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

We have just celebrated Heritage Day / heritage month. I am wondering how many SANAVA Matters readers made a point to think about the visual arts.

Art is a major part of our legacy, our means of sharing in the spiritual greatness of other men and women - potters, painters, sculptors, architects, photographers. At the risk of running moralistic - let us live life, not pass through as zombies, and let us find in art a glorious passageway to a deeper understanding of our essential humanity. Art can be transforming - that is almost the definition of great art - that it changes us.

We are not only talking about art-making, but looking at and being enriched by the visual arts. One hundred years ago, art was shown in a way intended to educate. Today, not only do art museums and major exhibitions celebrate differences of expression, they also welcome the collaboration of artists, promoting an active dialogue.

Art museums and galleries are no longer just repositories: they are sites of experience where the mind is engaged as much as the eye.

When last did you visit your nearest gallery or art museum? If it was an eye-opening or inspiring experience or brought about any change in attitude, please tell us about it. Why else are we making art?

Kind regards
Dirkie Offringa
National President
A line up of winners – back, from left - Bronwyn Katz, Nazeerah Jacub, Colleen Winter, Nelmarie du Preez, Pieter Binsbergen, Mareli Janse van Rensburg. Front - Rory Emmett
Eye for Potential - all the 2015 Sasol New Signatures news

With this year's theme Eye for Potential, Sasol challenged emerging South African artists to see beyond what the naked eye can see. A total of 590 entries were entered and 110 artworks were shortlisted from throughout South Africa.

Pretoria-based artist, Nelmarie du Preez, took top honours at the awards ceremony, winning the 2015 Sasol New Signatures art competition for her work titled 'to shout'. Du Preez received R100 000 and the right to hold a solo exhibition in 2016.

Mareli Janse van Rensburg is this year's runner-up with her work, 'The final moments of Immanuel Sithole', winning R25 000. Her art piece makes a statement about the media's portrayal of the recent xenophobia attacks in South Africa, which claimed the life of Immanuel Sithole, a Mozambican national.

Judges also awarded five merit awards to Colleen Winter, Sethembile Msezane, Bronwyn Katz, Nazeerah Jacub, and Rory Emmett – each artist receiving R10 000.

"The 2015 finalists demonstrated the vital role that visual communication has come to play in grounding a unique South African identity," says artist, judge and National Competition Chairman, Pieter Binsbergen.

Established by the Association of Arts Pretoria, this year Sasol celebrates 26 years as the main sponsor.

The exhibition was hosted at the Pretoria Art Museum.
Elizabeth Balcomb, 2014 Sasol New Signatures winner goes solo...

The 2014 winner, Elizabeth Balcomb's exhibition, Auguries of Innocence, also ran at the museum.

Her exhibition, which is inspired by William Blake's poem with the same title, explores the human body participating in the world under regimes of life and death.

As an artist with a professional background in nature conservation, Balcomb has always been interested in exploring the interaction between the human body and other species or beings.

Commenting on her work, she says: "After centuries of the human mind measuring, structuring, and imposing meaning on the world around us, there is now a deep desire to understand the relationship between the human being and the world in a different way.

"Our desire to control and exploit the earth has moved us towards destroying it. We are beginning to recognise that the earth is a living organism that has its own life forms that have their own rights of existence as much as we have ours."

Balcomb challenges the viewer to acknowledge that we have to deal with the consequences of exploiting the earth and its resources. We as humans have to recognise that the earth is a living organism that has its own life forms that have their own rights of existence as much as we have ours. Our destinies as humans are irretrievably linked with the earth and all its life forms.

Since winning the 2014 competition, Balcomb is now represented by the Everard Read Gallery in Johannesburg and Cape Town, the Knysna Fine Art Gallery as well as the Gallery at Grande Provence in Franschhoek.

Her work is featured in the Cryogenic Industries Group collection in California in the USA, the Sasol Art Collection in South Africa and in two private international collections.

With Tooth and Claw
Bronze, Cast iron found object
I am you
Bronze, found object
Gender marital status
Bronze, material one
What's on at the Pretoria Art Museum?

Fragile histories, fugitive lives – Keith Dietrich

'Fragile histories, fugitive lives' is a compelling body of work by Keith Dietrich, conceptualised to draw from our history and engage with current debates and issues.

The works are stimulated by the artist's serious historical research and have a direct relevance to our contemporary attempts to build a cohesive society. Through the interaction between words, images and materials, Dietrich examines the interplay between histories and social and political differences in South Africa. By so doing, he attempts to bring about a dialogue between the past and present, and between difference and diversity. He believes that this work explores a new way of understanding the world folded into the self.

The exhibition is on from 21 October 2015 to 17 January 2016.

