>Navel Seakamela’s solo exhibition Reflect At Kalashnikovv Gallery, closed on 30 June.
Through DM released to Intraparadox to mark the conclusion of the exhibition Seakamela stated that, 'It was a new experience which I still crave for more' <
At edg2020 Gallery, until 15 July, Erna Bodenstein’s work is shown alongside that of Pauline Gutter, Mandy Johnston, Marieke Kruger, Heidie Fourie, Corrie Van der Wath and Antionette McMaster.
Ingrid Bolton’s Lines of Evidence has been extended to 11 July, allowing the public more time to experience her new body of work.
Ilandi Bakrhuizen’s ‘Make The Circle Bigger‘ on at The Viewing Room Art Gallery, St Lorient, Brooklyn Circle, concludes at the end of July. As a result of our country’s move to Alert Level 4 the show has reverting to its online iteration.
This is turning out to be a resounding year for the Mashilo’s; Cow Mash is part of the group exhibition Collective Nostalgia, at Vin Vin Gallery, Vienna, Austria through June until July 24, 2021. The exhibition also features work by Victoria Nunley, Natalie Terenzini and Zandile Tshabalala. Link HERE for the full concept exposition of this exhibition (Image Source: Vin Vin Gallery).
Refreshed Thursday , 01 July 2021 at 09:23
Hi, if I may have the liberty to ask, where were you last year this time? I was waking up to a world that had become acutely unpredictable. Interestingly though, being confined to my home, my life felt like having fallen into a predictable routine. Family bonding became a consolation to what had become a monotonous life. Often between variations of family running mechanics I’d often find myself wondering about the future. Cranking my neck a little bit, hoping to catch a fragment of a possible outcome of what we were experiencing as I sponge-on television news and news sites. In a while I’d recollect myself into my original form with no fresh add-ons or what you might call insight and resumed my mundane but necessary duties.
Like everyone else I witnessed the increase reliance on modern tools of communication to stay in touch with extended family members, friends and colleagues. A fraction of a sense of assuredness was instilled. I sometimes wonder how the world would have responded to COVID-19’s onslaught should it have occurred at the turn of the new millennium. In a sense post-modern platforms of communication, this one included, presents an advantage for us to stay in touch; get ideas across and to share our most defining moments. The experience we are building on through usage of these platforms will recast visual art experience forever.
Here is your Fix: Although I can’t say much at this point in time, it seems as if a new space is muscling into the Tshwane art scene, Gallery@Archneer (See Art Forecast). I picked up on their exhibition promotional poster via one of the popular social media platforms a couple of weeks ago. The poster highlights George Nyiko Sky as the space’s current solo artist.
I hope to share more details on this space and this exhibition when more details become available. I am sure I speak for many when I say, Tshwane needs more venues for people to experience and share its fine art. A residency space would also be ideal.
In other developments, edge2020 Gallery has made a call for artists to be part of its upcoming art fair. The art fair is schedule to run from 31 July to 28 August 2021. The first round of submissions will be online and are scheduled to take place on 5 July at 11:00 am. For more details please visit HERE. A look at what’s on offer might prick your imagination to wonder what kind of works will construct the grand narrative of the fair when the curtain finally parts come the premier of the envisaged art fair. On 19 June, light took on centre stage with Touched by Light opening at Tina Skukan Gallery. The Exhibition feature works of Martjie Carter, Carl Cuz Jeppe and Cecile Burger. As per caption of the exhibition’s promotional poster, the works which articulate light (and its complementary negative – darkness) as their subject matter ranges from abstract landscapes, Nature and Human Figures. Touched by Light will run until 14 July.
In the previous years the adage ‘Youth of today have to be grateful because they are growing up in a free-world’, lost its gravitas. In fact for years the adage was battered by the unemployed growth that affected virtually everyone and our youth in particular over the past two decades if we take ’94 as our starting point.
COVID-19 has cranked the last nail into that predicament’s structure and brought our fragile mortality into a sharp focus, doubly reminding us that life must go on. Imagine growing up in a world where you are not promised opportunities, but you are given the space and thrust needed to create your own opportunities. In hind sight that is what post ’94 South Africa should’ve been about. Is such a world possible today? It is difficult to answer that question with enthusiasm. But it is a world that South Africans should strive for post-COVID-19 because at some point life for those who will survive the pandemic must go on.
Free-Breed’s group exhibition Thought shown at the South African State Theatre from 15 – 19 June responded to a character trait that has guided humanity for millennia, a yearn to go on despite the odds. My recent correspondence with the artists Nancy Ndaba, Abigail Mabeba and Linah Mokoena opens up a new conversation in black women driven initiatives within the plastic arts in our city. In case you missed my correspondence with Free Breed visit HERE. Watch-out for The Arttach List 20XX1 in the next Intra’Byte. Have a great week ahead.
