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LIVE YOUR DREAM (article first published : 2007-08-26)

An exhibition of exquisite art by South African women entitled Live Your Dream opens at the Fresh Paint Gallery in Glenwood on August 29 – just in time for the Glenwood Festival which takes place in venues throughout Glenwood from August 31 until September 2 as part of the Celebrate Durban season.

Fresh Paint, a new spacious gallery specializing in unusual and quirky pieces of art from throughout South Africa, opened late July in a gracious Victorian home (with rather large distinctive blue spotted dogs on the roof) at 60 Davenport Road in Glenwood, as part of the Durban’s suburb’s thriving cultural Renaissance. This vibrant gallery starts as it means to continue with this their third exhibition in as many weeks. The exhibition comprises of new work by an eclectic group of five women artists.

The exhibition features work by mixed media collage artist Fran Jex. This is her first involvement in a combined exhibition. She makes thought-provoking mixed media work in muted shades combining imagery, textures and words. One of her pieces lends its name to the exhibition.

The gallery is particularly excited to host Heidi-Marie Smallwood’s beautiful jewellery. A ceramicist by trade based in Durban North, Smallwood has branched out into jewellery-making and has a range of statement bold enamelled ear-rings, necklaces and bracelets. Her pieces are vivid, interesting and highly ornamental. Using similar techniques, she has created some decorative wall plaques in different sizes using enamel on mixed media.

Dahla Hulme and Michelle Michele Nigrini are from the Eastern Free State village, Rosendal. Hulme is a sculptor and metalworker but is exploring her talent as a photographer. She will exhibit some astonishing monochromatic detailed photographs taken mostly in and around Rosendal of vistas; landscapes and areas of interest – windmills, moody skies, the local church, winterscapes and bare trees. Michelle Nigrini holds a Master’s degree in Fine Arts and she attracted public attention in 1994 when Dr. Anton Rupert attended her first solo exhibition and bought almost all the paintings, including the 16 meter panel Colour Symphony which was part of her then newly completed Master’s degree.

Leah Hardwick is from Howick and has a selection of photographs of landscapes and people. She has taken a series of evocative photographs of Himba women and some vast landscapes from Northern Namibia Kaokoland / Kunene Region – beautifully lit - in warm browns, ochres and golds.

The gallery has also been given KZN trading rights to the delightful African Toy Shop range of hand-crafted wooden toys for children of all ages. Made by village craftspeople throughout Africa, these distinctive “toys” are made from natural and recycled materials and are culturally relevant to the community making them. Toys can be hardy and suitable as playthings for children, or elaborately detailed conversation pieces for the busy exec – such as 4x4 replicas, earth moving machinery, airplanes and helicopters. The African Toyshop operates on principles of fair trade, and sources toys from craftspeople throughout Africa including Malawi, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Congo and Zululand. In recognition of the beauty of their toys and the toymakers’ need to earn a living, The African Toyshop was established in 2005 in Gauteng and now has a KZN outlet.

For more information, contact the Gallery on 031 201 8367. The Gallery is closed on Sunday – but will be open on September 2 for the Glenwood Festival.




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