Flux – a group exhibition

Studio news, Studio news/blog

Dear friends,

A group of South-African Artists from conceptual Art, Design and Craft disciplines were invited to exhibit together. The exhibition explores instances where the boundaries between art,  design and craft flow into one another. It focuses on artists who reinvent traditional techniques of “crafts” like embroidery, bead-work, weaving, carpentry and paper cutting. It also explores the meaning and importance of craftsmanship in contemporary art practices.


I decided to submit ‘self-/portraits’ for this exhibition since portraiture is a very old art form and was probably pioneered by the Egyptians and the Greeks, but in the Middle-ages Self-portraiture was a starting point because it was an age preoccupied by personal salvation and self-scrutiny.
Today self-portraits flood the internet and children in school are required to make them.
I am using a traditional craft technique= embroidery, in conjunction with the age old art-form of portraits onto an unconventional material =rubber.
Upon closer inspection, you will also notice that there is a difference in the way the “rubber canvas” (so to speak) of all 3 portraits were prepared:

In the piece titled: “Safe”

the rubber canvas consists of tiny hexagon rubber shapes which were stitched together by hand to form the basis of this work.

detail of the work titled “Safe”

“I’ll be watching you” cotton thread, rubber, batting and wood (photo Alex Hamilton)

In the piece above “I’ll be watching you”  you’ll notice that once piece of a big tractor inner tube were used;

and in the piece below “Don’t make waves”, rubber squares were stitched together with an industrial sewing machine to form the ‘rubber-canvas’

Don’t make waves 54 x 35 cm Cotton thread, batting, rubber and wood – framed (Photographer Kleinjan Groenewald) 2017

Anyway, so if you are in the Bloemfontein area, feel free to pop in at the Flux group exhibition xxx

kknk art festival 2013

Studio news/blog

The KKNK (Klein Karoo National Art Festival) started on the 29th (today was the last day).  At the beginning I felt very moody since my ‘lover’ named Art was in town and I was too busy being a mommy to spend time with ‘it’.  Having said that, I must admit that being in mommy-mode wasn’t so bad since we had some fun exploring the kiddies’ corner and enjoying ourselves at the merry-go-rounds.  Next year I hope to take them to see some kid orientated theatre productions.

On Thursday evening my husband made a very romantic gesture.  He was working for the KKNK as Assistant Logistic Visual Art coordinator, and so he was able to take me on a personalized art tour after hours, while kids were sleeping and mother in law looking after them.   I have been to the opening of the Visual Art, but spend the time talking to the artists, so tonight I got a chance to really take my time and engage with the work, which was absolutely amazing.

Here follows a sneak peak from each exhibition.  This is not a review, neither an entry of my own insights to the work.  It’s more like a show and tell.  Please keep in mind that my photos don’t do justice to the work and that I took these photos with low batteries and strange lightning, so I added links to the artists where possible (so that you can explore further if the need/want arise):

First up was the work by Ian Grose.  His exhibition was curated by Dr Paul Bayliss from ABSA and the exhibition was titled: Aantekeninge/Notes.

Ian Grose - Flowers seen from four corners of a table 2pm - 7pm (oil on linen)

Ian Grose – Flowers seen from four corners of a table 2pm – 7pm (oil on linen)

Ian was an ABSA l Atelier winner, and this was his first solo after he won the award.

Ian Grose - Self portrait (laptop) (oil on linen)

Ian Grose – Self portrait (laptop) (oil on linen)

After that we saw the ABSA Corporate exhibition also curated by Dr Bayliss – The seven deadly virtues.

I took this picture because as you know I love fairytales and this piece features the seven dwarves.

Artwork by Gordon Froud

Artwork by Gordon Froud

Detail of artwork by Gordon Froud

Detail of artwork by Gordon Froud

Up next was the show: Velvet – Curated by Christiaan Diedericks.  With this group exhibition artists were required to investigate more subtle imagery to interpret erotica.  According to the statement ‘Velvet” has more to do with the heart and soul’s longing than with the flesh.

Perseus by Christiaan Diedericks (colour pencil, watercolour, metal leaf and stitching on 300 gsm Fabriano Artistico paper)

Perseus by Christiaan Diedericks (colour pencil, watercolour, metal leaf and stitching on 300 gsm Fabriano Artistico paper)

The solo exhibition “When your feeling like a lady” by Robert Hamblin are photographic and video work dealing with the themes of masculinity and trans-identities.

