12 reasons to visit KZNSA

2010-05-01 00:00

TWELVE stylistically diverse artists — who participated in the KwaZulu-Natal Society of Arts (KZNSA) Gallery professional practice course — are currently showing their work at the Glenwood gallery.

The exhibition, aptly named “Twelve”, is made up of 11 female painters and one male fashion designer. All the artworks draw on unique themes and are the end results of an intensive three-month course at the KZNSA.

Joel Janse van Vuuren, a 25-year-old fashion designer from Durban, has seven garments on display. He said that the course afforded him the chance to “learn about the industry, how to research artworks effectively and how to sell your own art”, and that building his body of work has allowed him to develop his own style and actively engage in an intense creative space.

“I have used the course as a platform to build a new collection and develop my creativity. I have learnt new skills while also being given the chance to get my name out there,” he said.

And although this will boost his career, Janse van Vuuren said that the exhibition will not be the sole reason for his name to become recognised in the art world: “With any creative career in South Africa I don’t think one showing will kick- start your career, but it will be a stepping stone in the right direction.”

Commenting on his garments, which will be on sale, he said the pieces were created to be as abstract as possible.

“I made inkblots on a piece of paper and then transformed them into fashion illustrations. The ink blots became fashion silhouettes when I added the body to the shapes,” he said.

Janse van Vuuren used the patterns to design garments that are made from Dutch wax fabrics that he then bleached until only a hint of the pattern was left. “I then reworked the fabric, redying sections, adding screen prints and doing hand work like beading onto them,” he explained.

• The exhibition can be seen at the KZNSA Gallery in Glenwood, Durban, until May 2. Please note: there will also be an artists’ walkabout at 11 am tomorrow.

• Also at the gallery are two installations by James Webb — Le Marché Oriental (2008, Cinema Space), which documents a two-minute intervention inside Cape Town’s disused Oriental Plaza, an apartheid-era shopping mall designed to control Indian trade, and Ost (2009, Park Gallery, KZNSA), an audio recording of Auferstanden aus Ruinen, the national anthem of the late Deutsche Demokratische Republik, sung a cappella by a lifelong East German resident within the defunct studio hall of the former party radio station in Nalepastrasse, Berlin.

Both of these works use voice and religious-political song to activate once-relevant but now obsolete spaces. Together they probe the way society deals with its history and present through its relationship to architecture, belief and memorials. The exhibition ends tomorrow.

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