Monday, 28 June 2021at 12:15
*Disclaimer: The information appearing on this page, ‘WhatsOn! Out There’ has been prepared in collaboration with artists, their respective studios, galleries or their representatives.
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Ingrid Bolton’s new exhibition Lines of Evidence on at Berman Contemporary sees her combine materials she has used previously in her work such as Copper, Magnetite, Coal, Calcium Carbonate and Porcelain wherein she engaged with the discourse of pollution and natural resource sustainability, as was evidence in her solo exhibition held at the Pretoria Art Museum in 2013, following her scooping of the first prize in SASOL New Signatures Art Competition 2012.
In the present exhibition Bolton points out that she has deployed Vermiculite and Magnetite with Porcelain and Paint (materials she has used before) to produce the body of work on show. She asserts that this approach has brought her full circle to the materials she has predominantly used in the past especially with Magnetite in mind. According to her Magnetite has the ability to colour porcelain and paint.
Through weaving, printing, layering and sewing the artist hopes to visually reveal her realisation that human beings are connected to the earth. This realisation has been the mainstay of the artist’s art practice before I became aware of her almost a decade ago. In essence Bolton’s work articulates the lines where natural habitats overlapped or more pointedly, the fringes of intersection, to use her coinage – the ecoline, where natural and unnatural phenomena interact. [I have reproduced her artist’s statement with her kind permission below, for images and more details link to Berman Contemporary]
Navel Seakamela's solo exhibition Reflect, is now on at Kalashnikovv Gallery, it will run until 30 June. Erna Bodenstein's work is showing in two separate exhibitions that opened last weekend, at edg2020 Gallery and at the Johan van Heerden Art and Gallery . for more details on this interesting artist, please refer further below in this newsletter. Sthenjwa Luthuli's Umthente Uhlaba Usamila is now on at BKhz Studio, Rosebank, Johannesburg. Ilandi Bakrhuizen's 'Make The Circle Bigger can be experienced physical at the Viewing Room Art Gallery at St Lorient until 31 July 2021. Ingrid Bolton's Lines of Evidence has been extended to 11 July, allowing the public more time to experience her new body of work.
Lines of Evidence
19 May to 27 June 2021 (*Official Running time)
The evidence presented here for this exhibition is my evidence of exploration, in this case of materials and compounds. Copper, magnetite, vermiculite, coal, calcium carbonate and porcelain intersect through my work and have been used separately in the past but here they come together, finding a place alongside each other. This line is a line where I, as a human, interact with nature. Where I make connections between compounds, materials and how I intersect with nature.
My work with copper prompted me to visit to Copper Mine in Phalaborwa, where I discovered that there are by-products that come out of the earth with copper. Vermiculite and magnetite are two of these by-products. I chose to work with them because of the magnetic quality of magnetite and the transparency of vermiculite. I found that one of the uses for Magnetite, is that it is used to ‘wash’ coal, collecting the dust as it does. Because of its magnetic nature it is collected with magnets to be repurposed again and again. Magnetite will also colour porcelain and paint. Finding these connections to the materials of coal and porcelain brought me full circle to the two materials that I have used predominantly in the past. The translucency of the vermiculite reveals what is beneath in some of the works as it does in the earth, layered amongst the copper and the magnetite. The juxtaposition of these compounds also has a physical connection with each other in the ground or through functionality, and are the evidence of my connection to all of them. Represented from the earth to the gallery space.
I have come to realise, we as humans are integrally connected to the earth. Through weaving, printing, layering and sewing I hope to visually reveal this connectivity. Through these techniques I am making marks with copper and thread on coal-soaked fabric and paper. Marks referencing maps or paths that are made by humans on the earth. Marks that would be used on a map like slime dams, mining pits and mine dumps. The stitching is on one layer of fabric, revealing the residue of the connecting stitch behind the fabric as a tone of a mark made with pencil or charcoal would do. On the copper woven pieces, the threads are linked through each other to come together to create the artwork, intertwined and locking together. Some of the artworks are underlined by copper wire woven together to form a solid thick, woven belt. The intersection of these compounds, alongside each other, overlaid, joined in conjunction and sometimes individually, come together to confer with each other.
The line in this body of work originates from the word ecoline. When I first came across the word ecocline, I misread it as ecoline. I chose to retain this word as my artwork has consistently explored and played with the physical and metaphorical notions of a line. Initially I worked with the word ecocline as a reference to a boundary where two natural habitats overlapped. The crossover of the two areas, is more diverse as both individual areas intersect on the fringes. This physical area was the space between the ocean and the atmosphere, or the ocean and the coastline. More specifically to the absorption by the ocean of carbon dioxide emissions, caused by humans.
