Archive: Issue No. 51, November 2001

Go to the current edition for SA art News, Reviews & Listings.

21.11.01 'Hero' - Brett Murray at Bell-Roberts Art Gallery
21.11.01 'In Transit' at the Cold Room
21.11.01 'Post' at the Bijou
21.11.01 Heineken 'iCuban Camp' Fashion Party
14.11.01 Gavin Elder at the Bell-Roberts Art Gallery
14.11.01 Screening and talk by Jean-Baptiste Decavele at the AVA
14.11.01 'Chafe' by Mark Wilby at the South African Museum
14.11.01 Jacques Fuller at the Sanlam Art Gallery
07.11.01 Patsy Groll and Joe Wolpe at the AVA
07.11.01 Shany van den Berg and Alex Hamilton at Bang the Gallery
07.11.01 Altus Pienaar at the Cold Room Gallery
31.10.01 Thupelo Work-in-Progress exhibition at the SANG Annex
31.10.01 Paul Edmunds at João Ferreira Fine Art
31.10.01 Unisa student exhibition at the Arts Association of Bellville
31.10.01 'African Metamorphosis' at the CAP Gallery
31.10.01 'Absolut Secret 6' at the AVA
31.10.01 BLAC seminar: 'Community Media and Arts'
31.10.01 Peter Moditsaotsile Thipe at DC Art
19.09.01 'Birds of a Feather' at the SA National Gallery

14.11.01 University of Stellenbosch student exhibition
03.10.01 Work from the Sasol Collection at the Sasol Art Museum

Brett Murray

'Hero' - Brett Murray

'Hero' - Brett Murray at Bell-Roberts Art Gallery

'Hero' is an appropriate title for this show by Brett Murray, recently named Standard Bank Young Artist for 2002. Murray has never been afraid to stir things up a bit, and this body of work once again crosses words with the political correctness which so irks him. This work - a series of bronzes, a video projection and his customary wall sculptures - takes to task such sacrosanct issues as nationalism, racism and religious intolerance. Murray also takes apart the myth of the "superhero".

Opening: November 28 at 6pm
Closing: December 22

Bell-Roberts Art Gallery, 199 Loop Street, Cape Town
Tel: (021) 422 1100
Fax: (021) 423 3135
Hours: Mon - Fri 8.30am - 5pm, Sat 10am - 1pm

In Transit

'In Transit'

'In Transit' at the Cold Room

'In Transit' is a group exhibition of photography by third-year students from the Ruth Prowse. The participants are Sean Candy, Lara Christian, Megan Jones, Sarah Nankin, Claire Sarembock, Paul Solomon and Marushka Stipinovich.

Opening: Wednesday November 28 at 6.30pm
Closing: December 28

The Cold Room Gallery, 143 Harrington Street, Cape Town
Tel: (021) 447 4183
Hours: Mon - Fri 8am - 5pm, Sat 8am - 1pm


The 'Post' flyer

'Post' at the Bijou

'Post' is a four-day festival, sponsored by Nescafé, of "film shortcuts, multimedia fall-out, new theatre, gonzo art, electro-kitsch dance workouts and spacey sci-fi beat mania that explores contemporary history in Cape Town". "Contemporary history" might be an oxymoron, but the rest sounds pretty exciting. In The Curve nightly, DJs will play alongside visuals, art and party decorations by the Daddy Buy Me a Pony bunch (Peet Pienaar, Heidi Petersen and Stacy Hardy), Andrew Putter, radarboy and other "dubious hipsters". Upstairs in the Projection Room there will be short films by Gareth Chisholm, garysh and others. Later Asqus will perform his "digitised forays into the abyss of sonic fiction". Dubious Milkeous, featuring members of Black Milk, will play a soundtrack to old erotic 16mm films. In the Aircon Room upstairs, various interactive multimedia installations and performances by the likes of Dror Eyal, Tamara Guhrs and Rikus Ferreira will be presented.

The Rooftop Theatre is host to two performances nightly. At 8pm Bangalore Torpedo, written by Jose Domingos and Rob van Vuuren, is performed with a soundtrack by James Webb (this piece will also play from December 5 to 8). At 10pm is I Know What You Did Last Summer - the "real life story of a collection of Cape Town's hip young thangs".

Tickets range in price from R50 for all events to R20 which excludes the plays. Booking is necessary (especially for the plays - only 100 seats are available) and tickets can be obtained from Mr Pickwicks (158 Long Street) or at the door on the night, or by phoning 426 4160.

