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

Although winter is slowly settling in South Africa, the art scene has been as busy as ever.

Cape Town saw yet another addition to the arts environment with the opening of the Norval Foundation's spectacular art centre in Steenberg. Designed to international standards, it is expected to become a significant space for fine art in the country and globally. Read more about one of the biggest private art collections in South Africa, now open to the public, in FOCUS on.

An interesting exhibition by Nourhan Maayouf is on at the Absa Gallery. Maayouf is the L'Atelier overall winner of 2016 and as part of her award, spent six months at one of SANAVA's studios at the Cité des Arts in Paris. Read about her exhibition "The Sea is Closed: Shallow Water".

Learn more about renowned artist Andries Gouws' workshops and Pieter Mathews, the visionary of the Cool Capital, who received a Medal of Honour for Visual Arts from the South African Academy of Science and Art.

The 2018 membership accounts have been distributed. Thank you so much for the members who have already paid and we are looking forward to receiving the other payments soon.

Until next time.

Avitha Sooful
National President
I Smell Cairo by Maayouf
The Sea is Closed: Shallow Water

The Sea is Closed: Shallow Water is a long-term reflective project by Nourhan Maayouf, which analyses the contemporary relationship that exists between one's home and that of individual independence.

Maayouf is the overall winner of the 2016 Barclays L'Atelier award. As part of her prize, she spent six months at one of SANAVA's studios at the Cité des Arts in Paris.

Through this exhibition, Maayouf reflects on the importance of one's original home. The origin of the project and its title were both inspired by the story of a child who wanted to swim after sunset, but his mother told him "The sea is closed, no one is swimming at the moment". The story is a metaphor of the Egyptian youth's deep desire to seek their independence. However, they are faced with continuous struggles, either in their home country or during displacement.

For more information please contact Ntokozo Mhlongo on 082 894 2198 or e-mail
Pieter Mathews – visionary of the Cool Capital

Dirkie Offringa

The Medal of Honour for Visual Arts (Architecture) has been awarded to the Pretoria architect Pieter Mathews by the South African Academy of Science and Art.

He is principal of Mathews and Associates architects and was president of the Pretoria Institute for Architecture. He has a passion for all design disciplines ranging from architecture to furniture and graphic design. Mathews got the idea for the Cool Capital Biennale during his travels to the Venice biennale in 2012. He is excited about the creative possibilities the capital has to offer and wants to live in a city where creativity reigns.

In an interview Mathews once said that people do not realise the amazing potential of our heritage buildings, especially the buildings from the Modern movement era such as the Second Bank of the Netherlands by Norman Eaton. There are neglected buildings like the Old Staats Museum at the Zoo, the old Capitol Theatre which is currently used as a parking garage and the Old Synagogue on Paul Kruger Street where Nelson Mandela was held for his trial, that people are not aware of.

Mathews has written and contributed to numerous books on architecture, his first being Architexture, a book on the use of textures in buildings. It was followed by Detail Housed, after which he was the publishing manager for Construction Primer, by Hans Wegelin, and the editor for Contemporary Capital. He also writes about architecture and design for local South African magazines.

The multi-talented Mathews' other related creative interests include furniture design, product design and graphic design, with commissions received from the Southern Guild foundation, Concrete Growth as well as House & Leisure and Absolute Vodka for designing various pieces.

Sculpture is another of his keen interests and he successfully completed two sculpture courses in 2010 at the Fried Contemporary, followed by an exhibition in 2011 at the Association of Arts Pretoria called Form, Scrap & Order.

