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

South African artists contend for various prestigious art awards hoping to launch their art careers – amongst others the Sasol New Signatures, SA Taxi Foundation Art Award, Sanlam Portrait Awards, Reinhold Cassirer Award, Roger Ballen Photography Award, Helgaard Steyn Awards, PPC Imaginarium Awards and the Vuleka Art Competition.

There is also the Barclays L'Atelier Competition for artists under the age of 35, which is the oldest and most profitable art competition in the country, celebrating 30 years this year. SANAVA has been a partner, first with Volkskas Bank, then Absa Bank and now Barclays Bank.

Times have changed and during this time South African artists have become more sophisticated, well-travelled and with higher aspirations. SANAVA does not only support part-time artists but also aspiring professional artists. We need to open the window of opportunity wider and only with a supporting partner can we do this.

But more about this later!

Gustave Flaubert said that you don't make art out of good intentions, so be not afraid to fail – just do it!

Kind regards
Dirkie Offringa
National President
Breaking news
Our brand new website is live

Go see for yourself – visit

Join the Association of Arts Pretoria for a fundraising auction

Saturday, 21 November sees the Association of Arts Pretoria hosting a fundraising art auction.

Funds raised will go for a special fund to assist needy artists to hold exhibitions, to meet additional expenses for the upkeep of the gallery, building and garden and extra transport costs.

Registration and pre-auction drinks are from 16:00 and the auction, under the hammer of Michael Bernardi of Bernardi Auctioneers, starts at 17:30.

For more information talk to Nandi at 012 346 3100 or e-mail
Wiechers at Arts Association Pretoria

GENTE, an exhibition of portraits on canvas and sketches on ceramic plates by Marinus Wiechers, is on at the Arts Association Pretoria until 25 November.

Wiechers calls this exhibition 'Gente', the Spanish word for 'people', in reminiscence of his three months stay on the island of Mallorca where he made numerous sketches of people.

His portraiture does not pretend to reveal deep meanings but is rather in the nature of studies in physiognomy, namely the art of reading character and personality from the appearance of the face.

The faces he depicts show different emotions, contemplation, anguish, mirth, fear and some exalt the glamour of feminine beauty.

For more information phone 012 346 3100 or e-mail
From the horse's mouth – Karin Combrink @ the Cité

To stay in Paris for two months is many an artist's dream. Through SANAVA I could do it this year. The Cité is centrally situated and most museums are within walking distance. The Seine is just across the road and I hear the Notre Dame's bell from my room.

I have stopped counting how many museums, galleries, churches and parks I have visited to date.

It's a great privilege to see so many of the paintings and sculptures that I had previously only seen digitally, in real life. The entire atmosphere in Paris is drenched in art, history and culture. It's inevitable that something of this will grow on you.

Within the Cité are artists of various disciplines and nationalities. The art exhibitions and musical performances are of the highest standard.

It is a wonderful opportunity that I can strongly recommend – SANAVA thanks again.

Follow Karin's experiences on her blog and Facebook.
Ceramics Southern Africa launches brand new magazine

Ceramics Southern Africa's new magazine, under editorship of Lydia Holmes, covers all aspects of ceramics in its artisanal and fine art form in South Africa and surrounds.

The magazine includes articles by such industry leaders like Ronnie Watt, Wilma Cruise and Kim Bagley.

Articles regarding any aspect of ceramics in Africa are most welcome. Advertising specifications and costs available on request.

Subscriptions are available form at R200 for an annual subscription of four issues.

Also on at Ceramics Southern Africa is its Art in the Park exhibition on 28 November: at Campground Road, Rondebosch.

Members can exhibit and sell all those works of art that they have exhibited at previous SASA exhibitions.

Contact Adrian Larkin on for details to exhibit.

The members' exhibition takes place from 2 to 10 December. To participate contact Helen van Stolk at
Untitled, drypoint and embossing
What to watch out for at the Pretoria Art Museum

Umlambo uzwiwa nge dondolo, by Bambo Sibiya

Bambo Sibiya has performed extremely well in South African art competitions in recent years - in 2012 he was a finalist in the Absa L'Atelier top ten awards, and the winner of the prestigious Gerard Sekoto Award, which granted a three month residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris in 2013, courtesy of SANAVA. Working at the APS Gallery, he has also worked on the large scale linocuts of several leading artists such as William Kentridge, Diane Victor, Norman Catherine and Colbert Mashile.

Rich stylistic detail and textures mark his linocuts and drypoint works, which seem to give insight into masculine identity and community on the streets of Johannesburg.

Sibiya has found inspiration in the social realists – Hogarth's social allegories, Goya's Disasters of War and Diane Victor's Disasters of Peace – and has been strongly engaged with the theme of poverty in his local community, including the role of single mothers as heads of their households. In his current work he has shifted his focus to the lifestyle that developed around migrant communities.

