Archive: Issue No. 86, October 2004

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What motivates curators and art buyers to purchase artworks? This simple question is the premise for Gallery Choice, a monthly feature that aims to reveal who (public museums/corporate collections/private galleries) is buying what (artist), and why.


anet norval

Institution: artSPACE Durban
Artist: anet norval
Title: Poplap
Medium: Oil, mixed media on canvas
Dimensions: 780mm x 780mm

A good place to start your collection is with the work of art students, those who are in their third, fourth and Masters' years at an art institution. They are creating the beginnings of their future work and will hone this over the years. As they move further from the institution their work will evolve. It is satisfying as a collector to have helped the student financially in the beginning stages of their careers and to keep track of their progress as they grow as artists.

I have chosen anet norval as a good example of an artist whose work should be purchased either as an initial part of a collection, or as part of an existing collection. Many people who would love to purchase art, but do not have the financial means to buy the already established artists' work, would be able to afford these works. And yet, collectors can also purchase these works because the quality is such that the pieces would easily fit in with those of more established artists.

In her third year at Durban Institute of Technology (DIT), norval was playing around with painting and drawing, all the while fine-tuning what she wanted her art to say. In her fourth year (2003), it all came together and this showed in the strength of her body of work and her conviction to her art. She has now left DIT and is living in the UK, but she is still an artist, showing her work in South Africa and she plans on returning in the near future.

Of her work, she says, 'drawing from my own childhood, i explore personal identity issues around gender politics, sexual orientation, identity and memory. i incorporate growing up as a 'tomboy' in a gender-specific society to overturn gender expectations by playing with universal stereotypes in my work. by using images of myself as a child or things from my childhood, i invite viewers to enter my world and witness my personal experiences'.