Artistic exuberance

2009-11-05 00:00

ARTIST and gallery owner Mark G is throwing open the doors of his home in Mayor’s Walk for an exhibition, titled Art in the Home, Art in the Garden, on November 7 and November 8.

Regular visitors to the exhibitions at Abadwebi Studios will know that you can wander among art displays in the garden, but this year, for the first time, Mark G has opened up his home as well.

Every surface and wall in every room is covered with examples of this prolific artist’s work, which ranges from ceramics to paintings and etchings, all with a strong focus on fantasy and the male body.

In an interview with Matthew le Cordeur, published in The Witness’s Life magazine in March 2007, he explained why he had chosen to concentrate on male nudes: “In your stereotypical film, a woman will get out of bed completely naked, whereas the man will cover himself up with a sheet. It’s the male ego that has dictated this. The male body is as good as the female body — why hide it?”

As for why he has chosen to show his work in his home, rather than at a gallery, he says: “A lot of my art is pottery and fragile. It’s difficult to take it to other galleries, so it’s just easier for me to make it and sell it on site — and having my own gallery space means I can give my students exposure as well.”

He currently teaches some 20 students twice a week. “I can’t do more than that as I wouldn’t have time to do my own work and I need to be able to create,” Mark G says.

During the two-day exhibition, visitors will be able to view Mark G’s work, alongside that of artists such as Angela Rivet Carnac, Dennis Hennings, Hein, Pat Bellis, Jabulani and Judy Parle.

All the work on show — which includes paintings, ceramics, pottery, glass slumping and beadwork — will be on sale, and 10% of the sales (as well as the R5 entry fee) will be donated to Tape Aids for the Blind.

Karen Rosenberg, Pietermaritzburg branch manager for Tape Aids, said that thanks to the money raised from exhibitions at Abadwebi Studios in the last two years, the charity has been able to pay for two audio books to be made. Both these books are now available at the Tape Aids library, which holds some 35 000 titles for South Africans who are unable to read printed works.

The charity will also be staffing an information and sales table during the exhibition, at which visitors can buy Lions’ Christmas cakes and Christmas cards.

Other attractions include lunches and refreshments, a pottery demonstration and the chance to walk around the fascinating garden, where, if you’re lucky, you might see one of the resident tortoises.


• Art in the Home, Art in the Garden takes place at Abadwebi Studios at 27 Mayors Walk, Pietermaritzburg, from 10 am to 4 pm on November 7 and 8. Inquiries: Mark at 082 842 2657. Please note: interested people are welcome to visit the gallery, by appointment, after the exhibition.

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