitchen, playground, a solitary uncluttered space, a migrant worker's cubicle and a lounge. In the main, the works revisit the paradox of the desire for security and freedom, restlessness and the aching need for rest. 'Home' also serves as a metaphor for larger, global impulses of inward looking in the threat of war and change.

In global unease, the home becomes refuge and once more a symbol of sanctity. Shifting identities however, keep "home truths" in flux and the home may equally be a hotel, cardboard box or bomb shelter whilst picket fenced suburbia caves in, acquiring steel gates to restore sanctity and uneasy safety. Such contradictions provide the impetus for 'Home'.

Featuring a full company of dancers 'Home' embraces a range of dance forms from the contemporary to traditional African, physical theatre, the rousing rhythms of Kathak (acclaimed Kathak dancer, Vaibhav Joshi who comes down from Mumbai especially for this production) and the lyrical, sculpturesque Bharatha Natyam. Dance and ritual come together to evoke intimate, interior moments of belonging/dislocation and nuturing/fleeing.

As with 'CityScapes', 'Home' is collaboration between dance and the visual arts. Jo Ratcliffe provides evocative visual images of the legendary Devonshire Hotel while Milijana Babic's unsettling home sculptures include a wrought iron swing caught in mid-air without an occupant. Angela Buckland's photography meticulously examines the bunkers of migrant workers in their temporary homes. Video artists, Storm Janse van Rensburg, Greg Streak and Jan Henri Booyens complete the impressive list of visual artists whose work is featured in the production.

For more information contact Tel: (031) 311 2268 or (031) 307 6686. Bookings can be made through Computicket.

Opens: September 29

Association of Potters Southern Africa

invitation image for APSA exhibition

Lize Hugo

Lize Hugo
invitation image, 2003
oil on canvas

Clay and fibre exhibition at NSA

The Association of Potters Southern Africa, KwaZulu Natal branch will present their annual exhibition of new works by members of the organisation, in the main gallery at the NSA. Titled 'Textures', the exhibition features work by invited guest ceramist Karen Sinowich from Pretoria and David Walters from Cape Town. Other KwaZulu Natal artists include Garth Hoets, Lynn Morris-Hale, Naomi Klingenberg, Clive Sithole, Tracy Tompkins, Andrew Walford and Martha Zettler.

In addition entries from the Durban Institute of Technology, the University of Natal, the Bat Centre and students from the outreach programme at the Hillcrest Aids Centre have been invited to participate. The group 'Fibreworks', a collective of fibre artists, will show their recent work for this exhibition.

'Pofadder and Back' is a two-person exhibition of paintings by Lize Hugo and Aidan Walsh, on the mezzanine. Both well-known South African painters, one living in Durban and the other in Cape Town, they embarked on a fascinating zigzagging circle together, covering 5000 kilometres from Cape Town, up the West Coast through Pella, Pofadder, Calvinia, Hope Town, Verneukpan, Niewoudtville, Aughrabies and back. They stayed at strange places and met even stranger people.

Whilst Pofadder may be regarded as a source of jokes, it, and many other small towns, are a source of wonder for Hugo and Walsh. Travelling for three weeks through the Karoo, documenting their journey through writing, notes, photographs and impressions, both painters create works that continue the classical tradition of Western painting while soliciting identification with, and reflection of the contemporary South African situation. Both artists approach their subject matter with a healthy dose of irony and a shared empathy for the sites visited, and painted.

Lize Hugo lives and work in Cape Town, and has exhibited widely in South Africa and abroad. Her work is also represented in numerous public and corporate collections, including the Museum of Modern Art in Miami, the Durban Art Gallery and the Durban Institute of Technology.

Aidan Walsh was born in Durban and trained at the Natal Technical College, and later in London. A professional painter all his adult life, Walsh has also been influential in the South Africa art scene since 1961, as a gallerist and curator. His works are collected in numerous collections (public and private) locally as well as in France, the United Kingdom, India, Australia and New Zealand. He lives and works in Durban. The exhibition will be opened by Andries Botha.

