I grew up in South Africa, where I completed a BA Fine Art. I majored in Classics, Drawing, History of Art and Printmaking.
I completed a MA Printmaking from Camberwell College of Art in 2004, following which I set up a printmaking studio in Walthamstow.
Printmaking is my primary medium, and my subject matter is personal and expressive in response to things that is important to me and have impacted my life and those whom I care about, and which are often referred to as the ‘human condition’, things like birth, death, illness. I am particularly interested in myths, legends and folktales and how they manifest and cross boundaries – the way in which they help to make sense of history retelling the same things in different ways. My links to Africa are the foundation of most of my work, and having completed a year of Archeology through University of South Africa and had a taste of anthropology and four years of Classics, I am fascinated by the similarities in stories and cultural artefacts and different people’s spirituality.
My work is about exploring the magic of and retelling stories through my personal mythology in a world that seems to have buried and is in conflict with the archetypal and awe-inspiring truth that has haunted our existence through the ages and is dealt with in stories, folktales, myths and legends – all of which still resonate with us today. Printmaking is a means to an end in my work…the moment of truth and magical elements that are beyond our control are what excite me in my quest to make great art. Many of my pieces are one offs and I often use mediums that bring an element of chance and originality to pieces. This sometimes means that works are not editioned and are signed as artists proofs, left as open editions , signed as unique or are printed as variable editions with marked variations between individual pieces. The essence of the printing I do is in the choices and time that goes into each print, the mastery in each nuance of the technique. I use a combination or traditional printmaking techniques primarily etching with acid, dry point, aquatint, linocut, woodcut, wood engraving, screen-printing and collograph.
Mbenge – amaholozi woodcut based on Zulu Mbenge which are Zulu beer coverings made of bright colourful designs in South Africa – my house is filled with them and they hold a special significance in Zulu mythology as the beer Umqombothi is used to give thanks to the is directly linked to the amadlozi or ancestors.
Eloff Pretorius is an MAFA candidate studying at the University of KwaZulu Natal. His works have been exhibited in group exhibitions at the KZNSA Gallery, the Jack Heath Gallery, and The Tatham Art Gallery. This is the artists’ first solo exhibition, comprised of etchings and silkscreen prints from 2015-2017 with embossing and chine-collé.
The prints on display explore the artists’ relationship to the South African Landscape. The use of maps predating 1994 reference the division of land and segregation of space which was used to divide wealth and opportunity along racial lines. As a descendant of the beneficiaries of this land, the artist reflects on the divisive and disempowering policies of the National Party that continue to haunt the South African people. The legacy of Afrikaner leaders roam the land like ghosts, their searing presence felt by the landless and ignored by the privileged. The use of chine-collé to create portraits explores the artist own heritage, having been shaped by the wealth derived from land. Through etching the artist evokes a memory of these segregated spaces buried in our bones. Through division we have imprinted on this land a generational history of access and deprivation and the land in turn has made ours a society of economic disparity.
Micah has been dancing since the age of 11 when she joined Pietermaritzburg’s first belly dance studio, Raqs Sharqi Dance Company (RSDC) in 2003.
She has since taken numerous workshops and classes with world-renowned dancers, choreographers and musicians including travelling to Egypt, Europe and the USA for festival workshops and performance opportunities. In May 2015, she was crowned Miss Belly Dance South Africa!
In 2016, Micah toured 29 Chinese cities performing in the ensemble of Los Angeles-based Bellydance Evolution's 'Alice in Wonderland'. Micah enjoys blending Middle Eastern and folkloric dance with contemporary movement and costumes and is often inspired by music, books, movies and life experiences. She currently teaches weekly classes in Pietermaritzburg for RSDC.
Born in Cape Town and presently living in Pietermaritzburg Andrea showed artistic talent from a very young age, with her father her first art teacher. While attending art classes at “Val Maggs’ Art School” in Pietermaritzburg in 2015 and 2016 she submitted works for ‘The FOTAG Fabulous Picture Show’ at the Tatham Art Gallery. She won 1st prize in the Rhino Art competition, in the Scout division, at the 2015 Scout Rhino Shout Out in Howick. Andrea has undertaken commissions for ‘The Book People’ in Cape Town and private collectors.
Working in inks, Andrea enjoys drawing the female form which is depicted in soft flowing lines, embellished with intricate detail reminiscent of some of the works of Aubrey Beardsley. Andrea is passionate about singing, drama, photography, dance and Guides. At 4 years old she made her solo singing debut and has performed in school choirs, school and youth productions. She has recorded songs- one is on a CD her father recorded.
Background: I am a self-taught artist and loved drawing and painting as a child. I attended University of Natal and studied Bachelor of Fine Arts degree which I did not complete due to financial reasons.
