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DELIGHTING IN LIFE (article first published : 2005-11-10)

The African Art Centre is to host an exhibition of wood sculptures by Dina Cormick titled Delighting In Life.

"I want to celebrate the sacrament of Life - emotionally, spiritually and physically,” says Dina. “These artworks mark the moments like rites of passage of our journey."

Dina Cormick was born in Nkana, Zambia. Schooled in Harare, Zimbabwe, she studied art at Rhodes University and at the Art School of Natal Technikon (now Durban Institute of Technology). Since 1978, she has worked as freelance artist from her studio in Durban and her commissioned artworks include wood sculptures, mosaic and ceramic panels, book illustrations and posters. These can be found widely distributed through Southern Africa in ecumenical church institutions, as well as in numerous grassroots socio-political organisations.

Her particular concern and interest lie in the didactic importance of art. In 1986 Dina Cormick began her series of 60 water-media paintings In Celebration of Heroic women in the Scriptures. Some 37 of the "Heroines" were subsequently printed as greeting cards and posters and are still widely popular in South Africa and abroad.

In 1993 she graduated cum laude as a "Mistress" of Feminist Theological Ethics after critically discussing the manner in which women have been imaged by the Christian Church: The visual portrayal of Mary Magdalene: A case study in feminist ethical issues. Subsequent to her theological studies, Cormick's artworks have predominantly focused on women. "I feel very strongly that art has an important formative role to play in our lives. I am committed to a reclaiming and enkindling of the spiritual resources of women through a visual theology."

Other art activities include workshops on Visual Theology, consultant on Liturgical Art and administrative work with two grassroots community arts organisations.

Her last seven solo exhibitions include Journey at the BAT Centre’s Menzi Mchunu Gallery in 1998 as well as Heroines & Warrior Women at Evangelical Academy, Bad Bol, Germany, St Elizabeth's Cathedral, Frankfurt and the South African Embassy in Berlin in 1996.

In 1991 she presented In Celebration of Women at Wren Cafe, Piccadilly, in London and appeared on the 1st National Conference on Women and Gender in Southern Africa at the University of Natal, Durban. In 1989, she presented In Celebration of Heroic Women at the now defunct Grassroots Gallery in Westville, In 1987, Grassroots Gallery hosted Dina’s What does it feel like to be a woman in South Africa. Sexism & Religion was presented in the UNISA Foyer, Pretoria, in 1984.

The exhibition will be opened at 17h30 on November 16 by Lliane Loots who is a choreographerm dancer and Artistic Director of the Flatfoot Dance company.

The African Art Centre is situated on the 1st floor Tourist Junction, 160 Pine Street, Durban. Contact Anthea Martin, Director, on 031 304 7915 or 082 828 0211 or fax 031 304 1444.




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