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GRAHAMSTOWN - VISUAL ART (article first published : 1999-07-8)

The bold and the beautiful, the strong and the delicate, the metallic and the painterly - this is what you’ll find if you venture into the Albany History Museum at the Standard Bank National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. Just inside the venue, to your left, you’ll find two completely contrasting displays. One of KZN’s most innovative artists, Lené Templehoff is always challenging the boundaries of her medium and her pieces often appear in a theatrical context in dance or drama works. Her small cast bronzes have an interesting architectural theme, depicting gates, turrets, arches or walls.

The selected exhibition by members of the Miniature Art Society of South Africa are tiny and impeccably produced works and, in most cases, you’ll need to use the supplied magnifying glass to appreciate their quality. The fact that an artwork is small does not, in the case of miniatures, mean that it can command a cheaper price. On the contrary, these works require as much effort - if not, more - than their normal sized counterparts. Imagine baking a quiche that was 8cm instead of 18cm. It must taste the same and look the same which means that great care has to be taken in terms of cooking time, scaled-down ingredients, etc. Thus with a miniature - there is no compromise and the work must stand the scrutiny of the dreaded magnifying glass!


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