SANAVA promotes visual arts, develops visual artists and furthers international cooperation in the field of the visual arts Newsletter Nº
January 2015
Dirkie's dialogue...

Another opportunity to get it right!

On behalf of SANAVA I wish to thank all our members for their association and support and we wish you a happy and creative 2015.

We have another chance to get it right. G K Chesterton said that the object of a new year is that we should have a new soul and a new nose, new feet, a new backbone, new ears and new eyes. Unless a man starts afresh about things, he will do nothing effective.

Save the date – 5 to 7 June

SANAVA hopes to see many of our members at this year's annual general meeting in Paternoster on the West Coast from 5 to 7 June 2015. You do remember reading about the spectacular event we are planning, don't you?

The SANAVA secretariat is negotiating discount on accommodation and is planning several special events such as visits to galleries, artists' studios and even painting and ceramics workshops and the unveiling of a public sculpture! We are considering having a shuttle at the Cape Town airport at, say, noon on Thursday 4 June to travel to Paternoster, perhaps taking coffee at Pieter-Dirk Uys' Evita Perron in Darling on the way. This will depend on the number of delegates arriving by air who can synchronise their arrival and departure.

We trust it will be worth your while planning a trip with partners and friends to attend the SANAVA AGM in one of the most sought-after local travel destinations but at the same time one of the most tranquil and picturesque areas, as well as the very best cuisine in one of the oldest fishing villages on the West Coast of South Africa.

We look forward to meeting many of our branch members and affiliates. The National Council Meeting, comprising representatives of branches and affiliates, will take place on Friday afternoon. The AGM, which will take place on Saturday morning, is open to all individual members and interested parties. We undertake to keep the meetings brief and to the point.

We are inviting the executive mayor of the West Coast District Municipality, Councillor Cleophas, to officiate at the AGM lunch – he expressed interest to attend.

So watch this space, this is an opportunity not to be missed.

Kind regards
Dirkie Offringa
National President
Barclays L'Atelier 2015 – widening our members' international recognition

"Following the acquisition by Barclays of a majority share in Absa to form the Barclays Africa Group in 2013, the Barclays L'Atelier 2015 competition enters another new chapter as it becomes part of the Barclays Africa fold," says SANAVA National Chairperson, Dirkie Offringa.

"For the first time in its 30-year history, the organisers have also invited young and emerging artists from Botswana, Zambia, Ghana and Kenya to enter the 2015 competition.

"The fact that Barclays L'Atelier now also includes other African countries, broadens the horizons of SANAVA members as you now enter a competition with a much wider participation base. This is much more advantageous for international recognition."

"I urge you to enter South Africa's longest running art competition. SANAVA is proud to be associated with the competition which has for 30 years stood artists in good stead.

"Apart from the monetary value, winners also have the opportunity to work at a SANAVA studio at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, France," says Offringa.

All young artists aged 21 to 35 years, residing in South Africa, Botswana, Ghana, Zambia and Kenya are invited to enter. Five coveted art residency prizes are awarded to the winners, including a six month main prize at the Cité Internationale des Arts, three merit residency award prizes and the Gerard Sekoto Award for the most promising artist which includes a three month main prize at the Cité, sponsored by The Alliance Française, the French Institute and the French Embassy.

Online entries are now open until 6 March. Once artists have completed their online entry form, they can either personally deliver or courier their artworks to their nearest collection point. Collection points are open from 2 to 6 March. All points close at 16:00 on Friday, 6 March and no late entries will be accepted.

For more information, artists can phone 011 350 3003 or visit
It's a deal! Dianne Heesom-Green of the Stone Fish Gallery in Paternoster with SANAVA National President Dirkie Offringa.
SANAVA's 29th branch opens in Paternoster

Dianne Heesom-Green is the proud chairperson of SANAVA Paternoster – the association's 29th branch.

Heesom-Green's art gallery, the Stone Fish Gallery, is a beacon in the authentic fisherman's village on the West Coast. She is known for the renowned artists she exhibits and her passion to teach the local children to do art.

A renowned artist herself, Heesom-Green creates unique hand built clay sculptures, paints and hosts workshops. Her work is found in homes and collections across Europe and within her homeland, South Africa.