I play with the notion of a line in relation to my ecoline, one that explores areas of mapping, contours and boundary lines. Lines of demarcation, separation and limitation. Smaller artworks come together to form a whole, placed along a line. Visually revealing the evidence of materials that I work with together showing how, I, and we as humans, are integrally connected to nature. Not able to separate.
Ingrid Bolton, 5 June 2021
*Lines of Evidence was extended to 11 July
Persona and Three Female Narratives
edg2020 & Johanvan Heerden
Erna Bodenstein has been instrumental both as an art teacher and artist exhibiting both locally and internationally. She is currently involved in two different exhibitions, one at edg2020 Gallery, themed “Persona”, which opened on 05 June and the other show “Five Female Narratives” at Johann van Herdens Art and Gallery in Pretoria which opened on 06 June.
For the “Persona” exhibition the artist states that her interpretation of this theme is multi-layered. In the array of works submitted for this exhibition at edg2020 there are two sets of a series of works done in ink on Fabriano paper. One set of six works depict babies, crawling, moving, ‘fleeing’ ‘migrating’ in different directions There are ‘white babies’ and ‘brown babies’. The second work is a digital print of a female figure, from the original ink drawing.
She states that the figure personifies the “Mother and at the same time the “Other”.
The work on show at Johann van Heerdens Art and Gallery are mostly cut-outs from her old etchings and stone lithographs, refigured into collages on paper with blind embossing added. She points out that the theme of Persona and Mother/Other and babies is similarly addressed in this exhibition as in the “ Persona” show at edg2020 and they refer back to a recurrent theme in her work going back quite a few years. The theme deals with her identity as a White (Afrikaans) “mother” raising “adopted” Black African children (for the past 24 years). Bodenstein posits that there are many dynamics regarding both the birth mother and the “adoptive” mother and that she previously focussed specifically on the youngest child and an identity of “acculturation”. In her practice Bodenstein has increasingly been merging the personal with the symbolic and more general layered metaphorical expression of her greater theme.
Short biographical note
Erna Bodenstein is a visual artist based in Tshwane/Pretoria. She has exhibited extensively both solo and in group exhibitions, locally and abroad. She studied at the University of Pretoria for both her BA (Fine Arts) and MA (Fine Arts) degrees. She is also an educator. She started her career at The University of Pretoria in 1981 right after graduation. She specialised in printmaking and drawing and later on in Conceptual art development. She has held part-time positions at a couple of art Institutions in Gauteng. She is currently teaching printmaking as a part-time lecturer at Tshwane University of Technology, Department of Fine and Applied Arts, Faculty of Design.
May has ended. There are a few snapshots that has stuck on my memory. One of them is the proposal that the organisers of Ellis House and August House put forward as a feature of the recent joint Studio Open Day. The idea of bartering artworks in exchange for services that artists may need to support their art practice such as administration, photography and transportation. By the afternoon there were already offers placed next to artworks that were part of the exchange project (See above insert). Excuse my ignorance, hopefully this becomes infectious and is picked-up by the upcoming open studio events that the art South African art world is yet to experience and becomes a norm. What is novel about the idea is that, given the uncertainties and financial stagnancy brought on by COVID-19 restrictions, it stimulates a new art collectors to enter the art market while simultaneously retaining the established ones.
Elsewhere, Setlamorago Mashilo, the artist whom I was introduced to in name only by a long time colleague of mine and later through his artistic output the black Millie’s resulting from, what I have come to think of as his breakthrough exposition Mabu a utswitswe. Against the Grain on at Everard Read Gallery util 19 June sees Bra Mash exploring the land as poetry in itself through drawings, paintings and sculptures. It is evident that the latter artistic expression is exploited for its traditional purposes of rendering tangible objects i.e. woods, stone, concrete and bronze into solids that mimics humans, animals, plants and, in the light of this exhibition, Millie’s and Afro Picks as conceptual tags. It is at these moments when the artist goes conceptual in this exhibition that bronze, as a solid vehicle, is deployed for conceptual foregrounding of the discourse inherent in Setlamorago Mashilo oeuvre. I enjoy his canvases. They give off a feeling of assuredness. It is with them that I am persuaded to think that he has reached the zenith of what he has been searching for in terms of style and concept. The works that makes up this exhibitioncan be seen as confrontational portraits of the very issue that will be inherited by our grandchildren. The land question.
Navel Seakamela's solo exhibition Reflect, will show at Kalashnikovv Gallery from 5 to 30 June. While Erna Bodenstein's work will show in two separate exhibitions that open this weekend, at edg2020 Gallery from 5 June and at the Johan van Heerden Art and Gallery opening on 6 June. On 2 June 2021, BKhz announced Sthenjwa Luthuli's Umthente Uhlaba Usamila as their next exhibition. This is timely considering that the space held a solo exhibition of Luthuli's peer, Wonder Buhle Mbambo, earlier this year. After existing in cyberspace for a while, Ilandi Bakrhuizen's show 'Make The Circle Bigger gets a physical iteration from 05 June at The Viewing Room Art Gallery at St Lorient.
