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

The month of April had its fair share of public holidays - however, this did not keep the art scene in South Africa from sticking to its vibrant course!

It is again time for the Sasol New Signatures Art competition. Those SANAVA members who have not yet held a solo exhibition, be sure to enter. Artists can submit artworks in all artistic mediums – painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, photography, performance art, video and installations. The winner will receive R100 000 and a solo exhibition, with the runner-up winning R25 000 and the five merit award winners receiving R10 000 each. Get all the details in this month's article.

The Unsettled exhibition at the Absa gallery is certainly typical of our times. This is a melting pot of a selection of works from the various curators and artists who contributed towards the 2018 KKNK Arts Festival. The works highlight the continuous changes that individuals encounter on their journey to creating certainty, finding a space to settle and adapting to change. Be sure not to miss this one.

SANAVA member Marlene Carpenter just returned form a stint at one of our studios at the Cité in Paris. Read about her experience in Focus on...

Enjoy the last of the April public holidays - and keep on arting!

Until next time.

Avitha Sooful
National President
Sasol New Signatures Art competition 2018

The scope of an artist's influence is often equivalent to their willingness to challenge the limits of current thinking in artistic practices.

In an industry where creativity and innovation are highly valued, the Sasol New Signatures Art Competition plays an instrumental role by encouraging emerging artists to adopt a limitless approach to contemporary art.

Entries for the Sasol New Signatures Art Competition 2018 are now officially open. Held annually, in proud partnership with the Association of Arts Pretoria, this competition is open to all South African artists who are 18 years and older and have not yet held a solo exhibition. Artists can submit their artworks in all artistic mediums – painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, photography, performance art, video and installations.

The winner will receive R100 000 and a solo exhibition, with the runner-up winning R25 000 and the five merit award winners receiving R10 000 each.

Shining the spotlight on South African artistic talent and creating opportunities to showcase undiscovered artists is the focus of the competition. Being the longest running competition of its kind in South Africa, Sasol New Signatures has over the years provided a platform for unknown artists to break into the mainstream.

On winning the overall honour in 2017, Lebohang Kganye said: "I don't know if anything prepares you for winning such a competition and for the aftermath of receiving an award like this. It is quite a surreal experience - almost like I was looking in from the outside. Actually it is pretty difficult to fully express."

Since winning the competition, Lebohang has had the opportunity to showcase her work at prestigious local and international events such as the Design Indaba.

Sasol's name is synonymous with supporting the visual arts and this continuing sponsorship gives emerging artists the opportunity to start their careers. Sasol has been collecting artworks by home-grown talent since the early 1980s, and features an impressive corporate collection of art and sculpture. Art as a metaphor for life is a deeply embedded idea in the collective cultural consciousness.

Charlotte Mokoena, Sasol Executive Vice President: Corporate Affairs and Human Resources said: "Art is so powerful and makes an invaluable contribution to society by creating platforms for engagement within communities. Art has the potential to inspire, challenge and heal. The importance of corporate South Africa supporting the arts must remain on the agenda as art plays an important role for our country as a whole."

"The competition has been alive and running for close on half a century, not only becoming South Africa's oldest and most prestigious art competition, but also developing criteria to judge the merits of artworks, namely the artistic concept, the use of materials, the quality of craft and demonstrated skills," said Pieter van Heerden, Director of the Association of Arts Pretoria.

As part of the competition, information sessions will be held across the country from the end of April. The purpose of these sessions is to educate emerging artists on how they can produce and submit winning work, thereby contributing to improving the quality of entries every year.

Furthermore, there will also be national feedback sessions at various selection points countrywide. Artists who've submitted their works will have the opportunity to learn from the judges why certain entries were accepted and others not. The intention is to assist aspiring artists to grow and guide them on how they can further better their art.

Contemporary, innovative and emerging artists with winning aspirations are invited to submit their artworks at one of several collection points around the country between 10:00 and 16:00 on Monday, 2 July 2018 and Tuesday, 3 July 2018.

The final round of judging takes place at the Pretoria Art Museum on Wednesday, 8 August 2018. The winner of the Sasol New Signatures Art Competition will be announced on Wednesday, 29 August 2018 after which the winning works will be displayed at the Pretoria Art Museum from Thursday, 30 August 2018 to Sunday, 7 October 2018.

For more information on the competition, visit
Visit Unsettled – an exhibition at the Absa gallery

We live in a period of constant change and adaption, where what was acceptable yesterday isn't necessarily acceptable today. A time where there is a need to question old ways of doing things, while concurrently building on the past and inventing new ways of being. However, this comes at a price, as it tends to create a sense of uncertainty, displacement and unsettledness.

Unsettled is a melting pot of a selection of works from the various curators and artists who contributed towards the 2018 KKNK Arts Festival that recently took place in Oudtshoorn. The works highlight the continuous changes that individuals encounter on their journey to creating certainty, finding a space to settle and adapting to change.

