SANAVA promotes visual arts, develops visual artists and furthers international cooperation in the field of the visual arts Newsletter Nº
January 2017
Avi's notes

May 2017 be without limits!

January started with the 2016 Barclays L'Atelier winner, Nourhan Maayouf of Egypt, taking up her six-month residency at the Cité in Paris. Congratulations once again to Nourhan and we wish her a productive stay in one of the world's art capitals. She will be contributing to SANAVA matters – we look forward to reading about her experiences in Paris.

In December we had a sudden spate of cancellations at the SANAVA studios at the Cité. As you might know, we own three studios for deserving artists there and operate a waiting list for accommodation – sometimes for up to two years in advance. If we do not find immediate replacements following the cancellations, SANAVA is responsible for the monthly levy of 467 Euro.

Whilst SANAVA has simplified the application to reside at the Cité, management is considering a refundable deposit once a booking to the Cité has been made. To avoid transfer duties to a French bank account, the deposit would be paid back to the Cité resident two weeks prior to leaving South Africa for the Cité. Should a stand-in booking for the Cité not be found in such short notice, the applicant who cancelled will forfeit the deposit.

Standard deposits are normally a month's rental – but please let us have your thoughts by return e-mail.

Members are swift out of the blocks this year - read about all the exhibitions that are taking place around the country.

Let us have information about what's happening at your galleries!

Until next time.

Avitha Sooful
National President
Pumpkin House exhibits Shirley Bowers van Rensburg

Shirley Bowers van Rensburg's exhibition Afrikologi is on at Pumpkin House in Langebaan on the West Coast.

Afrikologi sculptures are created using non-commercial, local clay sourced on the South African West Coast. A number of varieties of raw earth are hand dug, sieved, soaked, blended and prepared manually.

Owner Hanli Theron is also planning a retreat, offering accommodation, a working studio, artists' dinners, art movies and workshops.

Contact Hanli for a custom-made package on, telephone 082 853 8187.

Shirley Bowers-Van Rensburg is a South African ceramic artist/sculptor. She was born in Queenstown in the Eastern Cape in 1963 and grew up in the naval village of Simon's Town.

After marriage, she lived in Southampton, United Kingdom for some time before moving back to South Africa and has been based in the fishing town of Saldanha Bay for the past 26 years.

She has worked with ceramics since 1980 and, on acquiring her own kiln in the early 2000's, has been experimenting extensively with local, hand dug clay from the South African West Coast. The mixing and experimentation exercise with this temperamental clay blend demanded extreme patience, tenacity, temerity and personal tolerance.

This erratic clay proved to be totally non-conformist when used for many modalities of ceramic production including pinching, slabbing, coiling and wheel-work and failed on every level of the creative process. The clay is prone to considerable shrinkage, cracking and exaggerated warping, which posed a host of problems even for the most seasoned ceramic artist. After many calamitous and frustrating trials with the feisty clay, she discovered that it was highly suited to one particular ceramic process – sculpting. She then set out on a personal sculpting journey.

She sculpts head and shoulder busts of African people by using a profoundly meditative process. Once fired, she mounts the sculptures for display on rustic sleeper wood plinths.

The process of utilising raw "earth" to produce the sculptures adds to the rustic and organic nature of each piece. She believes in the natural quality of the sculpting medium and nothing is removed from the clay and nothing is added. This results in quartz blooms, silica materialisation, rough textures and other manifestations after the firing of each piece has been completed.
Cité residents - time to exhibit

Artists who have resided at the Cité in Paris are invited to a first-ever group exhibition at the new Tank Gallery in an old winery at the Stellenbosch Hills Winery just outside Stellenbosch.

Cité residents interested to participate in this exhibition in May, please contact fellow Cité resident and gallery owner Fawa Conradie on, telephone 082 458 6922.
TACIT @ the Pretoria Art Museum

Tacit, a group exhibition acknowledging 20 years of collaboration at the Dionysus Sculpture Works' studio and foundry, will be on show at the Pretoria Art Museum until 26 February 2017.