Opening: Wednesday November 28 at 7.30pm
Closing: Saturday December 1

The Bijou, 178 Lower Main Road, Observatory, Cape Town
Tel: (021) 426 4160

iCuban Camp

'iCuban Camp'

Heineken 'iCuban Camp' Fashion Party

Suzy Bell's latest fashion event is called 'iCuban Camp' - "Think Carmen Miranda, stylish Cuban tartlets, funky Fedoras, bristly moustaches. We welcome all those Penelope Cruz, Jennifer Lopez, Antonio Banderas lookalikes. Honkeys of course will need fake tans, and everyone will be swimming about the night in fab florals ... flowers in the hair ... dressed insanely colourful and as delicious as a summer fruit!"

Cuban band Sambita play Latino grooves; drag cabaret queen, Club 55's beautiful Victoria Caballaire, opens the fashion show at 9pm with original Cape Town designer labels - Coppelia, icuba and Pwhoa with hair by Carlton Hair International. DJ Honey B plays later. Berlin East will show a short film and James Webb's 'thesexworks' (see Project) will be showcased as well. Tickets, of which only 250 are available, cost R50 at Scar (183 Long Street, Cape Town).

Sunday November 25 from 8pm

Restaurant 0932, 79 Main Road, Greenpoint, Cape Town
Tel: 082 897 8256

Gavin Elder

Gavin Elder
25 f.p.m invitation
Click to view mpeg [330K]

Gavin Elder at the Bell-Roberts Art Gallery

Cape Town-based filmmaker Gavin Elder presents a video projection entitled 25 f.p.m. at the Bell-Roberts for one week only.

Opening: Wednesday November 21 at 6.30pm
Closing: November 28

Bell-Roberts Art Gallery, 199 Loop Street, Cape Town
Tel: (021) 422 1100
Fax: (021) 423 3135
Hours: Mon - Fri 8.30am - 5pm, Sat 10am - 1pm

Screening and talk by Jean-Baptiste Decavele at the AVA

French video artist Jean-Baptiste Decavele is currently in residence at the Mark Coetzee Fine Art Cabinet for two months, and will be presenting an illustrated lecture on his work at the AVA on November 15. Born in Grenoble in 1961, Decavele works with representations of memory and effacement through video and photography. Since 1999 he has held solo exhibitions in Paris, Ivry sur Seine, Winnipeg, Toronto and Vancouver and has participated in video festivals and presentations in Rome and France. He received the Villa Medicis Hors les Murs award in 1999 for his video Nostalgie, la Demeurance et l'Icone and again in 2001 for Entre Ciel et Mer, Voyage Aide Memoire.

In this lecture Decavale will talk about his video Replis, made in 1999 and dealing with the concept of memory and lack thereof, presence and absence, while questioning issues of the gaze and of representation. The 26-minute video will be screened, followed by cheese and wine in the gallery sponsored by the Mark Coetzee Fine Art Cabinet. All welcome. Entry is free. RSVP on 424 7436 or e-mail

Thursday November 15 at 6pm

Association for Visual Arts, 35 Church Street, Cape Town
Tel: (021) 424 7436
Fax: (021) 423 2637
Hours: Mon - Fri 10am - 5pm, Sat 10am - 1pm

Mark Wilby

Mark Wilby

'Chafe' by Mark Wilby at the South African Museum

Mark Wilby of Nieu Bethesda's Ibis Art Centre presents 'Chafe', a project engaging with the "karretjie people" of the Karoo and the predicaments of museum presentation, in the Khoisan Room of the South African Museum.

Wilby writes: "Rootless, placeless, property-less, the so-called 'karretjie people' are the nomads or the gypsies of the Karoo. The image of the weary donkeys, the pneumatic tyres and the heap of family and belongings is an essential emblem, like the windmill, of those vast, parched plains. Like the gypsies of Europe, these nomads are viewed, on the one hand, as a romantic curiosity, and on the other, with scorn and suspicion. Early in 2001, I embarked on a visual art project aimed at trying to depict that ambiguity.

"The development of the 'Chafe' project coincided with a resurgence of concern and controversy regarding the San diorama at the South African Museum in Cape Town. The 'bushman' lifecasts were made in the early 1900s and in the 1950s they were displayed in the naturalistic setting of a diorama. According to the museum, this has been by far their most popular exhibit. However, recent criticisms have been levelled at the idealised, ahistorical and dehumanising nature of the exhibit, and the diorama was closed from view, amid much media debate, in April this year. ...