Participating artists, curators and featured artists include Johannes Maswangayi and Collen Maswangayi (KKNK 2018 festival artists), Elfriede Dreyer, Rosa Snyman-Wessels, Denise Woodgate, Ingrid Coerlin, Nadja Daehnke, Jeann-Mare du Bois, Chrisel van der Merwe, Jürgen Dünhofen, Jean Brundrit, Barbara Wildenboer, Ramarutha Makoba, Bambo Sibiya, Donald Makola, Mario Soares, Sue Martin, Paul Molete, Colbert Mashile, Christiaan Diedericks, Tlotlo Lobelo, Leanne Olivier and Tatenda Chidora.

Participating organisations are the Walter Battiss Company, Spier Arts Trust, Artist Proof Studio and iwasshot in joburg.

For more information contact Ntokozo Mhlongo on 082 894 2198 or e-mail
Book now for a clay experience in Paternoster

Renowned artist and owner of the Stone Fish studio in Paternoster, Dianne Heesom-Green presents interactive sculpture workshops every third weekend of the month.

The sessions include tea breaks and lunch on Saturdays.

Phone Dianne on 082 824 8917, for more information and discounted accomodation bookings.
VANSA launches Winter School Workbook

The Visual Arts Network of South Africa (VANSA) will launch the third and final instalment of the Winter School Workbook next month, so please save the date. The event will be held at Oduduwa Republic Restaurant in Jeppestown on 23 May 2018 and they will share more details closer to the time.

For more information contact VANSA on 010 206 9012,
Artists - forward your portfolios to Art Lefatshe

Lefatshe...Sesotho (noun); [le-fartsy] world or realm.

Art Lefatshe is a fine arts consultancy and development agency specialising in African contemporary art.

Founded in 2015, it sources, documents and promotes works by leading and emerging artists from Africa. The agency is a bridge between artists and private collectors, art dealers, corporate and various organisations. The studio specialises in linocut, monotype and etching.

Its printmaking studio is located at Ellis House Art Studios in New Doornfontein, Johannesburg, specialising in printmaking projects with invited artists who are paired alongside selected master printers. Both the invited artist and master printers are challenged to work outside their comfort and think outside the conventional.

The studio is compiling a database of artist portfolios to feature and promote through diverse special projects. Selected artists will be either exhibited at local and international art fairs\platforms, included in special group shows and/or invited for residencies in its Johannesburg-based studios. It will furthermore promote chosen works through its fine arts consultancy agency to private clientele such as corporates and art collectors.

Submissions of professional artists living and working on the African continent with clear commitment to their practice will be accepted.

A portfolio of recent works – maximum 15 images - including image details such as title, date, medium, edition number and price can be submitted. Submit high res images no larger than 2MB, a current CV, artist statement and bio, social media links and country of birth and residence to

Art Lefatshe will cover logistics and insurance costs for selected works.

The submission deadline is 31 May 2018.
A few days in the Languedoc

See this exhibition by Pippa Lea Pennington at the Muratie Wine Estate in Stellenbosch.

The exhibition opens on 6 May and is on until 16 June.

For more information contact Cecile Blevi on 072 553 5547,
FOCUS on...Marlene Carpenter

Artist Marlene Carpenter has just returned from a stint at the SANAVA-owned studios at the Cité in Paris. She shared her experience with SANAVA Matters.

During my three-month stay in Paris I filled up sketchbooks, visited amazing exhibitions - attending the opening of Anslem Kiefer's at Thaddaeus Ropac Pantin was a definite highlight! But there were many more...

Meeting and connecting with many of the residents of the Cité during OPEN STUDIO EVENTS was fabulous. There happened to have been many visual artists, cartoonists, illustrators, furniture designers, print-makers, painters, sculptors and a general revival of people wanting to hone their drawing skills. This was a main activity on my agenda - connecting with artists from Japan, Iran, Turkey, Finland, Denmark, Belgium, Egypt, France, Switzerland, Netherlands, India, China, America, Slovenia, Spain, Germany, Serbia, Iceland, Australia and Israel, to mention just a few.

We got together around drawings, drawing paper, drawing equipment, demonstrating and sharing, having a go with carbon ink, having a go with a spray can - mind expanding stuff, pushing for that new experience. This led me to exploring movement drawing, driven by 'a white hot exchange of energy'. We formed a pack of drawers, descending upon various drawing institutions in Paris and its suburbs for sometimes five-hour long sessions of drawing. Then it was back to the Cité on the Metro and then alone-time to digest a look at what each one had done or not done.

These drawing sessions were often the starting point for many of the art pieces which I brought back with me to South Africa and will now be even further explored.

Vincent van Gogh spent two years in Paris. I only spent three months, yet he realised, as I did, that Paris eventually gave him an understanding of how it is a hotbed of ideas, and how people try to get everything out of life that could possibly be in it.