Due to a few inspirational friends and family members in January 2007 I became interested in painting again. I am extremely grateful to those individuals for believing in me and enlarging my vision and purpose. From July 2007 I went through a broken marriage where I have now realized the importance of pursuing and believing in one’s dreams, no matter how small one thinks they may be, and I say thank you for the good and the bad, as it brought me to another place in my life.
It is my life experiences that inspire me, the way I feel - be it happiness, joy, sadness or divine intervention on a spiritual level. All my works are in oil and I also enjoy creating textured surfaces using palette knives or even my hands.
My passion is painting Angels, Feathers and Native American Mythology. I am greatly drawn to and believe in these spiritual beings due to the personal experiences which I have experienced. …..“Angels are always there, even when you think the rest of the world has gone away.”
I have exhibited with the Highway Art Clun and at the Durban North Italian Club and paint commissions. My motto “We are all Angels; it’s what we do with our wings that make us different…”
Facebook Page: We’ll sing in the Sunshine @chansemblem
Born on the South Coast Sandra grew up in the Midlands. She completed her National Diploma in Fine Art at the Durban School of Art and studied sculpture at the Kuns Akademie in Haarlem Holland. She immigrated to Zimbabwe where she exhibited at Rhodes National Gallery, Harare. On her return to South Africa she joined the Cape Performing Arts as a set designer and painter. She exhibited her sculptures and paintings at Joe Wolpe Gallery and Artscene in Cape Town. Sandra obtained a Higher Diploma in Education and taught art at a number of schools in the Cape.
She returned to Richmond a few years ago where she taught art at Care Ways School. She developed a passion for decorating calabashes that allowed her to combine her painting and sculpting abilities. She was a member of the Howick Arts Society. Sandra’s legacy to Pietermaritzburg is that as a young graduate she was commissioned to undertake the semi-relief fossil mural at the Natal Science Museum in Loop Street.
Sadly in March 2017 Sandra was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died within two weeks. This exhibition, at the request of her family, will showcase her work.
Born in Belgium in 1945 she immigrated to the Congo and spent her formative years enjoying the freedom that was Africa. At sixteen she returned to Belgium and studied nursing, as her parents did not want her to only be an artist. Having married she returned to the Congo only to be forced to flee shortly thereafter. With two small children and not much more than their clothes, they journeyed to SA.
Christiane has lived in and around Pietermaritzburg for a number of years where she farmed rabbits. She pursued her artistic passion under the tutelage of Val Maggs. Christiane is well known in the KZN art scene as a regular exhibitor at Art in the Park, Pmb Garden Show and the Hilton Arts Festival.
Chris Morewood emigrated to South Africa from the UK in the late 40’s and matriculated at Harward High School in Maritzburg. He joined the staff of the University of Natal where he trained as a Scientific Instrument Maker whilst studying mechanical, electrical and electronic engineering at Technikon, the CSIR in Pretoria and in industry.
Since his retirement in 2001 he consults, designs and manufactures research equipment for various industries, businesses, municipalities and government bodies and undertakes the repair and restoration of antique clocks, small pieces of antique furniture and objets d’art. His relaxation activity is mainly woodturning finding material in gardens and cities.
Chris recognizes that with inspiration, experience and skill, timber can be transformed into a pure art form or an article with a pleasing form and utilitarian function.
Married to Denyse who trained as a biology teacher. We have 3 children…. Our eldest son owns the company SYBARIS in Knysna, designing and manufacturing bespoke furniture for his clients in the Plet, Knysna, George, Capetown and Camps Bay areas. Our daughter, (PhD, Cambridge), was the Senior Manager of Microsoft Ireland but died tragically from an aneurism in 2012. Our youngest son owns PYGA Industries in Maritzburg. He designs and manufactures full suspension Carbon Fibre Mountain bikes which are exported to 5 countries.
Through my years of training and experience at University and extramurally, I have gained a wide knowledge and experience in many industrial processes including radio communication, electronics, jewellery manufacture and repair, horology, refrigeration, metallurgy, injection moulding, tool and die making and woodwork.
I have had a deep interest in collecting, repairing and restoring antique clocks for over 50 years and provide a professional service to dealers and private clients across South Africa and overseas.
I have been President of the Midlands Antiquarian Society for many years and have given talks on subjects including Antiquarian Horology, The Public Clocks of Pietermaritzburg, Paperweights, Hallmarked Silver, Pewter, Pearls, Diamonds, Antique jewellery etc, to many people and societies. Have conducted several introductory and advanced training courses in the professional techniques of jewellery manufacture.
My free time relaxation activity is mainly woodturning. South Africa has such a wealth of superb timber species which added to the exotic timber species growing all around us in our gardens and cities provides me and my fellow woodturners with a huge variety of suitable material.