04 June 2021 at 15:03
Their Humble Abode
The exhibition “Their Humble Abode” is a body of work that narrates the story of African children as they migrate from different places in search of better education. They leave their loved ones to settle for a certain duration at universities or other institutions, sometimes far away from home. The work is based on students’ faith, morals, mother tongues and teachings they have received. The exhibition includes paintings of the ark to symbolise how students walk together to the imaginary promised land and the greener pastures lying ahead of them.
The exhibition “Their Humble Abode” develops Shabangu’s previous works on the cityscape and Joburg Towers, which honoured all African children who migrated from different parts of the continent and are in other parts of the world. In this body of work, he travels through the continent in his mind, engaging with, for example, Goree Island in Senegal, Ethiopia, the Cape to Cairo stretch, etc, in honour of the African child who goes out to battle like a soldier.
Senzo Shabangu is represented by the Melrose Gallery. Please see https://themelrosegallery.com/artists/78-senzo-shabangu/overview/ for more of his work.
DATA lifted from the press release supplied by the artist on 25 May 2021.
SKIN, BONES, FIRE: The First Album
Winner of the Gerard Sekoto Award 2018, Philiswa Lila’s touring solo exhibition Skin, Bone, Fire: The First Album was cut short by lockdown as of late March 2020. At that time the show was on at Absa Art Gallery. A befitting setting for a body of work scheduled to caress various centres of our country as they carry Lila’s voice. The inevitable and necessary decision to plunge the country into Lockdown almost suffocated this exhibition into a faint memory, threatening to thwart the privilege to see the work that resulted from her three month residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts in 2019.
Fortunately the exhibition tour throughout the country has been revived. But as these efforts are put in place the public wait in bated breath as to whether the country will return to one of the harder levels of restrictions to curb the rising wave of COVID-19 infections. Until such an announcement is made Mme Lila can continue to look forward to a fascinating journey. I reached out to her on the eve of this momentous occasion that would see Skin, Bone, Fire: The First Chapter continue its tour. Starting off in Kwa-Zulu Natal, Durban Art Gallery, it will be there from 27 May to 25 July, then to Port-Elizabeth, Nelson Mandela University: August to September and lastly Stellenbosch, University of Stellenbosch: October to the end of November. Like her predecessors, it would be great if a date is factored-in for the show to come to Pretoria where the artist is based. Even if it is in 2022. It’s now acceptable that the world has lost a year and it is still making up for it.
But I have interrupted myself. Quite recently, having learned of the continuation of Lila’s solo exhibition, I reached-out to her. Curiously I asked her what it means to her to have her exhibition touring to various points in the country as originally scheduled? She pointed out that, the travelling exhibition is important to her because people will get to see and engage with her work. She highlighted that she liked the fact that two of the venues are within university settings. For her this meant young artists who are pursuing visual arts and students in other fields will have access to her work. However, with the COVID-19 regulations and people continuing to be infected daily, she was unsure how much of an impact these factors will have on the show going forward. She has accepted the uncertainty of what lies ahead and has let the exhibition have a life of its own. Faced with such bleakness I couldn’t help it but nod in agreement. It would be best to let it be.
To let it have its own run. It is anybody’s guess what this year holds for us, especially during this winter. There is no clear picture how things will pan out especially with the ensuing government deliberations on what measures to take to curb the rising next wave of infections. On an optimistic tone I asked her what it was that she was looking forward to as far as the various places where the exhibition is going to show are concerned. She exclaimed that she was excited about all the venues that the exhibition was scheduled to travel to. ‘I mean, how many artists – my contemporaries – get to have a travelling exhibition?’ she mused. She added that she was looking forward to the venue in the Eastern Cape, Gqeberha (previously named Port Elizabeth) and that she wished the exhibition could travel the whole of the Eastern Cape including her home in Nthabankulu a place she affectionately refers to as ‘pha elalini yam (at my village)’.
Philiswa Lila (b. 1988) is, the winner of the Gerard Sekoto Award 2018. Based in the city of Tshwane, she is a visual artist, curator and scholar fascinated by the socially relevant and timely issues of authorship and agency. She is interests are in memory histories and theories of personal identities. Lila works across disciplines like painting, installation and performance art, which includes the use of mediums such as animal skin (sheep, goat and cow), beading, wood, paper, photography, video and poetry.
26 May 2021
Archived 4 July 2021
You may explore April-May 2021 listing HERE