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KALAHARI PASSION (article first published : 2004-10-27)

Kalahari artist Vetkat Regopstaan Kruiper will be in Durban for an exhibition of his work hosted by Westville's Bergtheil Museum from November 4 to 13th. Vetkat is a contemporary #Khomani artist whose individualistic pen and kokhie work is rapidly gaining recognition throughout the world.

Having recently returned from the USA, Vetkat's eye-catching art combines the ancient tradition of rock art with his own innovative style and personal vision. Steeped in the desert spirit, his dynamic drawings depict scenes that evoke the spiritual and physical landscapes of the Kalahari, and the people, plants and animals that inhabit this vast wilderness.

With their spiritual eloquence, unusual combinations as well as significant touches of humour, the pictures mirror the essence of Vetkat himself. His 'studio' is a red sand dune under the open Kalahari sky and he uses whatever materials are at hand. Since Vetkat rarely leaves the Kalahari, the forthcoming exhibition offers a rare opportunity to see the work and meet the man himself.

A selection of one-off originals as well a limited edition of prints will be on sale. Vetkat has returned his talents to individuals within his community and so will be launching the work of Kobus Malgas and Izak Kruiper, fellow artists with whom he has been working. Their work will be also be on display and for sale.

Other items on sale will include Kalahari Rainsong (2004), a book written by Elana Bregin and Vetkat's wife, Belinda Kruiper. Other books and journals on Kalahari San communities published by UKZN researchers will also be on offer. Crafts from other #Khomani craftsman will be exhibited and on sale. A video by Tim Rheinhardt, Vetkat, will be screened and available for study at the Museum.

The exhibition will be opened by Prof Keyan Tomaselli of the University of KwaZulu Natal's Programme in Culture, Communication and Media Studies. More information on 031 203 7107




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