Mathews & Associates Architects has received widespread acclaim in South Africa and increasingly internationally, reflecting Pieter Mathews' holistic approach to design, which embraces unconventional use of texture and sculptural form. Recognition for the firm is reflected in numerous awards.
Experience Michael Teffo @ the Arts Association Pretoria

In the beginning is Michael Teffo's exhibition of sculptures and woodcuts at the Association of Arts, Pretoria. Opened by Samuel Isaacs, the exhibition is on until 6 June 2018.
Di Heesom-Green at ceramics market

Dianne Heesom-Green, owner of Stone Fish Gallery in Paternoster and local SANAVA branch chairperson, will be exhibiting at the ceramics market at the Rust–en-Vrede ceramics market in Durbanville on 9 June 2018.
About my workshops - Andries Gouws

Renowned artist Andries Gouws talks about his workshops.

My workshops are hands-on. Participants spend most of the time painting. I give feedback to individual students, and sometimes switch to addressing the whole group when I think that a point will interest others as well - for instance, how some famous artist would tackle a problem that has arisen in the workshop. There are no formal lectures.

My approach is non-directive. I explore with each person his or her style of working to see how it can be developed further. Please bring along some examples of recent work – or high quality photographs of them – so that I can relate my input to your previous work.

Participants must supply their own paints and other materials - easels and tables are provided. A list of materials needed is available here. A wide range of participants, ranging from beginners to established, award-winning artists, has found these workshops valuable.

Workshops last five or six days. They are sometimes given in my Stellenbosch studio and sometimes elsewhere. Contact me if you would like to host one of my workshops somewhere else.

Each course has a maximum of ten participants, so space is limited.

Colour workshops - oil painting

Here the specific focus is the use of colour, and how that interacts with tonality (light and dark). To explore mixing colour I recommend using a very limited palette and exploiting its possibilities to the hilt. This simplifies the problem of mixing colours, thereby making it less daunting.

We explore a few three colour palettes, plus white. Examples are raw sienna, magenta, viridian; raw sienna, burnt umber, viridian; raw sienna, indian red, indigo. Using such a limited palette initially feels like painting with one hand tied behind your back. But with time it becomes clear that even with such a confined palette an enormous range of colour possibilities remains. It also helps us to avoid garishness and discover the riches of muted colours.

What people who attended previous colour workshops said:

"I learnt more in a week than I would normally learn in a year."

"Painting master Andries Gouws is unusually generous in sharing hard-won secrets of his craft, he also gives a good amount of feedback. He believes in painting from life, and he's serious about colour – about getting it right to an insane level of perfection, with a restrained palette, without overdoing the brushwork. His spacious studio is well-stocked with rare art books that, given half a chance, he tips out for each student specifically, or he hauls up reams of reference from the internet, coming up with names I haven't heard of and breath-taking images. He'll steer your painting work away from your comfort rut, towards excelling inside new sets of limitations. If you want to move your painting skills up a level, book a place on one of his courses – before he inevitably reverts to focusing all of his time on his own remarkable work."

"By creating boundaries to work within, Andries gently encourages your own natural process/style of painting and enhances it by bestowing his vast knowledge of the great masters, materials one uses and art. Much gratitude to him. I highly recommend a workshop with him."

"In its focus on hands-on painting issues it formed an excellent complement to my art studies through Unisa."

"It resolved the 'hump' of colour that has bothered me for years."

"What I expected was to be shaken from my comfort zone, which did indeed happen. My further expectation to learn more about mixing colour, was exceeded too. And with Andries' succinct words my past work was a given critical look that was most encouraging. I can highly recommend this workshop."

Face & figure workshops - drawing and painting in oils or other media

Because many of the issues do not relate specifically to colour, this workshop includes quite a bit of drawing. Some people even choose to stick to drawing, and not do any painting at all during this workshop.

As always, I don't impose my own vision of how one should paint, but respond to each person's individual way of working.

