SANAVA promotes visual arts, develops visual artists and furthers international cooperation in the field of the visual arts Newsletter Nº
January/February 2018
Avi's notes

I trust that 2018 will be a bumper year for all of us!

The art scene in South Africa and abroad has started with a bang – everyone is very busy! The Stellenbosch public art bike racks, organised by the Stellenbosch Outdoor Sculpture Trust, is a living example.

We are launching a new monthly article, FOCUS on ... -, which will showcase South African artists, starting with Stompie Sedibe. But we need your help. Please forward information and pictures from the wealth of our own artists to Ben at the secretariat on to feature our own in art.

The Association of Art Pretoria kicks off with their popular Potter of the month, featuring Caroline Schulz Vieira. Also read about crime in the art world and what The Art Loss Register is doing about this.

Until next time.

Avitha Sooful
National President
Stellenbosch public art bike racks

The Stellenbosch Outdoor Sculpture Trust is calling for functional public art bike rack designs. This project seeks to add a new element of distinctive outdoor art to local streets and provide an opportunity for the community to think creatively and imaginatively about public spaces. It will also promote Stellenbosch as a cycling destination and highlight bicycles as a healthier, environmentally friendly form of transportation.

Selected designs will be both beautiful items of outdoor art as well as functional urban design elements. The project began in August 2017 and will run for 12 months. During this time a number of creative bike racks will be installed throughout the town centre and surrounding communities.

The call for design proposals is open to artists, design professionals and community members with a creative flair and an eye for fun functionality. A design review committee comprised of arts professionals, cycling stakeholders and municipal representatives are responsible for selecting designs. Proposals are reviewed on the basis of creativity, artistic merit, technical proficiency and compatibility with the character of Stellenbosch. Functionality for the intended purpose, long-term maintenance, durability and public safety concerns will be equally important selection criteria.

A budget (maximum R10 000) will be given to each of the selected designs. Awarded proposals will be responsible for the fabrication of the final product. The artist/design team is not responsible for installation of the rack.

For more information, contact 082 779 0072 or
Art workshops in East London

There are new art workshops happening in East London, starting in February, by prominent local artists Jeff Rankin, Kerry-Lynn Honey and Stephanie Frauenstein.

The art of printmaking with artist/printmaker Jeff Rankin will be presented at the Albatross Studio. Experienced artists, whether you want to learn or make use of the facility with Jeff's assistance, offer two sessions per month. The cost is R500 per four-hour session.

To enquire or book your place, contact Jeff on 082 202 4917.

Hartspace will once again be running their well received Creative Mindfulness workshop in February.

For more information please contact Kerry-Lyn Honey on 082 934 7723 or visit
Art classes for adults

Lessons, demonstrations and projects in drawing and other media with an emphasis on paintings as the product of a creative process, are on offer.

Contact Stephanie on 043 735 1740 or 083 651 7443.

For more information on these art events, e-mail at
Rough Sea with Ships by Simon de Vlieger was stolen in the Warsaw Uprising during the Nazi occupation of Poland. Its whereabouts remained unknown until it was recovered by ALR in 2016, and returned to the Polish Ministry of Culture.
ALR returned a Spanish vargueno to a 98 year old lady following a theft from her family home 15 years ago.
Paul Cézanne (1839-1906), Bouilloire et Fruits was stolen from a private residence in Boston in 1978, and recovered by ALR in 1999. It was subsequently sold for $29.3million.
Meet the man preventing art crime


The Art Loss Register is the world's largest database of stolen art. International experts and police organisations use this register to track down missing objects and confirm the provenance and authenticity of artworks. MutualArt spoke to Will Korner about the work that the register is doing.

How can collectors protect their artworks against theft?

It's not uncommon for collectors to have their own secrecy systems - and they're getting better every day. It's now much easier to keep track of where your pictures and objects are electronically, which means it's becoming safer to keep collections.