Work by Robert Hamblin

Work by Robert Hamblin

Artwork by Robert Hamblin

Artwork by Robert Hamblin

Theo Kleynhans collected objects on his way to Oudtshoorn and painted on these items, and exhibited them in his solo exhibition entitled: Spoor.  He also made a video documentation of this journey.  Spoor is a lovely word in Afrikaans to play with, since it has such a wide variety of meaning.  Spoor = trace track trail, footprint, etc…  He explores not only the physical traces but also the emotional ones.

Theo Kleynhans "Bytjies en blommetjies' (groen, rooi en blou)

Theo Kleynhans “Bytjies en blommetjies’ (groen, rooi en blou)

Artwork by Theo Kleynhans

Artwork by Theo Kleynhans

Chris Koch in his solo exhibition Mans-Mens explore issues of being gay with digital manipulated images, accompanied by poetry by Chris Brunette.

Chris Koch "Daar sal bloed wees". (mixed media)

Chris Koch “Daar sal bloed wees”. (mixed media)

Chris Brunette "Daar sal bloed wees" poem

Chris Brunette “Daar sal bloed wees” poem

Next up is a two-women exhibition = Quintessence: 12 people I know and objects of enlightenment by Vanessa Berlein and Michele Davidson.

Each portrait in Vanessa’s work is framed with double glass.  The bottom one is engraved with prose she found relevant to the person painted, but this also makes viewing the portrait difficult.  The first layer of glass makes the viewer see his/her own reflection while looking at the portrait and so the viewer and viewed becomes one.

Artwork by Vanessa Berlein "Tess"

Artwork by Vanessa Berlein “Tess”

Michele aims to transform ordinary objects to something more ethereal.

"Marschmallows in a bowl" by Michelle Davidson (oil on canvas board)

“Marschmallows in a bowl” by Michelle Davidson (oil on canvas board)

The group show Vanitas 2013, curated by Clare Menck aimed to explore the old-worldly theme of Vanitas in contemporary South African painting.

I cannot resist an image with a doll:

Annelie Venter "Omwenteling" (oil on canvas)

Annelie Venter “Omwenteling” (oil on canvas)

Befoxycated, etc – a solo show by Annelie van der Vyver celebrated the relationship with a variety of generations and their foxterriers, as well as her own.  She works as a painter and illustrator; I personally adore her works on paper especially this one (can you guess why?):

Annelie van der Vyfer "Connected mother' (Gouache on paper)

Annelie van der Vyfer “Connected mother’ (Gouache on paper)

We also saw the group exhibition : Moleskine SA Art + Design project curated by Johann du Plessis.  Here we had the opportunity to experience the intimate process between artists and visual journals.

Artworks by Colijn Strydom and JP Meyer

Artworks by Colijn Strydom and JP Meyer

The Gallery Brundyn and Gonsalves bought the work of artist Tom Cullberg to the KKNK.

Art by Tom Cullberg

Art by Tom Cullberg

Next up was the work of Alex Hamilton (which I mentioned in an earlier post) called : Amper Almal.

"Amper almal" by Alex Hamilton (photo also by Alex Hamilton)

“Amper almal” by Alex Hamilton (photo also by Alex Hamilton)

In the earlier post (what a lot I got) I wondered if he would depict Oscar Pistorius, (by the way he didn’t) but he did make one of my favourite murderers (not that I think it might be considered sane to have a favourite murderer) the notorious Daisy de Melcker:

Daisy de Melcker by Alex Hamilton

Daisy de Melcker by Alex Hamilton

And my all time favourite outsider artist: Miss Helen Martins:

Helen Martins by Alex Hamilton

Helen Martins by Alex Hamilton

With the solo show : The last of us by Pauline Gutter, the artist doesn’t want to scare the viewer but want ‘us’ to be active and imaginative and get involved with the work.

Pauline Gutter "Doods-uur series" (Charcoal on paper)

Pauline Gutter “Doods-uur series” (Charcoal on paper)

She is probably better known as a painter, but I couldn’t resist taking photos of her sketches.

Doods-uur (series) by Pauline Gutter (Charcoal on paper

Doods-uur (series) by Pauline Gutter (Charcoal on paper

The artist Stephen Rosin tries to expose the ‘lies’ behind the ‘truth’ with his solo exhibition: Silence is golden: Political language, euphemism and bullsh#t.   With this show he pokes fun at the deceptive nature of authority.

