SANAVA promotes visual arts, develops visual artists and furthers international cooperation in the field of the visual arts Newsletter Nº
May 2015
If you haven't booked for the SANAVA AGM in Paternoster on 5 and 6 June – do so now!

This unique fisherman's village in the Western Cape is gearing up to welcome you, SANAVA member, for the AGM.

The Mayor of the Greater West Coast Municipality will officiate and master potter, Vuyisa Potina is the SANAVA annual general meeting visiting artist. He is hosted by Stone Fish Studio from 1 June, working in the studio, with the week's work culminating in a pit firing. Vuyisa's building methods are traditional, yet his style of decoration is unique and contemporary. His pots have been bought and taken to different continents, spreading African influences wide.

Individual artists and art studios are planning special pre- and post-AGM courses.

World-renowned artist Herman van Nazareth's SANAVA legacy to the children of Paternoster will be unveiled and the Paternoster Peoples' Partnership community programme will also be involved. The final programme will be distributed soon.

Accommodation booking agents Stay in Paternoster and Paternoster Rentals are partnering with SANAVA and are offering members' special rates during this time – contact them now!

Furthermore, renowned Paternoster artists Dianne Heesom-Green, SANAVA Paternoster branch member who runs the Stone Fish Gallery and At Botha who has just opened a gallery, will be offering pre- and post AGM courses. Contact them on 082 824 8917, and 082 901 1353, for your art course needs.

Please complete the attached attendance form and e-mail to

Paternoster is waiting to welcome you!
Dirkie's Dialogue...

I hope to see many of you in Paternoster where SANAVA will host its Annual General Meeting on 5 and 6 June. We have exiting news to share with you, including our revamped website, some funding from the Lotteries Board and a modern-day constitution that reflects our organisation.

To offer our members more exposure on the revamped SANAVA, please forward your logo and website address to the secretariat at to activate a click-through.

Thanks to all the people working on modernising our constitution, including constitution expert Marinus Wiechers. The revamped constitution still reflects all that we stand for, just in a manner showcasing a forward-thinking organisation.

But more of this at the Annual General Meeting – you see why you have to be there – it is not too late to book!

Kind regards
Dirkie Offringa
National President
Creative Workshops' spring school in September

The Visual Arts Department at the Stellenbosch University's Creative Workshops take place from 7 to 11 September.

The workshops give the general public an opportunity to make use of the infrastructure of the arts department as well as their teaching skills, with experienced arts practitioners facilitating the workshops.

The introductory courses can also be attended by artists who wish to become acquainted with new disciplines. Ten participants per course ensure special attention to each individual.

The courses offered are Bookbinding, Children's book illustration, Etching, Silver jewellery design and manufacture, Elementary digital photography, Painting and Book restoration for beginners at R3 500 per course. The Botanical illustration course costs R3 000.

Visit and click on Creative Workshops for more information or contact Marika Bell on 083 680 2057, 021 886 9271,
Have you seen these stolen artworks?

Interpol has reported these stolen artworks from the Netherlands.

"Knotted Chair" by the artist Marcel Wanders, dated 1995. It is made of enforced knotted green rope. The other artwork, also by Marcel Wanders is titled "One Minute Sculpture", is dated 2005 with a mass of 880 grams.

Should you have any information relating to these works, please contact sergeant Von Hagen at Interpol in Pretoria on 012 407 0460, 079 514 4276.

The 16th Vilnius International Painting Triennial 2016 is open for entries.

The triennial, organised by the Lithuanian Artists’ Association since 1969, not only represents Lithuanian painting, but also endeavours to reveal the historical, cultural and artistic surrounding of various countries. It particularly focuses to debut young artists.

Entries are open until 6 September. For more information contact Lietuvos dailininku on sajunga on, tel (370 5) 2622557.
A Margaret Gradwell for sale

A Margaret Gradwell oil on canvass, 120 cm high and 150 cm wide with a certificate of authenticity from the Atterbury Art Gallery is on sale.

Offered by Jeanri Verster the asking price is R20 000, negotiable. Should you be interested, contact her on 083 408 8802.
Celebrating clay @ the pumpkin house

The Art square studio and gallery in Langebaan on the West Coast is hosting an exhibition by ceramic artist Merrill Meier.

