Archive: Issue No. 86, October 2004

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03.10.04 Roelof Louw at the NSA
03.10.04 'Black' - a group exhibition curated by Nathi Gumede at the NSA's Park Gallery
03.10.04 'a city' - Dean Henning and Rike Sitas at the NSA's Multimedia room
03.10.04 Sfiso ka Mkame at the African Art Centre
03.10.04 Anthony Debbo's prints and sculptures at artSPACEdurban
03.10.04 Vega Imagination Lab-student show at artSPACEdurban
03.10.04 Photographs by Ranjith Kally at the Durban Art Gallery
17.09.04 Bathini Abantu at the African Art Centre


Roelof Louw

Roelof Louw

'Hellfire, Final Jeopardy' and 'Who Are The Villians' by Roelof Louw at the NSA Gallery

Presenting an evocative installation of neon, bone and anthracite is Roelof Louw, an artist living and working in Cape Town. In the exhibition, which occupies both the Main and Mezzanine Galleries of the NSA complex, the artist investigates existential questions, and creates an environment where the viewers are invited into an experiential space.

The installations in the Main Gallery are titled 'Hellfire' and 'Final Jeopardy', and refer to living in present to future predictions of mayhem, ecological disaster, systems burnout and entropic rundown.

The Mezzanine Gallery will house 'Who Are The Villians', consisting of outlines of faces in neon, the result of manipulated lines, shapes and colour.

''Hellfire' and 'Final Jeopardy' work as the landscape of our time,' states Louw, 'The sun has been replaced by neon lighting - ultra-modern and artificial . Instead of earth there are bones or anthracite - age old carbonised organic matter. The one reality feeds on the other.'

Louw studied at St Martin's School of Art in London. Later he taught at the same institution and was appointed the Director of Studies for sculpture. During this period he exhibited in Europe and represented England at the Tokyo Biennale and the British Avant Garde exhibition at the New York Cultural Center. He moved back to Cape Town, his birthplace, in the late 80s and set up a studio on Frances Street, District Six, and has since exhibited both locally and internationally.

Opens: 6 pm, October 5
Closes: October 24

Irvin Nkwanyana

Irvin Nkwanyana

'Black' - a group exhibition curated by Nathi Gumede at the NSA

'Black' is a group exhibition that critically evaluates the progress made during South Africa's first decade of democracy, by representing socio-political issues as seen through the eyes of the six invited artists from Durban.

Taking part is Zamaxolo Dunywa, whose work challenges the way beadwork is perceived to be 'craft' and 'low' art. Lindelani Ngwenya challenges boundaries associated with wirework, combining this with a weaving technique, considered, in Zulu culture to be women's work. Having operated during the days of what has been termed 'Resistance Art', Paul Sibisi negotiates his way as an artist who has plied his trade during the apartheid era, through to the post-apartheid era.

Themba Shibase, a Masters student at the Durban Institute of Technology, utilises text to deconstruct the latent issues in the traditional isiZulu metaphor 'Umcebo wendoda isibaya sayo' which translates as 'a man's wealth is his cattle'. Themba Siwela, a Durban artist and cartoonist, interrogates traditional 'African' customs in a humorous manner, while maintaining the integrity, seriousness and the relevance of the subject at hand. Irvin Nkwanyana, the youngest of the artists, gives new meaning and readings to familiar day-to-day activities.

Opens: 6pm, October 5
Closes: October 24

Dean Henning and Rike Sitas at the NSA's Multi Media room

'a city' is the first instalment in the NSA Young Artists' Project (YAP) and Dean Henning, an electronic musician and sound artist, collaborates with Rike Sitas, a researcher with the University of KwaZulu Natal whose interest in video and its creative possibilities in performance have led to numerous public performances with Dean, and as part of the collective 'the sound of and band' band' - a group of musicians and artists that create music and video images.

Visitors are invited to take charge of the artwork, through the manipulation of images (or characters) against a video projection of familiar looking urban landscapes.

Henning has participated in numerous performances and collectives, including Corrective. Having studied jewellery design, Henning's interest in new and digital media (with emphases on sound generation and sampling) has informed his practice significantly.