The work “The fallacy of inappropriate authority”  — I quote:

Is a visual pun that makes reference to the logical fallacy of ARGUMETUM AD VERUCUNDIAM whereby a person in a position of authority uses this position to make incorrect and fallacious assertions based solely on their position rather than actually being an expert in the field being discussed.  A hypothetical example of this would be a high-ranking politician making the ridiculous assertion that the moon is made of cheese, and because of their position we are expected to believe them.

Unfortunately I couldn’t take a good photo of the work, but here is the description:

Medium:  Adjusted wooden knobkerrie (it looks like a phallus) painted gold, it rested on satin/pinstripe suit cloth base, Perspex display case and an antique banking desk.

But I did get a picture of this piece:

Stephen Rosin "Hierarchy/Oligarchy 2012/2013"

Stephen Rosin “Hierarchy/Oligarchy 2012/2013”

Streeksbiblioteek a solo exhibition by Olaf Bisschoff resembles a private library whereby the artist deconstructs books and uses as well as changes them into artworks.

"Pre-face" by Olaf Bisschoff

“Pre-face” by Olaf Bisschoff

I enjoyed his work a lot since I am a bibliophile by heart, but unfortunately I only have two photos- if you want to see more visit his website here.

Olaf Bisschoff "Daar sal gras groei" Oil on found book, glass, wood and paper

Olaf Bisschoff “Daar sal gras groei” Oil on found book, glass, wood and paper

Up next is the solo: Vergete verledes by Cobus van Bosch.

"Vergete Verledes" Cobus van Bosch

“Vergete Verledes” Cobus van Bosch

Me.Ek : a group exhibition curated by Prof. Elfriede Dryer reflects the search and understanding of identity in a variety of mediums.

Artwork by Jayne Crawshay-Hall

Artwork by Jayne Crawshay-Hall

Dolls by Ray Goosen and Colleen Ross

Dolls by Ray Goosen and Colleen Ross

And so the tour was over.  It was overwhelming and a lot to absorb.  Luckily I saw the festival artist: Diane Victor’s exhibition: “No Country for Old Women” earlier in the week

Installation by Diane Victor

Installation by Diane Victor

"Martyr, Minder, Mater by Diane Victor

“Martyr, Minder, Mater by Diane Victor

As well as the Tom Waits for no man exhibition curated by Gordon Froud (which I mentioned in a previous post)

part of the Tom Waits exhibition (photo by Alex Hamilton)

part of the Tom Waits exhibition (photo by Alex Hamilton)

I thank my dearest husband for spending that time with me and my ‘lover’.

PArt- Part3

Studio news/blog

On Saturday I started to feel a bit emotionally unstable.  My mother in law phoned and said that Friday was a very bad day health wise for our little one.  You see I made the huge mistake of taking him for his booster measles vaccination on Tuesday.  Never before did he show any reaction to vaccinations and they told me that if he does show any signs of fever etc, that it will normally pass by the third day.  Not this time.  (Note to self- never vaccinate before we plan to go away on a ‘romantic/business’ weekend again!)

People starting to ask if there have been any sales yet- it seems that success is measured with the amount of sales, never mind the experience and knowledge one gains along the way.

Some one wrote in my visitors book: ‘Jammer!! Dit wys jou verhouding met jou ma was verkeerd” (loosely translated: Sorry, it shows that your relationship with your mom was wrong” ) What this anonymous person didn’t know is that she perhaps saw deeper into the work than most. – I didn’t have a relationship with my mom since she died in a car crash when I was 18 (during the height of my rebellious phase).  But the work was not really about ‘us’.

I had a conversation with very interesting individuals today who told me that my ‘Toys’ reminds them of the work of Gerhard Quenum.  I told them I will have to look him up and oh boy! I am glad I did!  I feel like I have known this person in a previous life.

Gerhard Quenum

Gerhard Quenum

Gerhard Quenum


Later the evening we went to a talk by the artist JP Meyer

JP Meyer

“Preserved sharks and unmade beds” was the title of the talk.  Very entertaining and insightful.  For the firs time I heard about the wonderful sculptor  Jason Taylor.

