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MPENJA EXHIBITION (article first published : 2007-11-19)

Mpenja offers an exhibition of conceptual artwork by Everett Duarte and Frances Schandera, opening at The Lindsay Gallery on November 29. This is a collaboration of a European artist’s vision and the knowledge of an African artist. Their unique approach uses mixed media and silkscreening on canvas, allowing for a multiplicity of combinations. Both have previously exhibited in South Africa, Germany, Botswana and Russia

“Similar approaches within our creative backgrounds allowed for the collaboration,” explains Everett Duarte. “The conception of Mpenja comes from a coastal nature reserve called Mpenjati. The subject matter is that of the African vista, both aquatic and the vastness of the interior from the Transkei through Swaziland and up towards Xai Xai in Mozambique. The process is a layering of contrasting gestural and structural marks inter dispersed with silk screened photographs.

“We both work in the abstract so the element of realism offers a subtle persuasion of time and place. Feeding off each other’s marks with instinctive and spontaneous reactions opens up possibilities of new discoveries within all the formal qualities of the painting and allows for new unexpected dialogues.”

Born in Germany, Frances Schandera studied for six years at two well-known and established German universities, achieving a MA in Fashion Design and a MA in Art Therapy. During this time she always concentrated on visual art. She has exhibited in a number of exhibitions in Germany. In 2000 and again in 2001, she was selected for the German Trendsetter Award in Düsseldorf/ Germany. Another noteworthy Award in 2001 was the International Marianne Brandt Award where Frances was awarded both the Painting and Fashion Awards. More recent exhibitions include RED Eye Durban, Adaptation Germany along with several Group shows. Frances is now living and working with Everett Duarte on the South Coast.

Everett Duarte was born in Tzaneen. He studied graphic art at Technikon Natal in Durban for three years. Further studies were undertaken in 2006/2007 at the University of Fine Art in Dresden as a Master student with the well-known East German artist/professor Ralf Kerbach. Solo exhibitions include KZNSA in Durban and Audi Zentrum in Dresden/ Germany. Among his noteworthy exhibitions are Red Eye Durban, Obert Contemporary Johannesburg and Adaptation Germany. Earlier this year, Everett was selected as a young international artists of our generation in the Great Art Exhibition in the House of Art in Munich.

The Mpenja exhibition runs from November 29 to December 10 at the Lindsay Gallery, 11 Winter Avenue, off Musgrave Road, Durban. More information on 031 201 6494.




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