Tacit commemorates the collective of artists who have been affiliated with the studio since its establishment in 1996 by the sculptor Angus van Zyl Taylor. It first functioned as a finishing school for young aspiring sculptors, and artists had the opportunity to be mentored and to hone their skills in the studio. The integration of artists and the opportunity to work with knowledgeable sculptors have been of paramount importance for tacit learning in the studio.

Today the studio serves as a creative hub where artists and sculptors alike can come together in an interactive space to share and grow as contemporary creatives.

Artists include Alexander von Klitzing, Andries Botha, Angus Taylor, Anita Finken, Berco Wilsenach, Brendon Erasmus, Carla Crafford, Cedrick Kwata, David Brown, Deborah Bell, Elbie Erasmus, Estian Gericke, Francois Visser, Gordon Froud, Jessica Bothma, Johann Nortjé, Johan Thom, Joni Brenner, Kenau Botha, Liberty Battson, Martyn Schickerling, MJ Lourens, Norman Catherine, Rina Stutzer, Ruhan Janse van Vuuren, Simon Zitha, Sophia van Wyk, Steven Delport and Sunet Ferreira.

For more information, please contact Elani Willemse at or 012 803 2369, or Gerda Guldemond at or 012 358 6749.
A story of South African art

This selection of artworks from the permanent collection of the Pretoria Art Museum briefly reviews South African art. It includes works by early 20th century painters, the Resistance artists of the 1980s and artists of the 21st century. The exhibition is based on the secondary school syllabus, and the artworks are rotated regularly. Several artworks in this exhibition have never been displayed before.

Phone 012 358 6749 for more information.
Annelise Bowker Art Studio members exhibit at the Tina Skukan Gallery

A variety of works in pencil, charcoal, pen and ink, acrylic, oil and watercolour paint, and scraperboard by members of the Annelise Bowker Art Studio will be exhibited at the Tina Skukan Gallery until 16 February.

For more information phone 012 991 1733, 083 653 6928 or e-mail
Conceptual photography exhibition at art.b

An exhibition of conceptual photography of the G Group called 'Focussed' is on at the art.b gallery of the Arts Association of Bellville until 10 February.

The gallery is in the Bellville Library Centre in Carel van Aswegen Street in Bellville. For more information phone 021 917 1197.
About VANSA - Visual Arts Network of South Africa - books

VANSA operates as a support point and development agency for contemporary art practice in South Africa. It develops industry knowledge, resources, networks and projects that are concerned with realising new social, cultural and economic possibilities for contemporary art practice in the South African – and wider African – context.

VANSA is growing its resource centre – a reference library of African texts, DVDs and creative materials – that is open to the public for viewing. The books section is a space for critical ideas around art and art theory to be explored and developed.

Donate books (publications, journals, magazines and books) and/or become part of the database of reviewers, and help develop the reference library into a relevant space to engage with arts practice in the country and abroad.

Library times: Monday - Thursday, 09:00 - 17:00

Download the VANSA resource centre content list

As book publishing grows both in South Africa and the rest of the continent, this platform engages with materials that can expand ideas around contemporary art and extends the opportunity to contribute and engage such ideas - in particular, theory that has its focus in the visual arts and or engages with contemporary art practice in South Africa and internationally.

Every semester a selection of books and publications about and around the visual arts and contemporary practice is reviewed under the section called NOTES. Topics are divided into -
  • Art kooks/ essays and texts
  • Social science
  • Artist book
  • Catalogue
  • Other
NOTES also invites art book publishers, art theory writers, artists, curators and aficionados in art writing, to contribute material around the practice of critical writing in the arts.
SANAVA secretariat
Junxion Communications, e-mail, tel +27 82 551 4853, fax +27 86 615 4876