Exhibition of paintings of ‘our heritage’

2009-08-25 00:00

MARITZBURG’S historic buildings — including Harwin’s Arcade and the Colonial Building, which were both ravaged by fires recently — have been captured for posterity on canvas by painter Nick Pharazyn.

The paintings are on exhibition outside the offices of Pietermaritzburg Tourism in the Liberty Midlands Mall this week.

Pharazyn arrived in Pietermaritzburg in August 1964 at the age of 11, and was educated in and around the city.

An architect by trade, his love for old buildings started in London where he had a job as a floor cleaner at the Victoria and Albert Museum. “I was surrounded every day by wonderful paintings by the Masters (Constable, Turner, Monet, Manet, etc) and over time, this love for art developed into a passion,” he explains.

After living in London and Johannesburg, Pharazyn returned to Pietermaritzburg in May 1986, working for various architectural practices.

He also began drawing sketches and making watercolour paintings of buildings in Pietermaritzburg and the surrounds in the mid-nineties. His reasons for doing so were prompted by sadness at the urban decay which is affecting the beautiful old monuments.

“I want to use my artwork to highlight and support their conservation,” he says, adding that his life-time passion is to create works of beautiful and historical buildings located throughout the country, province by province, and at the same time write historical books on each province, backing up the relevant paintings.

The Nick Pharazyn exhibition, titled Our Heritage, can be seen from today until August 27. It follows a private exhibition at Crossways Country Pub on August 12 after which he was commissioned to do paintings by local business people.

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