Archive: Issue No. 80, April 2004

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Visual Arts exhibitions at the Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees
by Kim Gurney

Not only does South Africa celebrate the 10th anniversary of democracy this year, but the KKNK also turns 10 and celebrates this with with a feast of visual arts in various venues around Oudtshoorn for 10 days in April.

Heading up the visual arts programme is Lien Botha with 16 line drawings digitally superimposed upon landscape photographs in a show called 'Groot Inkleurboek: Safari'. She has been chosen as the Festival Artist for 2004, following in the footsteps of Wim Botha. All nine previous Festival Artists are on show in a group exhibition at the Queens Hotel. They include Eric Laubscher, Willie Bester and Claudette Schreuders.

'Demokrasie en Verandering' is an extensive exhibition of work by leading South African contemporary artists working here and abroad, as well as younger up-and-coming artists, all of whose work reflects the broader changes in the country.

Four artists curate an exhibition around service and communication called 'Diens'. Liza Grobler, Johan Thom, Pierre Fouche and Norman O'Flynn bring their own interpretations to the meaning of service with regards to the community.

Frikkie Eksteen, Mathew Hindley and Churchill Madikida all have solo shows. Eksteen explores the idea that pictures and food have much in common, Hindley exhibits interactive installations and drawings while Madikida shows a video, Struggles of the Heart.

ArtThrob editor Sean O'Toole is curating 'Free Nelson Mandela', a wide-ranging and retrospective look at the use of Nelson Mandela's iconography in popular visual culture. Included on his show are works by artists and designers Lisa Brice, Peet Pienaar, Wayne Barker, Richard Hart, Garth Walker, Willem Boshoff and more.

On the painting front, Adriaan van Zyl, Philip Willem Badenhorst and J.P. Meyer are featured in an exhibition entitled 'Drie Skilders' that shows a broad approach to the discipline.

Elizabeth Gunter displays her charcoal and pastel works, Greta Mathews-McMahon exhibits a mixed media show 'Night Journey', and photojournalist Cloete Breytenbach displays 45 black and white images of 'The Spirit of District Six' while Katherine Glenday exhibits porcelain artworks.

In a fringe event, 'Drumpelfees' in Montagu on the way to the KKNK, includes various exhibitions on the theme of 'Padkos'. The Art Cellar hosts 'Kopstukke' and the Kalm Karoo hosts several events including 'Square - works in progress'. Artists are invited to bring a square work to show in Montagu or do a quick land-art type installation for the festival (Tel: (023) 614-2100).

The festival runs from April 3 - 11.