With inspiration, experience and skill, pieces of timber can be transformed into either a pure art form or an article with a pleasing form and utilitarian function. Colour, shape and texture play an infinite role in the appearance and function of an article. With skill and practice, wood can be turned into either a heavy and substantial or a super thin light piece.
Ockert Kruger moved to Pietermaritzburg in 1976 and completed a BA degree with painting and drawing as major subjects at the University of Natal in 1979. From 1983 he worked in the field of Information Technology until 2005 when he decided to make art the main focus of his life. His other passion is dancing which is embodied in his work “Rhumba” currently on this exhibition.
For Ocky art should have meaning, conceptual rigor or emotive value. Art should touch our lives in some way on a conscious or subconscious level and it does not have to be pretty. An artist should have empathy with his subject, become one with it and express it well. If this is achieved one discovers the new and as yet unknown. It is at that point when a new world opens for both the artist and the viewer.
Our octogenarian has lived in Winterskloof in excess of 30 years and is well known in the Midlands art scene for her work in many artistic media. Her interest in the mystical path and alternative healing led her to undertake 21 trips to India where she acquired the gemstones, which she works into necklaces using the different healing properties of the stones. Her colourful paintings are in mixed media and draw inspiration from her travel and beliefs.
THE MARK GROUP
MARK is a group of five artists, namely Moray Comrie, Annette McMaster, Sue Physick, Penny Forder and Ockert Kruger who, some 15 years ago, decided to pool their resources and employ models to make figure studies from life. They still meet weekly, and at fortnightly sessions are joined by other local artists.
They have exhibited twice before as the MARK group, in the Midlands Arts and Crafts Society’s Café Gallery and the Schreiner Room at Pietermaritzburg's Tatham Art Gallery. The members have exhibited individually and with other groups in South Africa and overseas.
With this exhibition the members each have his/her own reasons for participating- from making drawings that stand as interesting pieces in their own right, to using these studies as a basis for more developed works in a variety of media.
MORAY COMRIE is a founder member of the Mark group and previously chaired the Executive Committee of the Midlands Arts and Crafts Society. Moray’s work has been included in several group exhibitions and he has had a solo exhibition of drawings in the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Jack Heath Gallery. Regarding the work on this exhibition, he has this to say: “Drawing is my strength, and the human figure my favourite subject. I want the images I make to be appealing to the eye and the mind. There is plenty of ugliness in the world. Some artists reflect on that; I don’t. I look for beauty, and for me the human body, especially the female body, is extraordinarily beautiful”.
Tattoo artist Kevin Brown, started tattooing in 1972 when it was considered a “secret art”, with few artists and no one locally prepared to train him. He was extremely fortunate to serve an apprentice under the late Terry Wrigley in his world famous studio in Glasgow and travelled with him through the UK and USA meeting the great tattoo artists of the day.
Kevin always said that if he ever retired one day, he’d like to try his hand at painting. So in 2006, after pushing ink into people’s skins for thirty-four years, he started applying oils to canvas. He wasn’t quite sure what style to adopt, so he decided to just continue doing what he knew best … tattoo designs; simple, bold outlines with colour. After displaying a few of his pieces in his tattoo studio, he was surprised when people actually liked and bought some of them.
Kevin still tattoos today from a studio, Kevin’s Kustom Tattoos in Waterfall. He prefers to work on skin rather than canvas. The problem with that medium is if a mistake is made on canvas, it can be fixed with another layer of paint. If a mistake is made while tattooing, it’s there forever.
Cindy started her love affair with oil paints at the age of four and has never stopped painting. Currently working out of her studio/gallery in an old mill in Rosetta she paints nature, people and animals. But insists the subject matter “speaks to her” before she will paint it. Lately she is experimenting with the canvass and has recently painted on an elephant’s ear which prompted her to create canvass from cement and hessian on wire on which she paints the cows.
Education: 2014 BA Visual Arts Unisa
Internationally acclaimed sculptor in wood, coral and bronze.
Academic Achievements: 1993 - Rhodes University, Master of Fine Arts.
Public Collections: Durban Art Gallery, Tatham Art Gallery, Pretoria Art Museum, Natal Provincial Administration Collection, Rhodes University Collection, Natal Technikon Collection, Ann Bryant Art Gallery, ABSA Bank, Oliewenhuis Art Gallery.
Exhibitions: I have participated in many exhibitions (100+) nationally and in a number of international exhibitions. I have had Four solo exhibitions, Bonisa Gallery in 2004 and 2006, Gallery on the Square in 2007 and Art Eye in 2013. As an artist I always have many works in a number of galleries.