"As the project proceeded, I became aware of the rapid rate with which the karretjie lifestyle was being pressed out of existence by a dominant material society. And furthermore, I was forced to recognise the problems inherent in any attempt to depict the factors that supposedly differentiate one form of culture from another. Societies influence one another through a complex of agencies such as aspiration, frustration and aggression - hence the title of the project.

"A number of contemporary issues relating to the 'politics of presentation are apparent and common to the issue of the diorama and to the 'Chafe' project. ... As a consequence of these developments, the 'Chafe' undertaking has become increasingly concerned with the sites and signs of cultural intersection. In literal terms, this has centred on the town of Leeu-Gamka - approximately 400km from Cape Town and 75km from Beaufort West. Here, cargo trucks and freight trains intersect, at high speed, with the world of donkey carts at a physical and a metaphoric crossroads."

Until January 21


South African Museum, Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town
Tel: (021) 424 3330
Hours: Mon - Sun 10am - 5pm

Jacques Fuller

Jacques Fuller

Jacques Fuller at the Sanlam Art Gallery

Jacques Fuller has been working as a full-time sculptor in Bloemfontein for almost two decades. Being located in the centre of South Africa yet peripherally in the art world, his work has found little exposure. Although his works are present in several public and corporate collections, he is not yet widely recognised. His use of brass and satirical confrontational subject matter are, according to the gallery's curator, unique in the context of South African art. Accompanying the exhibition is a brochure, a CD-ROM and a fully illustrated catalogue.

Opening: November 20
Closing: January 11

Sanlam Art Gallery, 2 Strand Road, Bellville
Tel: (021) 947 3165
Fax: (021) 947 3838
Hours: Mon - Fri 9am - 4.45pm

Joe Wolpe

Joe Wolpe
18 Strand Street 1
Mixed media on card
8 x 12cm

Patsy Groll and Joe Wolpe at the AVA

The AVA is host to two first-time one-person exhibitions this month. Patsy Groll is showing ceramic paintings while veteran art dealer and painter Joe Wolpe is belatedly holding his first exhibition, a mini-retrospective.

Wolpe (born in Cape Town in 1922) is primarily known for the invaluable role he played in the promotion of art in South Africa as an art dealer. Wolpe began his career as a framer in his father's workshop, which he later inherited. Recognised for his slowly realised but superbly crafted frames, he gradually became involved in selling the works of many of the artists for whom he was framing. Thus started the Wolpe Gallery, which finally closed in 1964 when Wolpe became a full-time painter. As a dealer/consultant, Wolpe handled work by Chagall, Moore, Picasso, Braque, Vlaminck, Kitaj and Morandi among others. He also hosted exhibitions by Irma Stern, Cecil Higgs and Cecil Skotnes.

Wolpe's own work progressed intermittently at first, when he occasionally participated in group exhibitions in Cape Town. Working on a modest scale, in a multitude of media including found objects, Wolpe has tended to focus on abstraction in his paintings, concentrating on the subtle relationships between colour, form, shape and texture, often reworking his surfaces repeatedly. Wolpe's palette favours muted, understated colours with delicate tonal variations and an economy of line.

Patsy Groll, exhibiting in the long gallery, began her career after completing her studies at Michaelis. After a brief stint in advertising and package design, she began working in ceramics at Barbara Jackson's Studio and continues to do so still. Groll also produces painting, drawing and photography. She has participated in several group shows as well as a number of Thupelo workshops. Her multi-layered ceramic paintings, which are often fired several times, reveal her fascination with human connections and communications. Her works are subtle and delicate, revealing that intimacy of scale and mood is foremost in her intentions for this show.

Opening: November 12
Closing: December 1

Association for Visual Arts, 35 Church Street, Cape Town
Tel: (021) 424 7436
Fax: (021) 423 2637
Hours: Mon - Fri 10am - 5pm, Sat 10am - 1pm

Shany van den Berg and Alex Hamilton

Shany van den Berg and Alex Hamilton
'Soul Search'

Shany van den Berg and Alex Hamilton at Bang the Gallery

'Soul Search' by Alex Hamilton and Shany van den Berg explores new mediums and ideas for both these artists, who challenge each other to think and work outside their usual genres. The basic questions of where, when, who, what and why form the basis of their inquiry.

