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GRAHAMSTOWN VISUAL ARTS (article first published : 2000-06-12)

The visual arts component of this year’s Standard Bank National Arts Festival taking place from June 30 to July 8 includes eight varied visual art exhibitions. These encompass almost all the artistic media from watercolour to oils, sculpture to photography, found objects to weaving.

Alan Alborough, the winner of the 2000 Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Visual Art, creates an exhibition that is emotionally challenging while at the same time visually engaging and seductive. By using strange and varied materials in innovative ways, Alborough's work extends beyond the traditional categories and definitions of how art is produced and viewed.

Hauntings: Big Pictures In Little Stories, a multi-media installation by acclaimed local artist Penny Siopis, examines the tense but provocative relationship between “private belongings” and “official archives” and will comprise of mostly found objects and found film that has been either collected or inherited by the artist over many years.

Internationally renowned photographer, David Goldblatt, presents South Africa: The Structure Of Things Then. This exhibition explores South African structures as an expression of some of the social forces that shaped our society during the period 1652 to 1990.

!Xoe² is a parallel exhibition of autonomous works that are conceptually related to a site-specific art project curated by the Ibis Art Centre in Nieu-Bethisda. !Xoe means “place” in the dialect of the !Xam - a San people who once inhabited the Great Karoo.

Material Matters: Appliqués by the Weya Women of Zimbabwe and Needlework by South African Collectives, is a retrospective examination of this art form. Working with fabric appliqué, embroidery and paint, the Weya women record their life experiences. Fifty pieces, including samples of work from five South African collectives will be on display in this exhibition curated by Brenda Schmahmann.

Curators Karin Skawran and Keith Dietrich present a comprehensive selection of South African watercolour paintings created during the 20th Century in Stained Paper: Southern African Images In Watercolour.

The Everard Group is made up of six women from four generations of the Everard family. The Standard Bank Corporate Collection comprises works spanning a period of 100 years. Landscapes depicting the highveld region of Mpumulanga as well as still lifes and interiors will be exhibited.

The newly formed Caversham Centre for Artists and Writers has established The Hourglass Project, a forum to promote and encourage excellence through creative dialogue and interaction between South African and international artists. The exhibition at the Festival includes 30 works by 15 women artists as well as a book of portraits of the artists.

Craftart presents Skins and Things: Turning Animal Products into Art – an exploration of the imaginative use of South African animal products by artists and craftspeople.




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