"I work like the automatic artist of the Surrealist movement in that I trust my subconscious to generate ideas. The emphasis is on “magic, accident, irrational, symbols and dreams”. Like the Rorschach (ink blot) test, the material often suggests images and sometimes presents them in an unusual way. The image made depends ultimately upon what lies in the subconscious, elements of chance and the spirit of the times."
Wood is a most precious resource. Visually and architecturally, it has much to offer. It is my mission to highlight these qualities with the due respect wood deserves. Box making is, for me, the optimal way to do this. It is also my hope to influence others in gaining an appreciation for wood, and of course, beautiful wooden boxes. A box is a lifelong companion, dutifully guarding over one’s most precious oddities, or owned for its beauty alone. I practise my craft in a one-man workshop in the rural Heidelberg Valley near White River, a mere 40 kilometres from the Kruger National Park. After having completed many furniture commissions I was fortunate enough to have stumbled into box making and have never looked back. All non-commission boxes do not have standard sizes. The available wood on hand determines the final proportions and look of the boxes, along with a little manipulation from my side, of course… Wood is acquired from reputable sources. I do not encourage irresponsible harvesting of trees and will also recycle wood whenever possible.
Established in 1975 by Creina and Neil Alcock the NPO is based in Msinga and conducts a number of projects including the ethnic jewellery and wire work. Working with glass beads, grass and metal their pieces are marketed nationally and internationally and include amongst their clients Sir Elton John, Yves Saint Laurent and Jacqueline Bisset. The 150 crafters work from their homesteads using traditional methods. The Threads of Africa project saw Mdukatshani working in collaboration with Julia Meintjies to produce bowls woven from 18ct gold and different coloured copper thread. Each bowl is housed in a wooden box made in indigenous timber by Marcus Kruger.
Winston lives in Pietermaritzburg and began turning in 1998 after his interest was aroused whilst watching a Woodturner turning a thin walled bowl at a woodwork festival in Durban. He was so inspired that he bought a Record DML lathe that was on special there, and was off on an exciting woodturning adventure.
Winston is self-taught having learned mostly by watching woodturning videos borrowed from the local library, especially those of John Jordan. The late Bert Marsh was another turner whose work strongly influenced him.
After a few years the DML lathe was too small and limited and he graduated to a Record C3 and converted it to an electronic speed control. This was a big improvement. He began turning a wider range of forms and became more adventurous experimenting with twisted finials and forms learned at a master class with Stewart Mortimer. For a few years Winston exhibited and also sold pieces at various craft markets and now sells through a gallery in Durban, although not on a regular basis.
Winston purchased a Jet 4224 lathe a few years ago and is now enjoying turning various shaped hollow forms and natural edged vessels and occasionally carves and colours these forms. He is the treasurer of the Midlands Woodworkers' Guild and assists in running a woodturning interest group for the benefit of members.
Allan was first introduced to wood turning as an art form on joining the Durban Woodcrafters Association in 1999. Inevitably this led to membership of the Association of Wood Turners of South Africa where he was exposed to the top artists in the country and a number of visiting artists from beyond our borders. In particular this inspired him to move on to the decoration of turned pieces by a number of means, including pyrography.
He enjoys the creation of decorated hollow forms, the main theme of his present exhibition. An engineer by profession, Allan regards engineering as a “hobby”, and tool-making in his home foundry and machine-shop compliment his love of creative woodwork and woodturning.
On retirement from the sugar industry in 2010, Allan settled in Gillitts, where he is able to pursue his creative hobbies, and explore wood art to the full.
It’s an addiction, the pursuit of the perfect line, getting that curve just right, the foot on the page.
I keep going back for more, hoping to capture something of the model, an essence, an understanding, a likeness.
The possibilities of a clean sheet of cartridge or Fabriano, a fresh start, another chance, keep me coming back.
I am a slave to the tactile seduction of a piece of charcoal, a thin nervous exploratory tone or the velvety dark of resolving mistakes. Earthy pastels imitating fragile flesh, traced and pushed into the shapes of body parts. The putty rubber modelling light, finding the collar bone.
The human form is the ultimate drawing challenge, we all know if its right or wrong, there is nowhere to hide. The nude and the artist are equally exposed and vulnerable to the viewers’ eye.
Joining us as a first time exhibitor at the gallery, Mike Freese is an experienced turner from the Durban Woodworkers Association with his Chinese checker boards.
Originally a teacher/lecturer in education she retired in 1998 to explore her creativity. Annette is best known for her work as a fiber artist, who exhibits both nationally and extensively internationally. She has won many awards; her work is in public and private collections and she is commissioned by prestigious institutions.
In 2002 she started a figure drawing group and in 2007 she produced portraits for an exhibition called “About Face”. In 2010/2011 she was invited to be part of a very successful portraiture exhibition together with 12 artists. In some of the work on exhibition we see her combine threads with the figure drawing to convey the emotion she portrays in the drawing.