After matriculating at Westville Girls High School, Heesom-Green studied art and higher education at the Natal Art School and University of Natal, majoring in sculpture under Peter Shultz. After teaching – of which she felt it was too premature "considering I knew nothing about anything except school and books," she left for Cape Town.

After 12 years of designing and working within the computer and forms industry in Cape Town and England, Dianne decided "high finance and corporate life could do without me," and returned to Cape Town in 1995. Knowing a little more about life, Dianne felt ready to teach and opened a ceramic studio in Cape Town, then later in Paternoster.

SANAVA welcomes Heesom-Green into the folds of the association and look forward to many years of cooperation.
Marlene Dumas exhibits a lifetime of work at the Tate, barring one painting

Katy Scott- UK
The South African

From babies with bloodied hands to Amy Winehouse, 'The Image as Burden' is a proudly South African must-see exhibition. But there is one painting that you won't be seeing, and yes, it involves a penis.

Marlene Dumas was born in Cape Town and grew up in Kuils River before moving to the Netherlands in 1976 to join an artist-led postgraduate programme.

In 2005 Dumas was the world's most expensive living female artist. That year her 1987 painting The Teacher (sub a) sold for $3.3 million (nearly £2.2 million). The portrait was taken from a class picture from her childhood in South Africa.

Her paintings are rather grim, featuring babies with bloodied hands or drowned and hanged people. She often features public figures such as Amy Winehouse, Osama bin Laden, Naomi Campbell and Princess Diana as well as personal references to her daughter and herself.

Her exhibition, The Image as Burden, will be on view at London's Tate Modern from 5 February to 10 May. The exhibition maps her career from her early works through her seminal paintings to her new works on paper. It is the most significant exhibition of her work ever to be held in Europe.

The Image as Burden ran at The Stedeliik Museum Amsterdam for four months. After the Tate, the retrospective will run at Basel's Fondation Beyeler.

However, one of Dumas' naughtier paintings will not be hanging at the Tate and will instead be left in Amsterdam. The 1999 painting is entitled D-rection and portrays a man holding his erect penis.

Your view: Should the painting have been included in the exhibition – and why or why not? Forward your view to the secretariat at
The Hide & Seek project – you can benefit

Tourists and other visitors flock in masses to the well-known museums of the world, and yet for the most part, a large percentage of the art is overlooked.

Fabrico Ideas is the non-profit sector of the Fabrico Verlag, an online platform to exchange ideas for participatory projects in the arts, media and aesthetics. And these are the people that are developing the Hide & Seek project – an online platform through international cooperation which enables various museums to showcase art and artefacts that are not the centre of attention, which may even be stored in the archives or does not usually catch the limelight. The focus is to highlight the individuality of a single work that plays second fiddle to more famous pieces, but which nevertheless carries significance and which should accordingly gain a new appreciation.

Two final year students in the intercultural masters programme Culture, Language and Media at the Europa University in Flensburg, Germany, Anna Katharina Bischoff and Sabine Petzsch, are at the helm of the project, under the guidance of Prof Manfred Blohm.

Bischoff and Petzsch say they will cooperate with regional as well as international museums from all over the world to display individual pieces.

"We hope that through this cooperation a growing global map of museums and artefacts can be created."

Participants choose one work which is not at heart of an exhibition and which is ignored more often than it catches a visitor's attention. The work is then presented on the Hide & Seek website by sending a short description or analysis – max 500 words – and including one or more images, preferably showing various perspectives of the work. Although participants are free to send a copy of the text in their national language, an English version should also be included. Also include written approval allowing Hide & Seek to publish them online.

Hide & Seek offers the opportunity to present these works internationally, being part of a growing network that could have a positive impact on participating museums and galleries. Drawing attention of the viewer to a singular work will highlight the diversity of the works that are internationally available, but which often appear hidden to the visitor's eye.

"We still find ourselves in the lift-off phase of our project, but nonetheless would like to entice you with the promise of free advertising for your institution."

For more information and to participate contact e-mail, Twitter @fabrico_ideas and visit
Ceramics SA 2016 national exhibition in Josi

Ceramics SA's 2016 national exhibition will be hosted in Johannesburg.

