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NEGOTIATED SPACES (article first published : 2006-10-21)

Negotiated Spaces is an exhibition of contemporary two dimensional art works by Durban-based artists Nontobeko Ntombela and Bronwen Vaughan-Evans.

Although from different backgrounds, Nontobeko Ntombela and Bronwen Vaughan-Evans have found commonality in their work. Both artists foreground the intimate. Both explore notions of own identity through interrogating aesthetic, human and geographic relationships.

Drawn from personal and immediate relationships, the subject matter could be read as sentimental. However, the pared-down minimalist visual language is so restrained that the subject matter is transformed into a non-linear narrative exploration of being human. Both artists work with multi-panelled pieces which set up a discursive relationship between individual works. They also work in two dimensions but negate the established tradition of oil painting.

Nontobeko Ntombela uses sewing and embroidery to explore feminine stereotypes through self-conscious manipulation of traditionally “feminine” materials. She also works with tactile surfaces that introduce multiple readings of the text.

Bronwen Vaughan-Evans uses a process of layering black gesso beneath white gesso. The images are created by sanding through the thin top layer to reveal the dark gesso below. This creates a controlled surface which alludes to a metaphorical weight beneath the surface of things.

Negotiated Spaces runs at the KZNSA Gallery from October 31 to November 12. The exhibition will be opened officially by Gabisile Ngcobo on October 31at 18h00.




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