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

Thank you to all who attended SANAVA's Council and Annual General Meeting held at the Absa Gallery on 19 August, courtesy of Absa and Paul Bayliss.

Everyone attending said in unison that the coming year must be one of personal contact – 'face-to-face' so to speak. We are planning just that – exco member Anneli Dempsey will be visiting branches in the Western Cape soon, while Pieter van Heerden and I will be off to Potchefstroom and Lichtenburg to meet with our branch members there.

In the meantime our secretariat is busy updating our database – thanks to those members who have promptly returned the updated information. We look forward to the other members sending theirs soonest. The secretariat again extended its offer to branches to forward their database for the distribution of SANAVA-related information – like the monthly electronic newsletter. They will keep the information confidential. Please make use of this facility.

We look forward to the Sasol New Signatures and the Absa L'Atelier exhibitions – two of the flagship exhibitions in our country – exhibitions that would not be possible without the support of corporates.

Until next time.

Avitha Sooful
National President
2017 Sasol new Signatures exhibition opens in Pretoria

Regional judging for the 28th Sasol New Signatures Art Competition has been concluded, with 119 artworks shortlisted from over 600 submissions received nationally.

The judging panel will select seven finalists from this group and will announce the overall winner, runner-up and five merit award winners at an awards ceremony at the Pretoria Art Museum on 31 August.

Sasol New Signatures is South Africa's longest standing art competition and an important developmental journey for artists. Feedback sessions offer a platform to address issues artists face such as pricing, presentation and how to approach galleries to market artworks.

Notable topics tackled by artists include cultural and personal identity, and issues pertaining to current environmental, political and social justice. The judges also recognised a strong theme of 'materiality' with a re-investigation and re-purposing of found and consciously selected material. Judges saw robust submissions of mixed media featuring unconventional materials like crystals, combinations of wire, fabric, folded paper, nails, plastic and ceramics. Following on from 2016, the submission of digital works was meaningful – very relevant, very today.

These artworks offer a good opportunity for art collectors to purchase excellent works at great prices at the start of these artists' careers, many of whom go on to do great things.

The 2016 Winner, Zyma Amien, will present her solo exhibition entitled "Real" lives and "ordinary" objects alongside the 2017 finalists as part of her prize.

The overall winner receives R100 000 in prize money and a solo exhibition at next year's event with the runner-up receiving R25 000, while each of the five merit award winners takes home R10 000.

The exhibition will close on Sunday, 8 October 2017.

For more information, visit, Twitter: #SasolNewSignatures, and YouTube.
32nd Absa L'Atelier opens on 13 September

13 September will see the 32nd opening of the Absa L'Atelier - showcasing the young emerging 2017 finalists between the ages of 21 and 35.

Partnered by SANAVA, the competition offers the finalists the opportunity to receive recognition for their work and develop their talents abroad.

The competition has played a leading role in launching the careers of many artists from across the African continent who have become household names on a global level.

This year artists from ten countries – Zambia, Uganda, Kenya, Botswana, Mozambique, Seychelles, Tanzania, Mauritius, Ghana and South Africa, were invited to participate.

Apart from the prize money, the winning artist receives a six-month residency at one of SANAVA's studios at the Cité des Arts in Paris. A solo exhibition is also on the cards for the winner at the Absa art gallery in Johannesburg.
Stellenbosch's mill square restored

Dirkie Offringa

The Stellenbosch Municipality, encouraged by the Stellenbosch Art Association, recently cooperated to restore the old water wheel and the old Mill Square as part of a unique landscaping renewal project. The project was completed on 14 August.

De Nieuwe Molen was the third wheat mill in Stellenbosch and was commissioned in 1749. The mill was just south of the Braak, diagonally across the Rynse Church. After a devastating fire in 1803, which also destroyed the original wheel, the wheat mill was rebuilt in the following year.

By the late 19th century the wooden wheel was replaced by an iron wheel. Early in the 20th century, the mill was also powered by oil and electricity and since 1956 only electricity. William Hunt and his son owned the mill from 1870 to 1932.

In 1963 the next owner, Harry Gelb, sold it to make way for the OK Bazaars. The grain attic, the miller's house and a cafe and bakery were also demolished. The Stellenbosch University's men's residence, Wilgenhof, took the iron wheel in safe keeping and donated it to the municipality in 2017.

