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RADIO ACTOR BECOMES ARTIST (article first published : 2002-02-25)

Well-known from his impressive career as a radio actor (Men from the Ministry, The Navy Lark, etc.) John Simpson has set aside the microphone for a completely different past-time.

While on holiday in the UK several months back he was watching a television programme on watercolour painting. Intrigued by the medium, he bought himself some paints and brushes and started experimenting. Before long he was hooked, covering any available suitable surface with his distinctive images.

From years of scribbling on scripts in the radio studios to while away the time between appearances, he built up strong drawing skills. These are now very evident in his delightful LittleCards, small cards of a gift tag nature which carry simple and charming images in a Japanese style. LittleCards feature swans, ducks, bamboo, fish and vases of flowers, all executed with joy and a sense of relaxation.

Having been busy fulfilling orders from friends and colleagues, John is now building up a stock of LittleCards for Bonisa Private Gallery’s Open Day on March 3 from 10h00 to 16h00. The other guest artist of the day will be well-known cartoonist Napier Dunn.

The charming Bonisa Gallery is situated at 47 Ronalds Road in Kloof and is housed in a striking wooden house on stilts with an imposing thatched roof. An indigenous garden with a large pond gives it a special ambience. Bonisa specialises in contemporary art from southern Africa and has works by David Oosthuizen, Hillary Graham, who recently moved to Durban, George Msimang, Ben Nsusha, Marjorie Jones and John Mills.

There is also has a large collection of work by the late Thomas Matthews. On display is pottery from Andrew Walford, Annie Nicholson and David Walters as well as Carl Roberts’ impressive sculpture.

Apart from regular Open Days on the first Sunday of the month, visits to Bonisa are by appointment only. Phone 031 764-0288, fax 031 764-0266 or e-mail: bonisa47@mweb.co.za




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