18 artists collaborate in the Midlands

Tahina Ratoarivony and Mat Li get creative at the workshop which has been held at  the Kings School, Nottingham Road, since April 1 and culminates with an open day on April 13.. All pictures by Thalante Khomo.


EIGHTEEN artists from around the world are collaborating to make art together in the Midlands – at the Thupelo International Arts Workshop, a free open day for which is planned from 10am to 3pm on Saturday, April 13.

The venue is the Kings School, Nottingham Road, where the workshop began on April 1. The open day will see the work on display for public viewing and audience engagement.

Self-directed education through interactive creative practice, exchange of ideas and skills mark the international workshop, which has  artists from five countries working together in various disciplines.

This is an initiative of the Cape Town-based Greatmore Studios, which received a great response from close to 80 art makers from all over the world wanting to be considered for one of the spaces to benefit from this opportunity. The multi-lingual, multi-cultural participants work and live on campus at King’s School for the duration of the residency.

“The idea behind the workshop’s ethos is about creating space for making art without the pressures of structured conventions often accompanying the so-called ‘mainstream’ institutions,” explains Witty Nyide, co-ordinator for both regional and international KZN-based Thupelo workshops.

Nkcubeko Balani of Grahamstown  is among the artists collaborating to make art together in the Midlands – at the Thupelo International Arts Workshop in Nottingham Road.

“It is open to self-motivated visual artists who are keen to expand their ideas, exchange knowledge and experiment in fellowship with other artists

“This also encourages a space for sharing skills and ideas in an innovative environment where artists feel safe to experiment and learn from one another.

“Since 1985, each workshop, regional or international, has had its own identity which unfolds as the workshop progresses. The material budget is often quite low, so sharing and the use of found objects or donated materials is encouraged,” adds Nyide.

Thupelo, which is a Sotho phrase meaning ‘to teach by example’, was initiated in 1985, in Johannesburg, by David Koloane, together with the late Bill Ainsle and a group of artists.

Both regional and international Thupelo workshops were initiated in response to a need for interaction between artists and are therefore artists-led. It is part of the international Triangle network of studio and workshop initiatives. Durban hosted a regional workshop last December.

Participants are: Anushka Kempken (Jhb); Crawford Mandumbwa  (Zambia); Danisile Ncube(Zimbabwe);  Khaya Sineyile (CT); Lara Vlaska (Germany);  Mat Li (Madagascar); Ncumisa Mcitwa (Durban); Nkcubeko Balani (Grahamstown); Nomusa Mtshali (Durban); Owen Shikabeta (Zambia); Selloane Moeti (Durban);  Tahina Rakotoarivony (Madagascar); Vanessa Chen (CT); Thalente Khomo (Durban); Clive Sithole (Durban); Thami Jali (Durban); Anthony Cawood (CT) and Witty Nyide (Pretoria).

If there is demand for a bus to take people from Durban to Midlands and home again for the morning, one can be organised for a nominal fee. Should you be keen to take arranged transport, contact Witty Nyide at 076 333 3671.

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