Many collectors also work with a well-informed network of dealers, and only buy through trusted sources. If a collector comes across an object that might have been stolen, any good dealer they consult will alert them to the fact, and try to pass on the information to the original owner.

Our hope is that art theft is decreasing. We're certainly seeing fewer big museum heists and robberies from private collections than we used to, but of course it hasn't been eradicated entirely. While art theft appears to be declining, art crime - and particularly issues surrounding fakes - continues to be an issue dealt with by the industry and police.

What have been your most exciting recoveries to date?

We identify recovered objects on sale almost every day - whether it's a recent theft or an object that was looted by the Nazis between 1933 and 1945. We've recovered a number of objects that were seized from Jewish families, for example.

We're also always on the lookout for antiquities, which pop up all over the world with little documentation to back up provenance details, if given at all. These may have come from recent conflict zones. We're dealing with a number of objects which were lost during the Lebanese civil war in the 1970s and 80s.

Our most famous recover was a Cézanne in 2001, which sold for £35 million. For me, however, the most important and satisfying cases involve objects that might not be worth a lot, but which have great sentimental value for the people who've lost them. These objects can enter our database and, providing they are uniquely identifiable, we'll find them if they pop up at an auction house, art fair or with a dealer. We then put the person who's lost the item in contact with its current owner who hopefully returns it, or arrives at a settlement.

Who steals works of art? Are thieves always aiming for resale?

Art crime tends to be opportunistic: if a thief gains access to a house with the intention of stealing valuable objects, they may also take artworks, without really knowing what they're going to do with them afterwards. They see value, and think they can somehow realize that value – but they can't.

A thief can't take a stolen object to an auction house, because they check their lots, as do good dealers and even pawnbrokers, who check their objects with us and our database. The amount of money that can be made from that sort of crime has dropped significantly.

It's extremely rare for us to see a well-planned theft, like those shown in Mission Impossible or Ocean's Eleven. That rarely happens and, again, the perpetrators often don't plan what they're going to do with the artwork afterwards. It's also rare to see private collectors steal, or commission people to steal on their behalf. Those are great Hollywood stories, but we rarely see them in the world of art crime.

Is art theft a growing problem?

Art theft happens every day. There's a huge amount of objects out there which have been subject to theft. People are becoming more aware of the issue. But it's hard to say how much it's growing.

Sadly, it's something that is less of a concern to law enforcement these days, which is perhaps understandable, given the other areas that they're looking into. That's the point of our database - when it occurs, if an object is registered, we will monitor the market until it turns up.
Potter of the month @ the Association of Art

Caroline Schulz Vieira is the Association of Art Pretoria's Potter of the month.

Caroline's journey with clay began in 1982 and took on professional status in 1997 after a seven-year period at the Kim Sacks School of Ceramics, Johannesburg, which included a two-year apprenticeship.

Since 1997 she has taught both children and adults, and published a collection of pottery projects for children in collaboration with Vincenzia Diedericks. She has participated in group exhibitions as a member of Ceramics Southern Africa, as well as at various venues in Johannesburg and elsewhere in South Africa. Taking part at the Design Indaba 2014, and being invited to exhibit at 100% Talent (part of 100% Design at Decorex) in Johannesburg in 2016, were highlights. She has also held three solo exhibitions, two at Bamboo Gallery in Johannesburg and one at Ebony/Curated at Franschhoek.

For more information contact Pieter or Nandi on 012 346 3100, 083 288 5117.
Remains of democracy series, Nkhensani Rihlampfu
Talking To Deaf Ears

Talking To Deaf Ears is a group exhibition by artists of August House Studios, curated by Sarah McGee.

The exhibition, at the Absa Gallery, Absa Towers North, 161 Main Street, Johannesburg, focuses on communication. South Africa's current social and political climate has created a vacuum in which our words are either ignored or not heard. Society finds itself existing in an atmosphere of continuous exposure to opinions that are either written or spoken. However, the question remains how much of what is communicated is understood or acted upon?