Opens: September 30, at 6pm
Closes: October 19

Danielle Malherbe

Danielle Malherbe
Below the Surface, 2002
oil on canvas

Jeff Rankin

Jeff Rankin
Perlemoen Minutes, 2002
woodcut on paper

Zamani Makhanya

Zamani Makhanya
Untitled, 2003
mixed media on paper
(Inivitation image, Third Eye Vision)

'Thwasa', 'Recent work from a different homeland' and 'Pools and Nymphs' at NSA

At the NSA in September: 'Thwasa', a collaborative exhibition by 3rd Eye Vision; 'Recent work from a different homeland', which is an exhibition of prints and drawings by Jeff Rankin; and also Danielle Malherbe's new series of paintings, titled 'Pools and Nymphs'.

3rd Eye Vision is a Durban-based collective of artists of all disciplines, celebrating multi-disciplinary collaboration between music, poetry, visual arts and the performing arts. Established in 2000 the group has initiated numerous projects, and its members are pro-active in creating an environment that nurtures artists. The exhibition 'Thwasa' locates itself within the larger philosophical and conceptual concerns of the group, which includes current notions of African identity and the search for inclusivity.

The word 'thwasa' itself refers to the rite of passage to a higher state of being and is a description of the initiation stage of traditional healers. 3rd Eye Vision often searches for clues in African traditions, myths, legends and custom to help define a progressive route to an African centred future.

Exhibiting artists include Thando Mama (the recent winner of MTN Young Contemporaries award), Gabi Ncgobo and Zamani Makhanya. They will collaborate on an installation built around the ideas generated by the concept of 'Thwasa'. In addition an event, part of the Celebrate Durban Festival planned for September 23, will see further collaborations around the theme and includes some of Durban's hottest designers, performers, musicians and poets.

Sandile Msomi has been commissioned to dress the artists for the evening in his designs, while Sithembiso Shibe and Ntsimane Mfetane are responsible for the graphic design related to the exhibition and event. Hlengiwe Lushaba, Manu Ndlovu and Khathala Nkomo will present their dance theatre work while Keith Kunene, Portia Malunga and Sazi Dlamini will supply music. Jack Mthembu and Sli Mokoena will supply specially prepared finger food.

The exhibition is funded through a grant received from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund and the event supported by the eThekwini Municipality.

In the mezzanine gallery Jeff Rankin exhibits 'Recent work from a different homeland'. Rankin is an artist, printmaker and fine art lecturer living in a village on the Transkei-side of East London. He is a co-founder of the Fine Art Programme at Border Technikon in East London and recently established 'EyeTales', an experiential unit for Fine Art students. He has exhibited widely and was represented earlier this year on the International Print Biennale in Trois-Rivieres, Canada. In 2002 he exhibited at the National Arts Festival and at the Ann Bryant Gallery in East London.

Since relocating from Durban in 1993 to the Eastern Cape, Rankin has experienced the intensity of establishing a new art school in the thorny cultural landscape of the Eastern Cape. The two series of prints on show provide a visual re-telling of this personal and professional upheaval, using the mix of literal and metaphorical satire that has always informed his work as an artist and social commentator.

The exhibition is divided into three broad themes. The Perlemoen Minutesis a set of eleven large woodcut prints, based on first-hand experience of local political turmoil. Attempts to move a perlemoen farm into the area resulted in a drawn-out neighbourhood war, offering rich fare for Rankin's satirical appetite.

Climb is a set of fifteen etchings that describe Rankin's personal experience of the stressed work environment. From black cancer spots to feet crushing spoons, each work is a metaphorical narrative of characters and events in the history of meetings, confrontations, demands and absurdities that define the ironic success of his recent professional adventures.

Included in the show are other prints and drawings, which make connections between past and present, contextualising the development of ideas that come to rest in the woodcut and etching series. Some images originated in Durban before Rankin moved to the Eastern Cape whilst some are more recent.

In the Park Gallery Danielle Malherbe exhibits works from a larger series of paintings in 'Pools and Nymphs'. The visual elements that continue to appear in her work are the swimming bath (the 'pool') and classical feminine statuary (the 'nymphs').

The statuary's direct references to the past include Archaic Greek kor�, Classical Greek Caratyds and the Hellenistic Nike of Samathrace. The sculptures have obvious signs of wear, with broken arms, missing heads and, in the case of the Nike, a crumbling nose. This sense of frailty, of a faded era, indicates a decidedly Romantic preoccupation with nostalgia for the past, one tinged with a sad and bittersweet tone. On a personal level, the feminine statuary functions as a self-portrait: a vehicle for the artist to explore her neuroses and sensuality.

