Artistic flights of fancy…

A work by Darryl Houghton on the Themes exhibition headed for Durban’s KZNSA Gallery in Glenwood,

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BY BILLY SUTER

TWO new exhibitions, Flight of Fancy by Ceramics Southern Africa, and Themes, a group exhibition by Garret Artists, open at Durban’s KZNSA Gallery in Glenwood on Tuesday, August 21.

Running until September 2, Flight of Fancy will be in the Main Gallery. It will showcase work of the members of the KwaZulu-Natal branch of Ceramics Southern Africa, with guest artists Margot Rudolph and Phumlani Nyawo.

A work by Margot Rudolph in the Flight of Fancy exhibition.

Rudolph obtained her national diploma in Ceramic Design at the Pretoria Technikon in 1986. She returned full-time to pottery and opened her own studio in 1996.

She works mainly in stoneware combined with colours, and her individual style embraces a distinctly African theme. She draws inspiration from indigenous plants and textures, manifesting in vibrantly unique ceramic works of art.

Rudolph has won an award on the regional ceramic exhibition and has exhibited on regional and national exhibitions organised by the Ceramics SA, as well as various group exhibitions and solo exhibitions.

Phumlani Nyawo has been involved in ceramic art since 2006, but says he learnt a lot from his brothers when he was a youngster and still living at home in Pongola. “My brothers made the pottery and inspired me to get involved in art.”

Besides his brothers, Phumlani says other artists such as Clive Sithole have had a huge impact on him as an artist, and he has learnt a lot from them.

He uses time-honoured techniques. His forms are contemporary, dramatic yet timeless. His beautiful ceramics are ideally suited for placement on coffee tables, bookshelves or anywhere they can be seen at eye level for guests to admire.

Themes, also running until September 2, is an exhibition from the Garret Artists group, which has been in existence for 25-plus years and comprises a number of local artists who meet once a week to make art and exchange ideas.

The essential focus of the group is on drawing, but that term is loosely interpreted to mean works on paper. This broad definition of ‘drawing’ even allows for the inclusion of printmaking, and a series of lino prints are included in the exhibition.

Media used ranges from graphite pencils to paper collages and from charcoal sticks to drawing inks.  In other words, the artists explore a wide range of mark making materials and this adds a particular vitality to their works.

The artists work around a broad common theme over a number of weeks with each theme serving as a means of providing the art making process with both direction and unity. However, the aim is for each artist to investigate a given theme in a very personal way within very broad parameters.

Personal expression is thus paramount and no tuition, as such, is given.  Constructive criticism of the artworks is invited and plays a vital and integral role within the group.

Members can learn from each other in a supportive, affirming environment and so strengthen their own art making processes.  A range of themes will be discerned within the current exhibition and include ‘coastLINES’, ‘Shoes’, ‘Plants in Containers’, ‘Vessels’, and ‘Buildings’.

A colourful woodcut print by Ezequiel Mabote, on show in Pietermaritzburg..

Still on the local art scene… note that some colourful new woodcut prints by Ezequiel Mabote are now to be seen at The Blue Caterpillar Art Gallery, which is housed in the same complex as the fascinating Butterflies for Africa attraction at 37 Willowton Road in Pietermaritzburg.

“We’re delighted to present a new collection by one of Southern Africa’s most popular woodcut artists – from the quirky to the serene, these woodcut prints demonstrate Ezequiel’s fine workmanship in delivering pieces alive with joyful movement and creativity,” says curator Jeni Cramer.

Mabote is a self-taught artist from Mozambique who got his inspiration as a child, learning from older boys in his neighbourhood who did woodcarving and fabric design.

He learnt the basics of art at school but was forced to abandon these studies to find work to support his family. Later in life he got the opportunity to study fine art at the Nucleo de Arte in Maputo, where he developed his skills in woodcut printing.

“The high degree of quality and professionalism in his work is testament to his talent and dedication to art. Ezequiel’s work has been exhibited in a number of galleries worldwide, including several exhibitions in New York and Chicago,” says Cramer.

For more details contact (033) 3871356 or visit the website: www.artsales.co.za.

For my review of the gallery and the delightful Butterflies for Africa enclose – which has attracted more than 100 species of butterfly to a 6 000 square-metre garden created soley to attract the creatures – click here: https://wp.me/p8dL0W-156


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