Fine art in the spotlight

2010-03-23 00:00

FINE art lovers are spoilt for choice in Durban this week with several new exhibitions launching.

At the KwaZulu-Natal South African (KZNSA) Gallery in Bulwer Road, no fewer than five new exhibitions open tomorrow. They include Deborah­ Poynton’s Everything Matters­, which follows the artist’s first solo show in the United States last year at the Savannah College of Art and Design’s galleries in Savannah and Atlanta, Georgia, and a solo exhibition at Michael Stevenson in Cape Town, also in 2009.

The exhibition at the KZNSA will comprise large-scale paintings from her Everything Matters series, as well as her new series titled Arcadia.

In her exhibition No Closer to the Truth painter Mary Wafer presents two new series — small and intimate portraits and still lifes of mercenaries and gun nuts and their weapon collections and kit, and a second series that investigates Durban architecture and the harbour.

The third artist showing work at the gallery is Marc Shoul. For more than a century Johannesburg has been a beacon for people from all over the world, offering the promise of a better life. Flatlands focuses on a contemporary Johannesburg inner city. The work documents people who have moved there — refugees searching for gold in one form or another.

Pro Helvetia Cape Town, the Swiss Arts Council, presents Nomadic Structures, a collaborative project by two Swiss artists — visual artist Kerim­ Seiler and dancer-choreographer Gregor Metzger — that will be installed in various urban and rural locations in South Africa this month and in April. Nomadic Structures is a travelling, mobile, public art project and features Pneuma Somnambul (or Restless Spirit) — a sculpture made up of a number of tetrahedron-shaped cells and decorated with colourful­ fluorescent lights that blink at a slow pace. For the artists the main goal is to present the sculpture Pneuma­ Somnambul in as many locations­ as possible.

The final new exhibition is Avant Car Guard: Gif, a DVD installation of the work titled Gif. Avant Car Guard is a Johannesburg-based three-member visual art collective, comprising of Zander Blom, Jan-Henri Booyens and Michael MacGarry (winner of the 2010 Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Visual Arts), who exhibit and author as a single artist.

All the exhibitions close on April 17. Inquiries: 031 277 1705.

Over at the African Art Centre in Florida Road, there is an exhibition showcasing the work of award-winning woodcarvers Sibusiso Gumede and Themba Khumalo, second and third-place winners of the Craft Ya Rona­ competition, a national competition hosted in each of the provinces as a way of stimulating the crafts by the Department of Arts and Culture.

Gumede, who was born in 1979 in Manguzi in northern KwaZulu-Natal, started carving spoons and sticks at the age of eight. Each piece is individually designed, superbly handcrafted and is unique.

Khumalo was born in the Simon Area­ of Ingwavuma. He was introduced to and skilled in woodcarving by his brother Timothy Mlambo. He carves animals and insects in wood and paints them in bright colours­.

Both artists have participated in exhibitions­ in South Africa and in London­.

Carl Roberts, chairman of the African­ Art Centre, will open the exhibition on March 24 at 5.30 pm.

Inquiries: Sharon Crampton at 031 312 3805.

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