However, we also attend to some issues which create difficulties for many people. These include:
  • Mastering tonality.
  • Capturing three dimensionality. I'll discuss the classical approach to the volumes of the body, found for instance in most classical Greek sculpture. Conceiving the face and body as consisting entirely of convex shapes.
  • Common errors or problems such as misunderstanding the shape of: the skull, eyes and eyebrows, nose, mouth, the neck and how it relates to the spine. We tend to separate the thing named from the whole of which it is a part, perhaps because we have separate words for "nose", "mouth", "neck", etc. Another problem is the tendency to think of the front, sides and back of the head and body as flat, rather than curved surfaces which go from front to side to back without any abrupt transitions.
  • Mismatch between
    • how one paints the hair and how one paints the rest
    • how one paints the face and how one paints the body or clothes
    • how one paints the face and body, and how one paints 'the background'.
    There will be live models, where possible alternating between male and female. On the first three days we use a clothed model, focusing on the face - though participants need not limit themselves to the face, neck and shoulders. On the last three days we use a nude model.

    Read more about my workshops and crit sessions.
FOCUS on Norval Foundation

The Norval Foundation - arts, research and exhibition space for 20th and 21st-century artworks and platform for music and cultural expression in Steenberg, Cape Town - has just opened its doors. SANAVA board member Dirkie Offringa went to see what is on offer at the foundation.

Norval Foundation - new kid on the block

The Norval Foundation in Steenberg, Cape Town, is situated on the slopes of the Constantiaberg Mountain, in the heart of the Constantia Winelands, with panoramic views across vineyards and mountains.

The new art gallery, designed by the dhk studio, led by principals Derick Henstra and Peter Fehrsen, houses the Norval Foundation private art collection, one of the largest private collections of South African contemporary art, and hosts key exhibitions of both local and international artists. Designed to international standards, it is expected to become a significant space for fine art in the country and globally.

The long-anticipated opening of the foundation took place on 28 April 2018. The new centre for art is a research and exhibition space for 20th and 21st-century artworks, as well as a platform for music and cultural expression. Housed in world-class facilities, the foundation includes a sculpture garden, outdoor amphitheatre, purpose-built exhibition spaces, a research library, a restaurant and bar, a shop and a children's playground.

Guided by Director Elana Brundyn and her team of museum professionals, the foundation creates high quality exhibitions and public programming. It is the custodian of the Gerard Sekoto Foundation, Eduardo Villa Estate Collection and the Alexis Preller Archive. The Norval family are the founders and initial funders of the foundation whose aim is to make art widely accessible to local and international visitors, by creating a self-sustainable centre for art.

The landscaped grounds form a sculpture park that incorporates a sensitive existing wetland ecosystem that has been rehabilitated. The sculpture garden features three-dimensional and installation-based artworks by artists from South Africa and Africa. The unique site, bisected by a protected Cape Lowland Freshwater Wetland and surrounded by the natural beauty of the Western Cape, features flora that are indigenous to the area.

The placement of artwork takes the site into consideration, using the contours of the garden to hide and reveal work, creating an experience of discovery for the viewer. The building has been designed so that the western side gives way onto the sculpture garden at multiple points, allowing visitors access from the galleries, building connections between exhibitions taking place both inside and outside.

The exhibition programme in the sculpture garden represents a plurality of practices currently taking place in the region, including artists working with the figure, narrative and mythology, abstraction and post-minimalism and craft. Artworks will be a mixture of long term loans and works from the Homestead Art Collection, which are installed permanently.

The Skotnes Restaurant is the culinary arm of the foundation. The menu pays homage to classical South African cuisine, whilst updating its flavours and distilling its ingredients to their simplest possible presentation. All ingredients are sourced from local, small-batch suppliers, with the intention of supporting and uplifting local communities. At the helm of the Skotness is Executive Chef, Phil de Villiers.

The foundation shop is stocked with books, exhibition posters and other stylish products. Of their carefully selected merchandise, 80 percent is designed and manufactured locally, while 20 percent represents global talent. The products are regularly synchronised with the exhibitions in the museum, so there is always something new to discover. Items based on featured artists such as Gerard Sekoto, Norman Catherine and Walter Battiss are just some of the things on offer.

View more information on the website.
SANAVA secretariat
Junxion Communications, e-mail, tel +27 82 551 4853