Opening: November 5
Closing: December 21

Bang the Gallery, 21 Pepper Street, Cape Town
Tel: (021) 422 1477
Hours: Mon - Fri 10am - 5pm, Sat 10am - 1pm

Altus Pienaar

Altus Pienaar
'Donker Horison'
Colour photograph

Altus Pienaar at the Cold Room Gallery

'Donker Horison' is a collection of photographs by Altus Pienaar taken in small Platteland communities. The photographs depict the bleak future faced by most of these small towns, such as Hofmeyr, where the Dutch Reformed Church provides the only sustainable interest.

Opening: October 25
Closing: November 25

The Cold Room Gallery, 143 Harrington Street, Cape Town
Tel: 083 253 8416
Hours: Mon - Fri 8am - 5pm, Sat 8am - 1pm

Thupelo Work-in-Progress exhibition at the SANG Annex

The latest Thupelo Workshop began on October 28 and ends on November 9. Twenty-one artists hailing from South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Germany, Holland, Finland and Sweden are taking part in the programme at the Trust Conference Centre near Malmesbury. These workshops are artist-initiated and are held to facilitate exchange, interaction and progress among the participants. The exhibition marks the end of the workshop, but is not so much about finished products as process.

Opening: Sunday November 11 at 12pm with Jill Trappler
Closing: November 18

Annex, South African National Gallery, Hatfield Street, Gardens
Tel: (021) 447 9699

Paul Edmunds Paul Edmunds
Polystyrene cups

Paul Edmunds at João Ferreira Fine Art

'Houding' is a series of new works by Cape Town-based artist Paul Edmunds. Edmunds' work is characterised by an unconventional use of material and the cumulative processes he employs in the construction of his objects. Edmunds has exhibited regularly around South Africa for the past 10 years and last held a one-person show at the Mark Coetzee Fine Art Gallery in 1999. His works feature in many private, public and corporate collections.

Opening: Wednesday November 7 at 6pm
Closing: December 1


João Ferreira Fine Art, 80 Hout Street, Cape Town
Tel: (021) 423-5403 or 082 490-2977
Fax: (021) 423-2136
Hours: Tue - Fri 10am - 6pm, Sat 10am - 2pm

Barbara Voss

Barbara Voss
Robben Island - Our University

Unisa student exhibition at the Arts Association of Bellville

A group of senior undergraduate visual art students from Unisa are holding their final exhibition at the Arts Association of Bellville. Barbara Voss, Judy Moolenschot, Annemarie Bester, Barbara Wildenboer, Becky Jones and Esther Surdut will show their work in various media.

Opening: Wednesday November 7 at 7.30pm with Unisa lecturer Koos van der Watt
Closing: November 29

Arts Association of Bellville, Library Centre, Carel van Aswegen Street, Bellville
Tel: (021) 918 2301/2287
Fax: (021) 918 2083
Hours: Mon - Fri 8am - 8pm, Sat 9am - 5pm

'African Metamorphosis' at the CAP Gallery

'African Metamorphosis' is the culmination of a year-long examination of change, constancy, tradition and technology in a modern African context. Featured are paintings, sculpture, drawings and prints by 12 artists from the Community Arts Project's Advanced Visual Art Programme. CAP has been a vital part of the arts and culture landscape of Cape Town since 1977, teaching visual and performing arts to talented young adults from all backgrounds. A portion of the proceeds from 'African Metamorphosis' will go toward helping CAP continue to provide full-access education in the arts.

Opening: Wednesday November 7 at 5pm
Closing: November 23

The CAP graduation ceremony and performance takes place at the Baxter Theatre on November 9. Visual art graduates' work will be on display for the entire week in the Baxter Gallery. Seating is limited, so please contact CAP for details.

Community Arts Project, Sir Lowry Road, Cape Town
Tel: (021) 465 3689

'Absolut Secret 6' at the AVA

The 'Absolut Secret' fundraising event enters its sixth year. Each year, artists selected by the AVA committee are asked to produce work on a standard format, often incorporating the Absolut Vodka brand or logo. These are anonymously auctioned off for a standard price, proceeds going to the AVA's Artreach programme. This funds art materials, studio rentals as well as various projects and exhibitions for deserving and less privileged South African artists. If you're lucky, you can pick up a work by a well-known artist at a pretty low price.

