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

CREAM & TOON AGE MOMENTS (article first published : 2008-02-23)

The KZNSA has announced that its two upcoming exhibitions will show a selection of star students from two of Durban’s prestigious institutions of learning: the Durban University of Technology (DUT) and the Centre for Fine Art, Animation and Design (CFAD).

The participating artists were selected according to their academic excellence, technical mastery and conceptual depth. Collectively they represent the cream of the crop of mature students from the two schools and give an indication of the future of South African fine art and animation production.

Cream (of the art crop) from DUT exhibits the work of DUT students at the peak of the learning, poised on the brink of professional practice. Jacintha Ellappa paints haunting portraits on Indian fabrics; Bongomusa Hlongwa uses felt and silkscreen to create portraits of blinded people; Clayton Human creates haunting, immersive environments that subsume the senses; Sabelo Khumalo’s stark, white empty billboard looks down - saying everything and nothing; Blessing Maphumulo works thread into his lonely landscapes, creating presence where none existed, stitching memory into emptiness; Nothando Mkhize examines asphyxiation, both literally and metaphorically, within the polluted city she calls home; African Mzobe draws leaders looking down; Witty Nyide creates origami monuments from throwaway paper; Jess Nicholson layers paint upon collage, creating poetic texts and intertexts; Mxolisi Sithole’s prints explode with un-tempered violence, Saskia Whitehead’s bodiless garments emerge, like three-dimensional ghosts, from the wall; and Tamlyn Young, the recipient of the 2007 Emma Smith Scholarship, creates obsessive work that documents the physical journey through her meticulous mind.

Toon Age Moments: Projects by Centre for Fine Art, Animation and Design showcases the animation projects completed by CFAD. Social satire, observation and commentary are key to many of these works. Taxi, by lead animators Zayne Nakamura, Ryan Janse Van Rensburg and Nanda Soobben, deals with Durban public transport. Birds relates to environmental issues. Also on view is the 3D robot created by Chris De Jaager.

The majority of animation projects and assignments are industry-based, with students having created award-winning clips for Life-Line, the World Wildlife Fund, Childline and a range of HIV and AIDS awareness campaigns.

CFAD was established in 1994 by Nanda Soobben to provide previously disadvantaged students with access to the latest computer, animation and design technology. Since then, it has developed into a contemporary, thriving art school where a system of mentorship is used as the educational methodology. CFAD works closely with the Parsons School of Design in New York, the San Francisco Art Institute, the University of California and the National Institute of Design (NID) in India. The Centre’s close relationship with the design and printing industries, and with the education sector, allows students to participate and contribute to “live” projects.

Nanda Soobben has been presented with awards from the San Francisco Leadership Academy, the Mayor of San Francisco and the United States Congress, in recognition of his achievements as a cartoonist, animator and journalist.

Cream and Toon Age Moments runs at the KZNSA Gallery complex from March 11 to 30. More information from curator Brenton Maart on 031 277 1703.




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