The Stellenbosch Art Association, chaired by Dr Margot Steyn, approached the municipality in 2016 with a draft plan designed by local artist Strijdom van der Merwe. The municipality, geared for the next phase of the renewal project, accepted the association's presentation.

The development must be seen as an art installation and unique sculpture. While the old wheel represents mortality, the rotation also suggests vision – a future of hope, compassion and empathy.

According to Stellenbosch Municipal Manager Geraldine Mettler, the project will be enrolled for the South African landscaping awards. It will compete against other projects where it will be measured on design, quality, innovation and excellence.

The project will not cause unnecessary water spillage. Water is led by gravity from the mill ditch to the water wheel and back. It is thus fed directly from the ditch. The water flowing into the mill ditch is irrigation water that flows from the mountain through the ditches into the storm water system. It is therefore not drinking water and water is not pumped specially into the system for the wheel. The municipality is fully committed to water conservation and the project incorporated stringent guidelines into the design if the mill ditch were to dry up.
Michael Heyns @ Association of Arts, Pretoria

Titled 'I still want to make beautiful things', a solo exhibition by Michael Heyns is on at the Association of Arts, Pretoria until 20 September.

Heyns is an award winner of the 1967 New Signatures Competition.

The first New Signatures Competition was held in the Old Netherlands Bank Building in July 1967. The aim of the competition was to encourage young artists.

The winners were Michael Heyns, Annette Besaans and Rika Roux (painting), Andrew Todd (sculpture) and Dalene Marais, Julian Motau and Maurice Kahn (printmaking).

Also at the arts association, Pretoria is the opening of the Potter of the Month exhibition by Nic Sithole. The exhibition runs until 27 September.

The opening on 3 September coincides with the monthly Pretoria Art Meander when the gallery is open from 10:00 to 13:00 on the first Sunday of the month.

And 'Our things', an exhibition of works in mixed media by Danel Gravett and Valeria Talian, is on until 13 September.
A stream of consciousness

The Liebrecht Gallery in Somerset West is celebrating its 10th birthday with a national exhibition where 275 works by 55 artists from all over the country will be on show.

The exhibition, 'A stream of consciousness', will acknowledge collective creativity – visual expressions by 55 individuals, but the presentation is uniform.

All works are on 18 x 18 cm wooden blocks and established artists hang alongside that of lesser known and unknown creatives. For purposes of this exhibition we simply assume that the earth orbits the sun, which then makes it highly unlikely that any one human being can be the centre of the universe. All works are also sold at exactly the same affordable price.

The exhibition opens on 15 September until 15 October.

Contact 021 852 8030 or 082 682 5710, or email
Robin Rhode
The FNB Joburg Art Fair celebrates 10th edition

The annual FNB Joburg Art Fair returns to Johannesburg's Sandton Convention Centre for its tenth edition from 8 to 10 September 2017.

The fair will feature over 60 exhibitions within five categories, including contemporary and modern art, solo presentations, limited editions and art platforms, with selected galleries and organisations hailing from eleven countries across Africa, Europe and the United States.

Notably, six participants have exhibited in every FNB Joburg Art Fair edition since 2008, including David Krut Projects, the Goodman Gallery, the Everard Read, Gallery MOMO and SMAC Gallery.

Modern South African narratives

In the spirit of Looking Back, Dr Zoe Whitley of London's Tate Modern will curate an exhibition within the Joburg Art Fair titled Truth, or some other abstraction, which will look at how South African modern artists voiced their stories and how those stories shaped our contemporary understanding of history. Borrowing works not often on public display from Gauteng's collections, Whitley's curatorial investigation of the modern South African narrative will demonstrate the importance that our past plays on present realities.

The fair welcomes back Robin Rhode – the featured artist at the very first fair in 2008 and once again as 2017's featured artist. Rhode's most recent body of work resonates with the concept of Looking Forward. He obscures obvious age, race or even gender from his imagery, favouring instead the constants of geometry, balance and colour theory. The results are eerily comforting avatars in the age of globalisation – iconography with which anyone may identify.

Also exhibiting at the Fair for the first time, BMW will present a BMW 7 Series by Ndbele artist Esther Mahlangu. Twenty-six years ago, Mahlangu was the first woman to create artwork on a BMW 525i Sedan, and in 2016 she was once again commissioned to refine a BMW 7 Series, which was exhibited at the Frieze London art fair.