The pieces making up the exhibition have been created by the artists of August House – a unique creative hub in downtown Jo'burg with a heritage spanning 11 years in the contemporary African art arena. The venue currently houses more than 45 emerging and established artists from across Africa in private studio spaces.

Participating artists include Diane Victor, Sam Nhlengethwa, Benon Lutaaya, Bambo Sibiya Mbongeni Fakudze, Johan Nissen, Masetho Mohohlo, Odette Graskie, Vusi Mbulali, Jake Michael Singer, Vusi Beauchamp, Andrew Kayser, Kamogelo Masemola, Chrisel Van der Merwe, Nkensani Rihlampfu, Ofentse Seshabela, Michael Selekane, Motsami Thabane, Thina Dube, Johhnyguava,Sikelela Damane, Neo Mahlangu, Greatjoy Ndlovu, Zamani Xaba, Lesego Mongologa, Sifiso Temba, Theko Boshomane, Rhett Martyn, Azael Langa, Bukhosi Nyathi, Andrew Nshabele, Toni-Ann Ballenden, Sanusi Olatunji, Johan Stegmann, Lebohang Sithole, Layziehound Coka, Solomon Omogboye, Victor Kuster, Sizwe Khoza, Lindo Zwane, Patrick Seruwu, Quinten Williams and Andile Buka.

For more information, call Ntokozo Mhlongo on 082 894 2198, e-mail
Call for entries - Aesthetica Art prize now open for submissions

The Aesthetica Art Prize, now open for entries, presents an opportunity for artists, both established and emerging, to further their career in the art world and showcase their work to a wider audience.

The internationally renowned award nurtures and supports talented practitioners from around the world, aiming to unite and provide a diverse platform for artists.

Furthering the career of many artists, the prize is an opportunity to gain further exposure through publication in the Future Now: 100 Contemporary Artists annual.

They also have the chance to exhibit their work at the Aesthetica Art Prize exhibition, hosted in the city of York in the UK.

There are two categories for entry - the emerging prize which is open to current students and artists who have graduated within the last two years, and the main prize, open to all including those eligible for the emerging prize.

Artists can submit work to one of four categories - Photographic and Digital Art, Three-Dimensional Design and Sculpture, Painting, Drawing, Mixed Media and Video, and Installation and Performance.

Prizes include £5,000 for the main prize winner, £1,000 for the emerging prize winner, a group exhibition hosted by Aesthetica, editorial coverage, publication in the Future Now annual, art supplies and books supplied by prize sponsors.

The deadline for submissions is 31 August 2018.

Detail of Only You, 2017, mixed media on fabriano, 1000 x 700mm
Only You, 2017, mixed media on fabriano, 1000 x 700mm
Medley, 2017, mixed media on fabriano, 1000 x 700mm
Detail of Medley, 2017, mixed media on fabriano, 1000 x 700mm
Little Me, 2017, mixed media on fabriano, 1000 x 700mm
FOCUS on ... - Stompie Selibe

Art of the soul

Stompie Selibe on creativity, texture and the unknown

Using the language of both art and music, Stompie Selibe explores texture as it exists in sound, space, colour, rhythm and life. His process and works are invitations to explore the known and the unknown, asking questions such as 'who are we?', 'who are we to each other?' and 'how did we become who we are?'

ART AFRICA sat down with Selibe to find out more about his work, and his unique take on making art.

ART AFRICA: In your artist statement, you say that your work explores questions like, “how have the fingerprints of history left their mark upon us, just as we have left our fingerprints upon history?”. Can you please explain this in more depth, and why questions like this are important to your practice?

