Matric art

2010-05-13 00:00

THIS year’s KwaZulu-Natal matric art exhibition at the Tatham Art Gallery in Pietermaritzburg has a more local flavour. Only works created by pupils at schools in the city and the midlands have been selected for the exhibition in the main gallery.

Thulani Makhaye, an education officer at the gallery in Chief Albert Luthuli (Commercial) Street, explained that they had invited all government and independent schools in the midlands which offer art as a matric subject to submit works, from which the paintings and installations on show were selected. Between 100 and 150 works were submitted.

One of the interesting new additions to the exhibition are examples of pupils’ visual diaries.

“Pupils from Grade 10 to matric have to document their thought processes in a diary. Most schools mark this work and the pupils themselves also evaluate their work and give themselves marks,” Makhaye explained. “These diaries reflect the growth of the pupils.”

The works on show at the Tatham show a remarkable maturity and range from still-life paintings in oils to charcoal and pencil drawings and mixed-media work.

There is also a section devoted to experimental work.

“These works are out of the box and are not expected of matric pupils,” Makhaye said. Having viewed them myself, I couldn’t agree more. They are deeply thought provoking.

The pupils whose works are being exhibited are either current matrics or last year’s matrics from Hilton College, Howick High School, The Wykeham Collegiate, Pietermaritzburg Girls’ High School, Epworth, Maritzburg Christian School, Russell High School, Maritzburg College, Michaelhouse, St Anne’s, Grace College and Carter High School.

“What the work is showing us is that pupils are showing through their work the things in society which are affecting young people,” Makhaye said. “It shows how art can be developed from an early age and those taking part have the added kudos of knowing that their work has been shown in the Tatham.”

The exhibition runs until May 23.

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