Jason Taylor

La Evolución Silenciosa is the largest underwater collection of art. It was installed in November 2010 and consists of 403 life-size cement people standing side by side on a barren patch of sand. Taylors designs encompass both contemporary and Mayan historical narratives forming the building blocks which develop into a complex artificial reef for aquatic life to inhabit.[33] While the appearance of the collection underwater is of a crowd of people, from a distance it take the shape of an eye.[1] The collection occupies over 420 square meters of barren ocean floor and the location is hoped to redirect visitors away from nearby natural reefs providing them with the opportunity to regenerate.[30]

In an interview with USA today, Taylor comments on the progression of his work alongside nature, “The coral applies the paint. The fish supply the atmosphere. The water provides the mood. People ask me when it’s going to be finished. This is just the beginning”.[6] The Museum has recently been voted by Forbes corporation as one of the world’s most unique places to visit.[34]

From Wikipedia

Afterwards we had dinner at the Gallery Restaurant.  I ate a spinach and tomato Canneloni and Hendrik had some Warthog for the first time in his life.  This is all that remained:

PArt- Part 2

Studio news/blog

On Friday the town was still relatively quiet so we decided to pay a visit to my two favorite places in town:  The post office (where I bought a stamp) and the Library (which I think is one of my top 3 libraries- they still use the old-school card process, but they are super efficient with it and always friendly- it was the first Library my son joined.)

We also tried to see all the other exhibitions.  The landscape was the predominant feature. Visit www.princealbertgallery.com for more info on all the exhibitions.

All the trees in the main road were dressed in black cloth in protest against fracking in the Karoo

“South Africa cannot afford to gamble with your water supply, food security, the health of your family, and the heritage of your children in pursuit of a short-term gain for foreign oil companies and our government.

We need proof that shale gas is the best option and a legacy that we will be proud to leave to our children.” From this site : http://treasurethekaroo.co.za/ Visit it or their facebook page for more information about fracking, as well as  http://www.gaslandthemovie.com/whats-fracking

At 5 pm it was the official opening of the festival at the Main Gallery

There we met the some interesting people from Baardskeerdersbos.  It sounds like a fascinating place to live and work from, and it was great to hear about it first hand form to residents, but thanks to that I also came to know more about this interesting blog.

Two of the artists on the festival is from that area:

Niel Jonker

Niel Jonker: Onder Swartberg mis

And Joshua Miles

Joshua Miles

Earlier In the day I bought 3 books:

Gertrude and The glass bead game by Hermann Hesse, (previously I have only read Sidderharta and Steppenwolf by this author, so I am super excited by this find).  I also bought the Tao Te Ching.  All for under R30!

To be continued

PAart (Prince Albert Art Festival)- part1

Studio news/blog

I realized that I cannot possibly write about this event in one post, so I decided to break it down into parts…

so here goes….

Thursday the 27th we departed to the small iconic town of Prince Albert to hang our exhibition “A New Chapter”, as part of their first art festival to be held over the weekend entitled ‘A vulnerable landscape”.

Upon our arrival we made our way to the venue, True Karoo, which would be ‘home’ to our exhibition during the festival.  It is owned by Trudy Brain, who is an artist who paints landscapes and makes angels from driftwood and other discarded materials.

It was the perfect venue for us since the room was just big enough for all our work and small enough to create a sense of intimacy.  When you enter the venue the smell of jasmine is everywhere, which reminded me of our wedding since I had jasmine in my bouquet.

In about an hour and a half all the work was patiently installed by my dear husband

Afterwards we made our way to the home of Henriette (better known as the dog and cat lady, since she provides a loving home for 9 dogs and 38 stray and unwanted cats).  She opened her heart and home and was our host for the weekend.  So if ever you have a surplus of dog or cat food you can always send some to Prince Albert and know that it will be put to good use.

After we settled we headed over to the Prince Albert Gallery to meet with the brain behind the festival as well as Gallery and Restaurant owner Brent Phillips-White. We talked about fracking, wind-farms, solar towns and midnight tennis.

I also had the privilege to meet the landscape artist Strydom van der Merwe , who was also exhibiting at the festival.

Strijdom van der Merwe

(I wish that I have taken photos of  all the  art during this weekend-  maybe a good thing  that I didn’t, since now I stumble upon other sites and info about these artists while looking for photos of their work to show you.- I will try and credit these sites as far as possible)

During the conversation with Strijdom the following site was mentioned: www.yatooi.com

For all of you interested in land art, it’s worth a visit.

What a great start to a lovely weekend.

Stay tuned for part two following shortly.