Stompie Selibe: This is a very important perspective and concept for me, that we as people are an interplay of forces, a flowing river if you will, a zig-zag between who we are individually and how the world impacts and shapes us and our environments. The world is as the shoreline – shaping much of our experience, and each of us is like the river, full of our unique energy, feelings, desires, secrets, pains and actions. We can determine much of what we do, but we are also shaped by the shoreline, we interact with it, the river and the shoreline interact as in a dance. Overtime, we shape and re-shape each other by our actions.

This kind of philosophical inquiry underlies my work as an exploration of surfaces, beneath the surface, and the ripples and tensions between the two. I am interested in how the presence and complexity of time and the environment – social, political, cultural and historical – shape us at the same time that as human beings we interact with and shape the world. This dance of power, influence, the unseen and unspoken, the mystery of who we are and the stories we tell fascinate me. This is what I explore in my improvisational practice, I see where things take me and play with all of it.

You use both the language of visual art and music to explore the depth of space, rhythm and texture in painting, music and life – especially through the deconstruction and reconstruction of musical sounds and images. In your opinion, how are these three articles – painting, music and life – interwoven?

For me being a musician and artist allows me to play with imagination, improvisation and materiality, and what there is to create with. We are all creating new things out of the old all the time – I use as my creative tools sound, colour and images, and they are my building blocks and what I play with the most. All of life can be seen as a canvas or music, life as in art is what we create with what we have available to us, our imagination, history and our sense of how we want to shape the world, the impact we want to have and our sense of magic.

To me it is very important to be open to new things, perspectives, experiences. So many of the problems we see in the world are rooted in an unwillingness of people, or communities, or people in power to create new things out of the old – to be shaped in new ways. For me the improvisational way of living and creating music and art is the most growthful and hopeful as we seek new and better ways of living together.

Influenced by mentors such as Stompie Manana and Dennis Nene, your work fuses elements of both 'the old' and 'the new'. Can you tell us a bit more about how mentors such as these two came to play such a significant role in the creation of your work?

Stompie Manana and Dennis Nene have been mentors to me, they have shown me a way to look at myself and taught me a way to form myself as a young person. They really taught me the role of values in my work and in life, they taught – and embodied – an ethics in practice, the ethics of what one does. Both were concerned with the development of young people, they were friends and spiritual guides, and they taught and showed me the value of harmony, of peaceful change, of doing good. They showed me how important it is to be guided in life by values and ethics, and to seek out and build communities of people who share in these values.

You have also facilitated many workshops on 'healing through art'. Please tell us a bit more about these workshops and the outcome they have on those who participate. Also, how have these workshops impacted on your personal art-making process, if at all?

The facilitation I have done has shown me over and over again the power of giving people tools to express who they are. To me, much of healing can be understood as the result, if you will, of the process in which people have been given the tools they needed to express and be who they are.

Music and art are great tools for this combined with being in and working as a group where people can experience that they are not alone, they are seen in all their richness and depth and they are an active part of collaborative and collective creation. This is a very powerful experience. Too often we are in environments where all that is wanted from us is to be a particular way or produce a particular thing, we are related-to as products ourselves, not as creative producers of life, ourselves and communities.

Re-initiating that recognition of ourselves as creators and not products – and as having greater power as a member of a collaborative creative whole – is a nurturing, grounding and meaningful experience for people. Many people describe it as an experience of being with their ancestors. I am inspired by this, by group creativity, by being in the presence of our ancestors, by people sharing their truth, by people letting themselves feel the pain and joy of others, by giving solace and comfort to each other, by sharing our humanity and experiencing all that we can be to each other and do with each other.

What can we expect to see from you in the near future?

In ones' personal life you plan and execute something and get the results at the end, or on the other side. In art, it is a continuous process, it develops continuously. One could say an art work is never done, or that one work just leads to another – the only difference is the seam in the canvas. In music, it is just a breath that connects everything. I am hoping to bring a new style to my art making and am exploring what it would be to create three dimensionally.
SANAVA secretariat
Junxion Communications, e-mail, tel +27 82 551 4853