Henning and Sitas have been collaborating on projects for the past three years, with Henning making sound, whilst Sitas works on images and video. They have developed a substantial body of work, and also participated in numerous public events, including Redeye at the Durban Art Gallery, and the recent site-specific events 'Republic' in Durban. Their live performance work is a combination of improvisation and pre-recoded/edited material.

The installation for this project is a combination of their interest in creating new contexts and meanings for existing, found images and sound. This is done through interventions by the public, and this manipulation encourages new readings and understandings of our surroundings.

Opens: 6pm, October 5
Closes: October 24

Sfiso Ka Mkame

Sfiso Ka Mkame

Sfiso Ka Mkame at the African Art Centre

Sfiso Ka Mkame is a well established artist from Durban with work in major public collections. He returns to Durban after a successful show at the AVA Gallery in Cape Town last year.

In this solo show he continues his symbolic and allegorical journey delivered in his well- mastered oil pastel technique. The work is layered with stories of complex environments and issues articulated using a strong symbolic vocabulary. Ka Mkame displays an extraordinary use of colour and an equally extraordinary attention to detail, texture and pattern.

Opens: 5.30pm, October 13
Closes: October 26

Anthony Debbo

Anthony Debbo

Prints and Sculptures by Anthony Debbo at artSPACE durban

Anthony Debbo is a graduate of Durban Institute of Technology, where he finished his BTech degree in printmaking in 1999. He lives and works south of Durban as a printmaker and sculptor, primarily in wood.

Debbo's work investigates the notion of freedom without trying to define it but rather recording how society perceives it. The freedom to move around in the city, in a crowd, out in the country, without the feeling of threatening encounters. Sometimes the a crime-ridden society hinders the ability to feel entitled to freedom. But, that freedom can be found through creative expressions.

Opens: 6pm,October 6
Closes: October 16

Imagination flies high at artSpace durban

In January 2003 Vega, the Brand Communications School and CAF´┐Ż (Communications and Advertising Forum for Empowerment) launched two imagination Labs in Westville, Durban and Sandton, Johannesburg.

The Westville and KwaMashu Imagination lab will open their 2004 year-end exhibition at artSPACE durban. The showcase promises to be an event exhibiting wisdom with magic, showing the creative processes the learners experienced throughout the year.

Work will include multimedia projects, short documentaries in various media, print work, photography and lino cuts amongst other things. The exhibition is not just a student showcase, but based on the industry standard required to place the students in the creative and competitive workplace.

Opens: 6.30pm, October 21
Closes: October 30

Ranjith Kally

Ranjith Kally

Ranjith Kally's Restrospective at the Durban Art Gallery

While some know the name Ranjith Kally from the photo credits in the social pages of Durban newspapers, others claim that their school photographs were taken by this ubiquitous, ageless photographer.

Kally started taking photographs while working in a shoe factory in Durban during his teens. He stumbled upon a Kodak Postcard camera at a jumble sale in 1946 and it took him to a lifetime career as a photographer. He supplemented his income by photographing social events for the Leader newspaper on weekends. In 1952 he won third prize in an international competition held in Japan from a field of 150 000 entries, and in 1967 he was selected for membership to the Royal Photographic Society, London for his selection of portraits.

While the exhibition features many of Kally's images of Durban in the 50s along with photos of that famous jazz club, The Goodwill Lounge, these are contrasted by the sensitive private black and white portraits. The exhibition is as much a reflection and recognition of Kally's work since 1945 as it is of the social history of Durban.
Shot with an artistic eye, the exhibition, which is curated by Riason Naidoo, allows the viewer the privilege of reflecting on our fascinating past through the lens of this veteran photographer.

Opens: September 23
Closes: November 9

Lindelani Ngwenya

Lindelani Ngwenya
'Baby and Dove of Peace' 2004
Wire and grass

Bathini Abantu at the African Art Centre

Opening at The African Art Centre is 'Bathini Abantu', an exhibition celebrating 10 years of South African democracy. 28 artists will show their critical impressions of the past decade, in wry, amusing and hopeful ways in a variety of media. Participants include Lindelani Ngwenya and Khehla Ngobese, both long-standing members of the Durban arts community.

Opens: 12pm, Saturday September 18
Closes: October 9