Fibreworks art and a creative forage

A work by Jeanette Gilks titled Draped Forest. It forms part of the EDGE exhibition.

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BY BILLY SUTER        

DURBAN’S KZNSA Gallery bordering Bulwer Park in Glenwood is presenting  two new interesting and diverse exhibitions until October 28.

The Main Gallery is hosting EDGE by National Fibreworks, while the Mezzanine Gallery is showcasing a solo exhibition by Durban artist Grace Kotze. Both exhibitions opened on October 10.

EDGE marks the 20th anniversary of the South African Fibreworks group which is displaying recent work of Fibreworks members. There are three parts to the show: an open, non-themed section; a themed section where Fibreworks artists were challenged to create a new work in response to an existing South African artwork displayed in any South African gallery or museum; and finally, a Major Minors display of 25cm x 25cm works.

“During the course of the exhibition, a textile installation will unfold where members of the public are invited to participate in a collaborative artwork,” says a gallery spokesman.

Tilly de Harde’s Edge of Extinction, part of the EDGE exhibition in Durban.

“The idea of a Fibreworks collective was conjured up in 1998 by a group of female friends. While some came from quilting backgrounds and others were trained in graphic design or fine art, they were united in the commitment to promote fibre and textile art as a serious art form’

Jeanette Gilks, Fibreworks’ chairman and a founding member, says” ‘We were all interested in creating a group dedicated to promoting change within the existing art and craft platforms in South Africa, and we were keen to generate interaction, present new challenges and foster critical input from our members”.

The exhibition is accompanied by a public participation programme. Small squares of white fabric and various kinds of recycled objects – for example,  aluminum pull-tabs and buttons – will be available, and members of the public are invited to create a ‘Square of their Thoughts’. Any thoughts or images!

These small material tiles will be displayed on the gallery floor as an expanding installation. Anyone can add their thoughts to the growing body of the collaborative TEXT-TILE artwork.

Spoils of a Creative Forage is the title of Grace Kotze’s exhibition which tells of her present creative meanderings.

Kotze’s exhibitions usually consist of a very limited subject base through which she explores her concerns.

She says in a press release: “At present, my mind is like an overactive mouse, scurrying through an overstocked pantry gathering delicious visuals. Hence Spoils of a Creative Forage is full of a myriad subjects held together by an emotional pull.

“I am very conscious of humanity’s attachment to objects through emotional bonds formed by family stories, memories of past experiences and associations. These objects become almost like a talisman that hold some greater power than inanimate objects.”

Interwoven with these themes are the creatures of Durban that bring suggested movement into the genre of the still life

“As much as I love still lives, adding a subject that moves always allows me to exhale during the creative and viewing process.

“All the birds and animals that I paint are ones I have stalked and photographed in Durban. This gives me a deeper understanding and compassion for the manner in which they have to navigate their way around the city.’

A work by Graze Kotze that forms part of her Spoils of a Creative Forage exhibition in Durban.

 


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