Judy Fish exhibits at the Pumpkin House

Judy Fish's exhibition 'Home away from home' is on at the Pumpkin House in Langebaan.

Fish has great ties with Langebaan even though she lives in Cape Saint Francis and many Langebaan locals own a Judy Fish artwork.

She features in the book '200 Artists of the Eastern Cape'. Judy illustrated children's books for Cambridge University Press and Lectio Publishers and went to Slovenia with three other South Africans to take part in training workshops.

In 2014 she spent two months as an artist in residence at the Cité des Arts in Paris.

Judy uses various mediums like watercolours, ink, pastels and acrylics.

For more information phone 082 853 8187.
Events at the Anne Bryant gallery in East London

As Heritage and Tourism months are celebrated in September, an exhibition in collaboration with the Department of Sport Recreation Arts and Culture opens on Tuesday, 12 September at East London's Anne Bryant gallery.

An art workshop by the Buffalo City Municipality follows on 22, 23 and 24 September.

A jazz in the garden event on 23 September will celebrate the completion of the restoration of the gallery with an Art in the Park event on Saturday, 30 September.

The Peep Show is an exhibition of small artworks. The painting of minute intricacies and the use of delicate and detailed painting techniques are features of these artworks. Artists submitted artworks that measure not more than A5 size.

The exhibition is on until 9 September 2017 – come peep.

For more information phone 043 722 4044.
Aspire Art Auctions offers first timed online auction

From 28 August to 4 September, Aspire Art Auctions runs its first timed online auction, with a wide selection and variety of historic, modern and contemporary works.

The online arena for art sales is becoming more popular year on year. The industry-standard Hiscox Art Report points out that online art market sales reached an estimated $3.75 billion in 2016, up 15 percent from 2015. This gives the online art market an 8,4 percent share of the overall art market, up from 7,4 percent in 2015.

Exclusively focused on fine art, the online auction appeals to both new and seasoned collectors, with a wide range of lots available at affordable prices.

The sale is powered by the Invaluable platform. Invaluable is the world-leading online art marketplace, with a tried and tested, stable and secure online e-commerce site for the auction sector. The platform holds regular auctions of over US$10bn in the value of listed items, and has three million unique monthly visitors.

Log onto Aspire Art Auction to participate.
Massmart launches urban bookshelf project – free lending library

Massmart launched its first Urban Bookshelf, a literacy project developed to increase access to books in under-served communities.

Placed at Phefeni Recreation Centre in Orlando, Soweto, the Urban Bookshelf looks like an artwork and functions as a free library.

Through a curated process, Massmart commissioned GASS Architecture Studio to design the unique book sharing station, or lending library, and a renowned graffiti artist Rasik Green aka Mr Eks,e to enrich the design.

"This is the first of many artist-designed free miniature libraries," says Massmart's Sustainability Executive Alexander Haw.

"We have earmarked other locations around Johannesburg and will be collaborating with various other artists and architects to create different interpretations of the Massmart Urban Bookshelf. We hope that through this project we will promote reading and improve literacy."

Made of powder coated steel, the book sharing station is 2.8m high and consists of durable steel boxes that ensure the books are protected from all the elements. The structure is tailored to both kids and adults, with children's literature at the bottom for easy access. The structure also has built-in benches so people can have a seat while browsing. It can store up to 500 books which are arranged in eight genres - African fiction, General fiction, Non-fiction, Current affairs and politics, Law and business, Self Help and Motivation, Young adults and children's books.

The Urban Bookshelf works similarly to a traditional library except there is no need for a library card and there are no fees. The community can borrow and return books at their leisure. To provide and replenish the structure with a diverse range of reading material, Massmart partnered with major publishers Jacana and Jonathan Ball. To ensure that the books cater to the local taste of readers in the community, Massmart conducted extensive research.

Haw says: "We deployed field researchers to study the habits of readers in the community. Our survey looked into several dimensions by noting the role of libraries in people's lives and by paying particular attention to people's purposes for reading. Our research findings highlighted how libraries add value to communities and serve as cultural centres where individuals gather to learn, explore and interact. It also gave us insight into the local book taste of the community and informed us on which books and genres are required and desired for our structure."

For more information contact Refilwe Boikanyo on 011 797 0170,
SANAVA secretariat
Junxion Communications, e-mail, tel +27 82 551 4853, fax +27 86 615 4876