Opening: Monday November 5 at 6pm
Closing: November 10

Association for Visual Arts, 35 Church Street, Cape Town
Tel: (021) 424 7436
Fax: (021) 423 2637
Hours: Mon - Fri 10am - 5pm, Sat 10am - 1pm

BLAC seminar: 'Community Media and Arts'

The last seminar in the BLAC series is titled 'The Community in Community Media and Arts'. Community arts and media have, in the South African context, been seen as black-related through their connection with the anti-apartheid movement and discourses of marginalisation. This session will examine other community arts and media methodologies - especially those from Australia, the United Kingdom and Canada - and contrast them with Southern African ideas and developments. The session will be done in partnership with Culture Zone, a conglomerate of projects in Cape Town, including the Community Arts Project (CAP), Mediaworks and Community Video Education Trust (CVET). This last session will see the launch of the 'Returning the Gaze' catalogue which has been supported by Pro Helvetia.

Tuesday November 4, 5.30pm - 7.30pm

District Six Museum, Buitenkant Street, Cape Town
Tel: 083 530 1912 (Zayd Minty)

Peter Moditsaotsile Thipe at DC Art

Nicknamed Hube, Peter Moditsaotsile Thipe is a self-taught artist from Moruleng village near the Pilansberg. He arrived in Cape Town in January 2000 with no job, and decided there and then to pursue a career as an artist having previously participated in a number of exhibitions in the North West Province. His exhibition, titled 'African Wonders', honours the continent of Africa. Hube's sculptures and paintings explore the nature of both humans and animals and attempt to show how humans can learn from their animal counterparts.

Opening: October 29
Closing: November 24

DC Art, Riebeeck Square, cnr Bree and Church Streets, Cape Town
Tel: (021) 423 6939
Fax: (021) 422 1768
Hours: Mon - Fri 10am - 5pm, Sat 10am - 1pm

Lallitha Jawahirilal

Lallitha Jawahirilal
Untitled (detail)
c 1990
Gouache and mixed media

'Birds of a Feather' at the SA National Gallery

'Birds of a Feather' draws on the diverse collections of Iziko Museums of Cape Town to explore the world of birds - how they have fascinated artists, scientists, writers, ornithologists and musicians, and inspired works of art in which they feature as realistic images, objects of beauty and mystery, and symbols of another world. The exhibits range from stuffed birds to sculpted forms in different media, African masks to Meissen porcelain, decorative objets to paintings and drawings, and even live owls in the atrium. Cross-references are also made to other museums such as the Slave Lodge and the South African Museum. Jill Joubert, of the Frank Joubert Art and Design Centre, will lead an education and creative project for learners. Artworks produced will be exhibited in the Annexe Gallery, to be opened on December 8 at 11.30am by Minister of Education Kader Asmal.

Opening: September 24 at 12.30 for 1pm
The exhibition will remain on view until early next year

South African National Gallery, Government Avenue, Company Gardens, Cape Town
Tel: (021) 465 1628
Fax: (021) 461 0045
Hours: Tues - Sun 10am - 5pm


University of Stellenbosch student exhibition

The Department of Fine Arts at the University of Stellenbosch is holding its annual year-end exhibition. Last year's event was called 'Section 53' and the students have decided to repeat the title this year, starting things off with a DJ, bar and food stalls on the opening night. The exhibition mainly comprises work by fourth-year students in fine art, jewellery and graphic design, but selected work from younger students will also be shown.

Opening: Friday November 23 at 6pm. The work will also be on view from 10am to 5pm on Saturday November 24 and Sunday November 25

Department of Fine Arts, Victoria Street, Stellenbosch
Tel: (021) 808 3052

Walter Oltmann

Walter Oltmann
195 x 85cm

Work from the Sasol Collection at the Sasol Art Museum

The Sasol corporate collection covers the changing conditions and environment of South Africa from 1991 to the present. The collection focuses not on so-called "resistance art" but more on how many artists, especially younger ones, have explored their personal and cultural identity as well as the freedom to work with new media and materials.

The exhibition presents a selection of work from the collection, largely sculpture and painting but also some video and multi-media work. Artists include Willie Bester, Kevin Brand, Durant Sihlali, Christine Dixie, Paul Edmunds, Diane Victor, Norman Catherine, Walter Oltmann, Joachim Schönfeldt, David Koloane and Sam Nhlengethwa.

Opening: Wednesday October 3 at 6.30pm with Sasol CEO Pieter Cox
Closing: December 2


Sasol Art Museum, 52 Ryneveld Street, Stellenbosch
Tel: (021) 808 3524
Fax: (021) 808 3669
Hours: Tues - Fri 9am - 4pm, Sat 9am - 5pm, Sun 2pm - 5pm