The exhibition will officially be opened on 19 November and will be on until 13 December in the Preiss Hall.
Lucas Sithole 1931-1994 – highlights

Published 21 years after Lucas Sithole passed away and more than 35 years after the first exhibition catalogue was printed in 1979, this publication covers major works in private, corporate and public collections throughout the world, being a brief introduction to 100 selected sculptures.

The publication is a valuable document for museums, art libraries, researchers, educationalists and galleries. It includes a brief biography, stories and legends about the sculptures of Sithole, a list of public and institutional collections, selected references and statements about him and extracts from his handwritten private diary from 1985.

The publication is available in South Africa from Clarke's Bookshop in Cape Town, or from the publisher, the Haenggi Foundation Inc. at

For more information contact the Pretoria Art Museum on tel 012 358 6750 or
Pumpkin House alive in November

Art happenings are abuzz in November at the Pumpkin House gallery in Langebaan.

The exhibition of artists Hanli and Merill Meier – Black and Wine – opens on Thursday, 26 November at 18:00. Details of a special arts fund will also be announced that evening.

The art exhibition of Claire Coetzer, scholar from the Curro School, will take place on Thursday, 19 November at 18:00.

Also in the interest of art is a performance of Akte op die vlakte at the NG church hall in Darling on Saturday, 21 November at 19:00. Tickets at the door.

For more information call Hanli on 082 853 8187.
Tattoos go from taboo to mainstream

The tattoo is now an intrinsic part of popular and alternative culture
But is it art?

Daniel McCaughtry - Josi Live October 2015

Oh how times change. You only have to look at the many diverse microcosms of society to see how perception and what is deemed to be acceptable and the norm has evolved, and devolved, throughout the years of history. Things that were seen as abhorrent in even recent history now bring cause for sensitivity, tolerance and acceptance.

Without going into too much more detail about the world's way of "devilling" "the other" and forcing it into the lower recesses of society, another human niche which has become almost second nature is tattoos and body art.

Tattoos are now almost intrinsically linked to popular and alternative culture - a strange facet of society which has still maintained its edge and become part of the mainstream. Away from tribal tattoos and tramp stamps, tattoos are one of the more fun forms of body modification and although people over indulge, like that guy who looks like a snake, tattoos are more of an extension of the self and a means of self-expression, meaningful and true.

The Cool Inc Tattoo Convention takes place in early November at the Voortrekker Monument Heritage Site in Pretoria and we caught up with a tattoo shop and tattoo supplier ahead of the event to gain more insight into the culture in South Africa and to get an idea of where we stand in relation to the globe.

Style Ink in the East Rand has been doing tattoos since 2007, founded by Aubrey Rudman, aiming to push the boundaries and offer a more contemporary take on the traditional tattoos that people have interest in. In terms of the global sphere they explain that "if you look past the hype caused due to "TV and Big Names" and focus on the tattoos and not the politics, you will soon realise that South Africa has artists equal to, if not greater than, the likes of any "acting Artist".

Tattoo Addict has been supplying tattoo products to various shops since 2013 and believes that "we have some amazing artists in South Africa. We definitely have some of the best." It could just be national pride speaking, but with the expansion of the industry in South Africa, Style Ink explains that "competition between not only artists and studios, but suppliers alike, (will) equal a wider variety and higher quality products."

There isn't much room for error as failure to provide a perfect product would potentially doom your business. Tattoo Addict also guarantees that "the tattoo industry will continue to grow, the quality of work will improve. People will demand good quality work done by great artists using the best products."

I don't have any tattoos of my own, so I was curious about how to go about it. Obviously it has to be something you won't regret later in life, but I wanted to know what the professionals thought. Style Ink explains that "dealing with 'fresh skin' is part of the everyday shop life. Main concerns will always be about the tattoo idea itself and getting as much information from the client as possible. Be prepared to always have suggestions and answers to all possible questions. Reinsurance is one of the key aspects when dealing with a customer of any sort."

Tattoo Addict doesn't deal with clients directly but they are in the industry and give some insight, saying "we would advise them to shop around. Get to know the artist, understand their style of tattooing and make sure they feel comfortable getting a tattoo done by them. Obviously check all the hygiene factors, but trust your instinct and let the artist do what they do best."

So, a lot of confidence in the actual artist. It's basically just up to you to decide what works. Sometimes you just get out of the box sort of requests that you just have to suck it up and do, like how Style Ink explain that they once had a guy who asked for "a tattoo neatly placed beneath the scrotal area, in case you missed that, underneath a guy's nuts." Fun times. And the most cliché? No, it isn't a tribal tattoo but "Infinity with a feather thinning to solid Vector birds." You've been warned.

The Cool Inc Convention is taking place from 6 to 8 November. There's a whole lot going down there for everyone who, at the very least, like what tattoos look like. If you've got "fresh skin", like me, this could be your moment and you'll have everyone in one big space so shopping around is made simple.

What is your take? Let us have it at

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