The official opening is on Thursday, 27 November at 18:00.
Just MOXIwall it!

"MOXIwall is a replacement to whiteboards," says Dave Sharp, agent for this new product.

"You apply it to a painted smooth plaster wall and you can write or draw directly on the wall and wipe it off again.

"I have conceptualised another idea for the application called 'Pop Up Art' where one can paint a solid background colour on a wall in a room of choice (much like a frameless picture), apply MOXIwall over the painted background and draw a piece of temporary art within that background. When you wish to change to something else you just rub off and draw again. An ideal way to keep a room fresh and vibrant!".

Interested? Contact Dave on 082 461 1357, or visit
'Proud racist' artwork has tongues wagging

Linda Stupart, City Press

Controversy is brewing around the selection of a work by a major South African artist, Willem Boshoff, for the country's official exhibition at the Venice Biennale international art exhibition.

Young South African artists recently reacted strongly to Racist in South Africa, which has a prominent place on the group show What Remains is Tomorrow at the South African Pavilion in the Italian city.

It is a 120cm x 120cm piece of text engraved into aluminium, which rants in despair about the state of the nation.

The work begins with the line "I am proud to be labelled racist in South Africa if it means that..." and lists a plethora of gripes, each one framed within a rhetoric of racialised fears that include "I am revolted by ineffective, dim-witted 4 X 4 politicians, I am shocked that countless farm murders go unchallenged, I loathe it when the police take bribes without being punished."

Boshoff says you can call him a racist if "I appreciate security walls, electrical fences and guard dogs, I fly into a rage when sports teams are forced to select undeserving players, I could scream in frustration when jobs are given to unqualified people and I am afraid for the lives of my children when they walk out into the street."

Numerous South African visitors to the exhibition expressed disdain for the work. No one wanted to be named, but they included young local artists on the same show.

One artist referred to the piece as "a ballad of white privilege ... I'll never take Boshoff seriously again". A significant player in the art scene said "This work isn't even a liberal white person ranting. It's 100 percent conservative." Another artist said "It's 2015 and this is what South Africa has to show? I just don't have time for this shit."

Social-media users had a mixed response to the work. Many defended it, saying Boshoff was just speaking the truth. Others likened it to Steve Hofmeyr lyrics. Artists questioned its tone, saying Boshoff's white, privileged position undermined the reality of crime and corruption on black South African lives and did not place crime and violence within a context – the after-effects of apartheid.

"I don't have anything to say, the work speaks for itself," said Boshoff. He said he made the work in 2011 when it was shown at a solo exhibition in Joburg and that he didn't choose it for the biennale, it was chosen by a committee.

The 64-year-old is seen as a sage figure in South African art, crafting powerful, often abstract texts on to stone and other natural substances.

The show's curators, Jeremy Rose and Christopher Till, scrambled to get the South African pavilion up in time after severe delays in the tender process. They were too late to make the biennale's official guides and catalogues. At the pavilion's opening, relief was expressed that they had got a show together in two weeks.

What Remains is Tomorrow is framed around xenophobic violence and features several prominent contemporary artists, including Mohau Modisakeng, Haroon Gunn-Salie and Nandipha Mntambo. Controversial artist Brett Murray has a video work on show.

The catalogue for the show reads that it is "neither a resigned acceptance of the mixed blessings of history nor a utopian gesture. Instead it conveys a desire to weight the present against what has preceded it and to cast ahead the possibility of alternative ways of being in the world, and of making the world."

They state that "we have not wanted simply to present works that ... offer a litany of wrongs and injustices".

Contacted for comment, Till said that Boshoff's explanation, which he had heard, "is that he's far from being a racist but states that in bringing up any of those issues, the race card is played".

"I half anticipated there would be some reaction to Boshoff's work, but it wasn't trying to be confrontational or creating a major issue in itself. But it was a voice, one among 13, and it's expressed by an artist from a particular perspective," he said.

SANAVA Matters would like to hear your point of view. E-mail us at
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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