National Chair Jerice Doeg says following the huge success of the 2014 Ceramic Month and the national exhibition in Cape Town - which was also one of the events of the World Design Capital programme, the 2016 exhibition looks as promising.

"We always invite an international ceramic artist as the award judge for the national exhibition. In 2014 it was Magdalele Odundo from the United Kingdom, one of the best known ceramic artists in the world As the shortlist for the 2016 exhibition includes British ceramists, we would gladly cooperate in the SA – UK collaboration project," says Doeg.
A world of her own - Coral (nee Knobel) Fourie

Cecile Blevi

When it is said that Coral Fourie has had an interesting life, it is an understatement. She has had an extraordinary life, being privileged to have been born and grown up in former Bechuanaland, now Botswana, among the Batswana, Bakgalagadi and the Bushmen of the Kalahari. That is where her deep compassion started and which influenced her life style and art throughout her life.

Coral Fourie's non-figurative work mirrors the symbolism of rock art. The way she interprets and transports it into a contemporary continuum, represents a world we cannot see with our eyes. She simplifies form, abandons chiaroscuro, anatomical correctness and disregards the tangible world that we live in.

Her artworks are bursting with colour and her compositions with symbolic nature, often revealed in the titles. The precise meaning of each work is a mystery inspired by the continent of its origin, Africa.

Coral's legacy with the San people of Southern Africa spans through her life like a golden thread. She was also involved with the relocated Bushmen at Schmidtsdrift where she initiated a self-help project which is still running. She has also published several books on the Bushmen's mythology. "Sandkorrels vir Sonkinders" and "Living Legends of a Dying Culture" was illustrated by herself. Her "Splinters from the Fire / Éclats d'un Feu" (also translated into Afrikaans and German) "Splinters uit die Vuur / Späne aus dem Feuer" was illustrated by her Friends of the Bush, Kgoro/whaa, Dju-o-Ghai, //Aua- Ghai, //Whaa-ka and Mo/ussi. She regards the Bushmen as truly a part of nature and nature an everlasting part of them.

Also being an excellent portrait painter, she held an exhibition, titled "Vrouvolk", in 1997 at the KKNK depicting different women in whom she saw different characteristics like motherhood, home maker, religious, the entertainer and care taker. That, however, was the last figurative work she did, turning an eye to the inward soul-searching spheres of the spiritual entities of time and space.

She believes that non-figurative art portrays the artist's soul and that when art exposes that which cannot be seen, it is not a mere copy or purely decorative. She feels this reveals an emotional state, a story, a meaning, and it bears witness to the soul and spirit.

Some non-figurative art was influenced by the exploration of primitivism. Even though primitive and non-figurative art might sometimes appear similar, their meanings and use are quite different. The San and Khwe were inhabitants of Southern Africa and their existence is still veiled in mystery. To this day, the true purpose of rock art is still being speculated, but scientists agree that it was not done for the pure pleasure thereof. Whether the art was done as part of rituals, recording of oral history or a written language consisting of symbols, these were part of their culture and the symbols used were understood by themselves.

The contemporary non-figurative artist de-contextualizes his/her work and elevates it to an aesthetic plane. Viewers are forced to appreciate its formal qualities (use of line, colour, composition and rhythm) and not the mere symbol it represents. When the non-figurative artist does include his/her own set of symbols, they are mostly individual and not part of a collective culture such as is the case with primitive works. This is clearly evident in Coral's work. Titles such as Stone Age Calendar, Dancing in the Desert, The Ancients' G.P.S., I Wonder as I Wander, refer directly to the chaos of civilization, a sense of escapism and a set of symbols of her own. Through composition she creates rhythm and intrigue. The viewer is left in mystery in much the same way that the rock art might fascinate and mystify us. Few artists succeed in capturing magic on their canvas the way Coral does.

Parts taken from NOUVEAU. (Spring ed. 2005) written by EH du Plessis.

I would like to refer you to Coral's web site to watch the video for a good understanding of where Coral and her art come from.
We would like to hear from you

Please forward information of your branch [and low-res pictures] to the SANAVA secretariat for inclusion in the newsletter.
SANAVA secretariat
Junxion Communications, e-mail, tel +27 82 551 4853, fax +27 86 615 4876