Many friendships were formed at the Café des Arts - a ground floor sculpture studio redesigned to function as a social space and for meetings of various natures, to show or share work in progress or share a meal together, screen video works, set up drawing workshops or have a bar night with wonderful discussions, conversations, musical performances and dancing, even celebrating birthdays!

Sabrina, a Swiss installation artist, mentioned to me that she hated eating alone in her studio, I agreed to join her and so food-night was born. She booked the Café des Arts and an open invitation went out to all at the Cité to bring a traditional dish from their country to share, the response was overwhelming! At first I was at a loss for ideas but luckily I found a Rooi Rose of May 2015 and on page 168 was a recipe - Ouma Wes se pampoenkoekies. I would like to thank the resident artist of May 2015 for leaving the magazine in the bookshelf. I MADE PAMPOENKOEKIES IN PARIS!

Firstly I had to translate the shopping list of ingredients into French, it looked like this: Farine auto-elevatrice, Un Press-puree, Quelque oefs, du sel, la poudre a pate, sucre blanc, huile de friture et une courge muscade (1.145kg) Then practicing to say was fun, the many dictionaries - nine of them - in the bookcase of studio 8116 was an instant help. I cooked and mashed and mixed and fried pampoenkoekies for two hours on the little hot plate and one pan. The French pumpkin hardly had any flavour compared to a boerpampoen, I added lemon and canelli to the caramelised sugar topping....bravo, it worked. I stacked them in layers, separated by sheets of tracing paper and went off to the Louvre with a friend. A taste test, four hours later - and the pumpkin flavour had come in to play! My tray of pampoenkoekies for pudding was a hit! The feast of that evening will not easily be forgotten and there were many more such evenings to follow.

The easy access to the Cité Internationale des Arts' free Wifi that is available to all residents, made a million things possible. We formed a current residents' Facebook page. This platform was for both work and social and made me feel connected and part of a community. Cell phone and WhatsApp also made for easy communications.

Setting up a Russian dance group to perform in my studio and to inform interested residents to come and draw movement with me – was one crazy spur of the moment magical happening – with Breeze (RSA) Okacha (Egypt) Mehdi(Iran) Marlene (RSA) attending and drawing our hearts out onto many sheets of paper, during a two hour session.

The South African studios were all occupied and I forged various connections with them - Maral, Christelle, Marina, Breeze and Moshekwa - also connecting with artists that have been to South Africa like Miatta who attended a Bag Factory residency.

My OPEN STUDIO EVENT on 14 March was an evening that took a lot of behind the scenes work - from making the work, booking the date with the Cité des Arts office, formulating an artist's statement (which they translated) as part of an internet invitation to the OPEN STUDIO, organising posters and e-mails, wine and eats for the evening. And then being on-top of your game, ready to discuss the work that I curated to go on the walls of my now tidy and spotlessly cleaned studio. I invited Ihsen, a musician from Tunisia to bring his Uhd, who entertained us with a stunning performance. My OPEN STUDIO was an evening with friends and fans with art and music, food and wine in fabulous Paris. The build-up to this event was instrumental in motivating me to keep on creating work worthy of sharing and to be nobody else except myself - this took courage. The realization that I am directly affected by the things that I do, and the results that I create where ART meets LIFE takes "waagmoed".

My French lessons that I attended in South Africa were of invaluable importance. It enabled me to navigate and arrange all kinds of activities even in the grocery store, art material store, the menu in a restaurant and at the airport. It is incredible to see the French people's hearts warm when you stumble on, in a limited vocabulary, mixing tenses, genders and forgetting to implement verb conjugations.

I linked up with the Paris urban sketchers and visited places where they hang out and have fun the Parisian way, away from all the tourists to where everything functions in French. These French sketchers are serious about sketching - even their cup of coffee is sketched before they drink it!

The Nous ne somme pas le nombre que nous Croyons être (we are not the number we believe to be) two day and one night event that was held at the Cité Internationale des Arts on 2 and 3 February 2018 is 36 hours of art and science. It was one of the most interesting and intriguing interactive events that I have ever attended. Perfectly presented, it fascinated the visitors, it was incredible.

I sketched many of the events, made some interesting collages and a clay model that was put through a 3D scanner, manipulated by adding movement and sound, bringing it to life in a fascinating 20-minute video. There were robotic prototypes, water drums with sound manipulation using sensors and diodes, group talks, bread making and baking ... and much more. It was organised by the Daniel and Nina Caraso Foundation, under the auspices of the Fondation de France, in partnership with the Arts and Sciences chair (The National School of Decorative Arts, Ecole Polytechnique Echnique and the Cité Internationale des Arts).

The Cité management and staff were always helpful, polite and expert at navigating and resolving any situation, I truly applaud them.

I still have to unpack my drawings and prints - 15kg of work on paper - building alterations at the house are delaying this!

This 2018 residency is not one that I will soon forget!
SANAVA secretariat
Junxion Communications, e-mail, tel +27 82 551 4853