A
 
Web www.artsmart.co.za
A R T S M A R T
arts news from kwazulu-natal

visual arts
www.artsmart.co.za
enquiries@artsmart.co.za
 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
 

NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

NOW AND THEN (article first published : 2007-05-21)

The KZNSA will honour one of its most acclaimed members, Andrew Verster, with an exhibition to celebrate his 70th birthday.

The works will be from his own private collection, many of which have not appeared on exhibition before. There will be works from this year – Bodyworks of monumental tattoo figures – a series of very large landscapes which he has called Primary Landscapes, and works using tissue paper stained with tea, coffee and turmeric, fused with melted wax.

The title Primary Landscape evokes associations with words such as first, principal, primitive, earliest, primal, beginning and others. Primary too refers to primary colour. They are luminous as if just out of the box, recently created.

There will be models for the opera La Traviata for which Andrew Verster did the sets and costumes, as well as a few of the costumes themselves. Also on the exhibition will be a series of 50 collage compositions for tapestry as well as maquettes for architectural projects. designs for beadwork and paintings and drawings.

“This is not a retrospective,” insists Andrew, “but, rather, a look at my present concerns in the context of what has come before. “I am certain of nothing … but the truth of imagination.” Keats wrote that. How simple. How clever. The facts are always a muddle, chaotic, full of disorder. It’s imagination that gives them shape, which finds the truth that is hidden.

“I’m sure I’ve always known this instinctively, but reading those words the other day was a revelation. The economy of a genius poet to sum up the creative process in such a profound way. Imagination is so mysterious, it happens at random moments taking us by surprise. It pounces when we least expect it. When we are doing something else, and vanishes as suddenly if we take no notice. It defies discipline and will not take orders. It is cousin to our instinct. And it is instinct that makes each of us who we are. Something which cannot be corrupted and which never betrays us. Irrational and primitive.

“Logic and reason can only take us part of the way on any journey,” he continues. “But when we are on the edge of the unknown we must invent other maps. And it is this mapping of terra incognita that the creative process is about. We don’t know where we are going, but we leave a trail of information behind - notes, sketches, pictures, words, half-thought thoughts. I’m careful with this litter. I gather it up and put it away. It’s not easy to sort the important from the trivial when one is too close to it. There’s time, later, for reflection. A more detached view.

“I love simplicity. To make the complicated easy to grasp is difficult, whereas to make simple truths unintelligible is a game many play.

“Every now and then we all have moments of revelation when the scales drop off our eyes and something which has tied our mind in knots for years suddenly is clear. I had one recently when I found a definition for composition. It is finding the link between things which apparently have nothing in common. It works for painting and writing and dance and music. In fact, anything that you make from imagination. The more unlikely the marriage, the cleverer you have to be to force the liaison. And the greater the reward. And having arranged one marriage of unlikely partners, you need another and another to make a painting.”

Now and Then runs at the KZNSA Gallery from June 19 to July 8.




 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
a co-production by caroline smart services and .durbanet. site credits
copyright © subsists in this page. all rights reserved. [ edit ] copyright details  artsmart