Stillness and dark city dreams - Michael Meyersfeld

Meyersfeld's work schedule revolves around his personal fine art projects and commercial work for the advertising industry, both in South Africa and abroad. With his remarkable use of and play with light, he draws the eye to the mystery beyond the phenomenon.

Dark City Dreams consists of 15 staged images portraying the intrinsic hope of Alexandra, furthering Ubuntu, the universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity.

The collection titled Stillness represents a distilled and superbly refined body of work, where Meyersfeld uses a visual language to describe the human condition and prompts the viewer to rethink notions such as fragility, brevity and illusive peace.

The exhibition runs from 28 October 2015 to 31 January 2016.

Stepping Stone: Marie Conradie exhibits Real life

EvaluArt, a new art initiative under the auspices of Associative Innovative Visual Arts, in partnership with the Pretoria Art Museum, is hosting Marie Conradie's Stepping Stone: Real Life exhibition at the museum from 7 October.

The exhibition consists of traditional landscapes, still lives and animal drawings accompanied by real life stories - a celebration of her ten years as solo artist, working under the guidance of Jacquey Theron of the Jacquey Theron Art School.

"Conradie stands for the matured artist who has never had an opportunity to showcase the talent of art making;" says the Director of EvaluArt, Maryka Potgieter.

"As a traditional artist, Conradie's work tells a story of a life lived and the beauty of nature. Her work is a reminder of life and living it to the full."

The exhibition is made possible by the support of EvaluArt and v4Creative. It opens on 7 October until 1 November.

For more information call the Pretoria Art Museum on 012 358 6752.

The museum is situated on the corner of Francis Baard and Wessels Streets, Arcadia Park, Arcadia, Pretoria.
Welcome to SANAVA's newest affiliate

The Stellenbosch Academy is SANAVA's newest affiliate member.

The academy opened its doors in 2003 in an historic building on Dorp Street, but due to rapidly expanding application numbers, soon had to relocate to Techno Park, the innovation hub of Stellenbosch.

Soon the academy became one of the top five creative institutions in South Africa and has maintained that rating for the past six years. It was named the number one creative institution in South Africa by the Loeries in 2012.

Led by Dr Ian Marley, the academic team is highly educated and experienced, offering the best instruction and inspiration this country has to offer. In a fast-paced media landscape - thinking on its feet and adapting to new tools, media and audiences.

Applying creative thinking to new sets of problems means new solutions every day - this infectious enthusiasm filters through to students and results in graduates that can think on their feet and do the industry proud.

Loeritha Saayman at Arts Association Pretoria

Flowing ground and other variables, an exhibition of paintings by Loeritha Saayman, was opened by Sue Muller at the Arts Association, Pretoria on Friday, 2 October.

The unknown outcome of experimentation has always been a challenge for Saayman and most works are done in mixed media where she combines traditional oil painting and drawing with contemporary digital processes.

On the contrary, she still believes in the traditional mediums of painting and drawing and the uniqueness of a mark that is made by an individual. She often works with mundane objects, either placed in ambiguous settings or juxtaposed with other non-relevant objects.

There will be a walkabout on Saturday, 10 October at 11:00.

The exhibition is on until 21 October.
India – a country of living art

Painter Gillian Key and her husband Richard have a love of all things Indian, "due to various factors but mostly because India is a country of living art!"

They take tourists to this colourful country via their small outbound tour company,, in conjunction with a tour operator in Delhi, Parul Sinha of Sacred Dot Tours (

Should you wish to go, visit their website or contact them on 083 414 0451,
If actors can insure their faces, can artists insure their hands?


Sapcor, an authorised financial services provider, insures artists' hands – their most valuable asset.

The company was founded by Dolph and Gillain Lombard in 1992 to capture niche markets in the insurance industry.

The policy is underwritten by Hollard and offers coverage from R25 000 to R1m.

Visit or contact them on 044 873 0735, 012 998 8295, 082 6005078,
Pauline Mazibuko is well-known for depicting women.
World hungry for South African art

"The world is hungry for South African art," says Small Business Development Deputy Minister Elizabeth Thabethe.

Speaking at a recent imbizo for artists and crafters in Mofolo, Soweto, Thabethe said two artists had successfully showcased their wares at the Santa Fe art market in the USA recently.

"Kenneth Nkosi and Pauline Mazibuko did very well at the market."

The department sponsored 12 artists who attended the art market in July.

"My work was well liked and I sold work," said Mazibuko.

"Art is taken very seriously there, they like the work of South African visual artists."

Her sentiment was also shared by Nkosi, who appealed to other artists to take advantage of the opportunities that government is presenting. Nkosi makes portraits using pieces of material ranging from Seshoeshoe to nylon.

Among the concerns raised by artists at the imbizo was the fact that they tend to be more appreciated in other countries than on home soil.