The landscape too serves as a site of personal engagement. A place of spiritual contemplation the artist also indicates that the pool contains within it "just a hint of unease or threat � the water in some paintings is luminous and inviting, lit by daylight, while in others it has a dark, inky, foreboding quality". Here she plays with a sense of disquiet within a contemporary Arcadia.

A graduate from Technikon Natal in 1990 Malherbe has worked as an art teacher and outreach officer in numerous projects in Durban and Pretoria. She has exhibited at various group exhibitions, and is presenting her second solo exhibition in Durban. A full time artist living and working in Pretoria, Malherbe manages and teaches through a successful artists' studio called 'Stone Rose Studio'.

Opens: September 9, at 6pm
Closes: September 28

Colbert Mashile

Colbert Mashile

Njabulo Hlongwane

Njabulo Hlongwane

New work by Colbert Mashile and Njabulo Hlongwane, at the NSA

Two shows exploring traditional indigenous beliefs are occupying the NSA gallery this month, 'Ts�a Ka Mafuri' (Lurking Behind) presents new work by Colbert Mashile, and 'Spiritual Journey' is an exhibition of paintings by Njabulo Hlongwane.

Presented in association with Gallery on the Square, the NSA is hosting Colbert Mashile, a young artist living and working in Johannesburg. Mashile's work engages traditional circumcision and initiation rituals. Coming from a place of powerful customs (Bushbuckridge in the Northern Province), Mashile underwent circumcision at the age of ten with his peers. As an artist he has developed a visual language that is partially an attempt to come to terms with the conflicting emotional results of the experience: the expectation by society to take pride in traditional ritual in contrast to the physiological trauma inflicted through this process.

Mashile says that he decided to heal himself, by "dealing with these experiences in my artworks whereby I try to use psychological images which I feel comfortable with in an attempt to replace horrific scenes, sights and sounds of the initiation ritual. I am not necessarily advocating the demise of the practice, but express my individual feeling which I believe would be shared by others who have endured the same".

Mashile graduated with a BA in Fine Arts at the University of Witwatersrand in 2000, and since then has exhibited widely in South Africa. Represented in major corporate and public collections, including the Mandela Foundation, Nedcor and MTN Corporation, amongst others, his work was seen most recently on the group exhibition 'Show Me Home' at the Johannesburg Art Gallery. Showing for the first time in KwaZulu Natal this is his second solo exhibition.

Upstairs in the Mezzanine and Park Galleries Durban artist Njabulo Hlongwane exhibits 'Spiritual Journey'. Working largely in acrylic his canvases explore aspects of the spiritual world in dreamlike, otherworldly forms.

Hlongwane draw his inspiration and symbols from a spectrum of spiritual practices, traditional customs and beliefs. Referencing the rituals of sangomas, the practice of witchcraft and the existence of ancestral, he marries this with aspects of contemporary living. Utilising the motif of the homeless, or outcast from society, Hlongwane depicts wandering souls that carry the collective burden of humanity.

In addition the floating figure is a recurring theme in his paintings. Defying gravity, these figures hover over traditional, pastoral landscapes or urban labyrinths. Hlongwane states that, "to me these figures are spiritual beings rather than normal people. As an artist I would also like to amuse the viewer, and they must not only think about ordinary things, but also things unseen. My exhibition is also intended as an enlightenment to people that there is another realm, that we maybe do not understand, or cannot comprehend".

Hlongwane has participated in numerous group exhibitions, and was selected and participated in the groundbreaking Thupelo Art Workshops in Johannesburg in 1990. He studied at the Johannesburg Art Foundation between 1992 and 1994, and also qualified as a community Arts Teacher. He has been working as the Visual Arts Coordinator for the BAT Centre since 1997.

The exhibition is made possible through a generous grant from the National Lotteries Distribution Trust Fund and will be opened by Eric Apelgren.

Opens: August 19, at 6pm
Closes: September 7


Michael Croeser

Michael Croeser

Michael Croeser at the Cupboard Gallery

Currently running at The Cupboard Gallery at Home is a show of Michael Croeser's new drawings. 'Surrealist' or 'Hyperrealist' in nature, they engage in "the disposable detritus of metropolitan culture". Found images and objects are the foundation for the large densely worked charcoal drawings where Croeser plays with dramatic changes in scale and discordant juxtapositions. Toy sharks, a mannequin's arm and a lonely silhouetted figure create dramatic tensions in this graphic black and white cosmos.

Opens: August 19, at 7pm

Closes: September 14