"We value what the artists are doing, we recognise them and see potential in them. I pledge to give them the support that they deserve. I saw them being taken very seriously abroad. Most people underestimate the work that they do," said Thabethe.
Museo de Bellas Artes
Art is alive in Venezuela

1st Biennial Exhibition of the South to be held in Caracas this year

The 1st Biennial Exhibition of the South, Peoples under Struggle, a major event in the visual arts, will be held in Venezuela for the first time.

Organised by the Ministry of the People's Power for Culture, through the Institute of Image and Spatial Arts (IARTES), the exhibition invited 140 artists from 40 countries from Central America, South America, Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. It will be hosted at the Museo de Bellas Artes (Museum of Fine Arts) from November 2015 to February 2016.

The exhibition will portray the political South of the world, defined by Commander Hugo Chavez, showcasing art from the people, expressions that display their every-day life and which are ignored by the major art galleries around the world.

For four months, Caracas will be filled with shapes, colours, ideas, proposals and activities that will transform the urban landscape and turn the city into a place for contemplation and reflection.

This cultural festivity will honour Palestine and will display works of art that portray the thinking and dignity of an entire people. This exhibition is different from others around the world as it does not seek to profit commercially from art, but rather to reveal it as a vital necessity.
Have you seen... Carlos Saura's, Goya in Bordeaux

1999, 100 minutes

82-year-old Francisco Goya, living in exile with the last of his lovers, Leocadia Zorilla de Weiss, reconstructs the main events of his life for this 14 year old daughter Rosario.

One by one the mysteries surrounding the artist's life are unravelled to unveil the dreams and demons that drove him into exile and are so passionately displayed in his life works.
Come learn portrait painting at Pumpkin House

Master figurative realist Brindley Prichard will host a portrait painting workshop at Pumpkin House Gallery in Langebaan in the Western Cape on 31 October and 1 November.

The course runs from 10:00 to 17:00 each day and costs R1 200, including lunch and teas.

Contact Hanli on 082 853 8187 or to book.
Hennie discussing art and Paternoster sunsets with Paternoster resident Arita.
Taking Shape
Hennie Meyer's residency at the Stone Fish Gallery in Paternoster

Di Heesom-Green

What a great week it was when Hennie Meyer was in residence at Stone Fish Studio in Paternoster - not Paris, Rome or New York - but Paternoster!

Hennie spent a week gathering inspiration from the quiet tranquillity and beauty of this isolated fishing village on the Cape West Coast.

Working at least six hours solidly each day, Hennie built up quite a range of exotic and endearing shapes. His process is one of formation and creative deconstruction. The vessels emerge slowly from the rhythm of his hands, each unique and with individual characters. However, the secret ingredient to Hennie's worldwide success as a master potter was revealed!

Hennie is a consummate master of clay who constantly redesigns and reinvents while his creations are very solidly grounded in family.

He has the lightest of touch with the clay, to which the black plasticity of his medium responds gracefully. Impossibly thin tall vessels emerge almost effortlessly.

Then, on this basic platform or canvas he adds, cuts away, reshapes, folds, joins and inscribes his own particular brand of design. That is the trademark of a Hennie Meyer work... always unique.

Hennie and I discussed the sad practice of many aspiring potters. Imitation or copying of another's work is rife. Pinterest and coffee table books are often the images that people use to begin a work. True design and inspiration must come from a real place... from experience, one's environment, a constant searching for a source of truth, and of course nothing beats hard work.

Hennie's pieces are designed in conjunction with each other. He pays the greatest attention to how each vessel relates to its sister pot. How they nestle together or give emphasis to each other. The negative spaces are all important to Hennie. Often he concentrates mostly on the inside of a handle or the underside of a jug spout.

It was a revelation in positive and negative shapes to watch him design. Each little squeeze or indent has a purpose...often not apparent until seen in conjunction with another member of the Hennie Meyer body of work.

This is why his forms are a family... his mugs play together, his jugs and teapots dance an eternal curtsy to each other.

And then came the opening...

Well, what a wonderful evening was had by all who joined us at Stone Fish Studio Paternoster for the opening of Hennie's exhibition.

So interesting to see the final glazed pieces transformed from the black and red silhouettes created during the residency in Paternoster a few months ago. Hennie's vision for the finished work could not be guessed glazes, white slip emphasising cracked earth, black and white bubbling offset with gold.

The large vessels remind one of the shipwrecked treasures found on the beach after a storm, shards of a Dutch history long passed.

Lilly vases transform into black and gold chalice forms.

Industrial and yet organic, the wall mounted artworks remind one of barnacles where sea life encrusts steel to form reefs of underwater life.

Delightful wall vases lighten the mood with indigenous flowers proudly colluding with this famous potter to give a magnificent show. Wonderful!

Hennie's work is available at the Stone Fish Gallery. Visit and click on exhibitions.
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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