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

July is Madiba Month – and 2018 is Madiba Year. Across the globe, what would have been the iconic leader's 100th birthday was celebrated. From the small fishing village, Paternoster, on South Africa's West Coast and home to probably the smallest branch of SANAVA, where an art route was launched to commemorate Mandela (read paternoster Art Route open), to the eloquent presentation by the USA's former president, Barack Obama in Johannesburg, commemorating our beloved leader.

Read about the Resistance Art exhibition at the Pretoria Art Museum and the iconic Walter Battiss exhibition at the Rupert museum in Stellenbosch, which can still be viewed until August.

We would like to see as many of you as possible at this year's Annual General Meeting at the Arts Association, Pretoria on Saturday, 28 July. There will also be a walkabout by the previous winners of the New Signatures competition, Zyma Amien and Ingrid Bolton, whose exhibition opens the previous evening.

In FOCUS on… art writer Dianne de Beer talks to the architect of the new Javett Arts Centre at the University of Pretoria. The centre's envisaged official opening is in the first half of next year.

Keep warm and nurture the Madiba in you.

Until next time.

Avi Sooful
National President
Paternoster Art Route open

Paternoster's own art route was officially launched recently.

The route is a project of the Paternoster branch of SANAVA.

The eight participating artists and galleries attended the opening, together with some 60 people as part of the countrywide celebrations of Madiba's 100th birthday.

They are At Botha, Fleur Delyse, Magda Art, pb Ceramics, the Stone Fish Studio and Gallery, Uro Erichsen, Wayne and Sandy Attril and Wilko Roon.

"Nelson Mandela, born on 18 July 1918, was undoubtedly laid in the cradle to irrevocably change the future of South Africa," said the acting Mayor of Saldanha Bay, Alderman Elize Steyn.

Steyn, who officially opened the route, said Mandela was during his imprisonment of 27 years probably the world's most famous, but least recognisable political prisoner.

"Then he was probably the world's most photographed man.

"I believe his perseverance, his will to get things done and his absolute belief in the will of people to improve their circumstances was one of his most outstanding features. Without it he would not have been able to accomplish what he had - to lead South Africa to what we all look forward to - a good life for all. One of his best known sayings - things always seem impossible until it's done - is just as true today.

"Madiba will always stay an icon for us," she said.

Afterwards, visitors were taken to the various art galleries on a bakkie (fisherman's speak for a small boat) and tuk-tuk to visit the artists' galleries.

Paternoster's emerging artists, Alviro Kearns, Renaldo Coenraad and Mary-Ji Williams, were rewarded with the first, second and third prizes at the learners' sidewalk drawing competition. Melissa Snyders and Jaheida Kearns walked away with the prizes for the emerging artists.

A brochure about the art route is available at the tourism organisations in town. There is also a Facebook page - Paternoster Art Route.
Hugh Nolutshungu, Untitled, pen and watercolour on paper.
Nelson Mandela's 100th birthday anniversary

Resistance art of the 1960s until the 1980s @ the Pretoria Art Museum

During the 1960s, South Africa saw the emergence of a new type of art, which was particularly influenced by the political climate of the time.

As the repressiveness of the apartheid state increased in the 1970s and 1980s, many artists produced works that reflected the harsh realities of South African life, sometimes obliquely, sometimes head-on. In June 1976, the children of Soweto decided to resist their oppression, but their peaceful protest was met with police gunfire. Riots and unrest in the townships started all over the country. Artists were trapped in a world of violence.

The South African Resistance Art movement was born. Artists took up paint and brushes as weapons against the oppressor. There was a growing realisation amongst anti-apartheid forces that cultural resistance was a tool of immense power.

The sustained pressure of the armed struggle and the escalation of unrest led to the eventual release of Nelson Mandela from jail in 1990. This event paved the way for the first-ever democratic election in April 1994.

To celebrate Nelson Mandela's 100th birthday anniversary, the Pretoria Art Museum is hosting an exhibition of Resistance Art of the 1960s until the 1980s. The exhibition is on in the East Gallery until November 2018.
Mythical Face (1969) Silkscreen
'I invented myself'

This iconic exhibition by Walter Battiss is on at the Rupert Museum in Stellenbosch until 11 August 2018.

Curated by Warren Siebrits and featuring the collections of the Rupert Art Foundation, Jack Ginsberg, Eduard du Plessis and the Wits Art Museum, this is a must-see.

For more information, please visit the website.
Three Ceramic Palettes at the Tina Skukan Gallery

The African landscape has inspired artists for centuries and has always delivered vibrant and exciting pieces of artwork.

This exhibition brings three award winning ceramic artists - Margot Rudolph, Eunice Botes and Christine Williams - together, who use clay as their canvas to express their interpretation of the emotions and colours and vibrancy of the African landscape.

The gallery, in Koedoeberg Road, Faerie Glen, Pretoria, can be reached on 012 991 1733, 083 653 6928,
Art - Thelma van Rensburg Art – Johan Steyn
Two exhibitions @ the Association of Arts, Pretoria

Thelma van Rensburg's exhibition of works on paper, The allure of the unruly, is on until 1 August 2018, and Johan Steyn's painting exhibition, They are disappearing, can be viewed until 7 August 2018.

For more information phone 012 346 3100.
'Flight' at Art.b Gallery

Art.b Gallery, the Arts Association of Bellville, will be exhibiting 'Flight' which will open on 25 July 2018 at 18:30 and close on 4 August 2018 at 16:00. The exhibition is hosted by Theo Paul Voster (Lino), Johan Coetzee (monoprinting) and Noeleen Kleve (etching). Fanie Scholtz curated the exhibition.

Visit the website and Facebook page for more information.
Cannons boom again at Fort Klapperkop

A visit to Fort Klapperkop every second Saturday will revive the history of days gone by when a group of black powder enthusiasts of the Pretoria Model Cannon Shooting Club will let the cannons boom.

Visitors to the museum can watch the activity of loading, aiming and firing the model cannons. While the cannons boom, black powder smoke will hover around the fort as in the past.

Enthusiasts of black powder weapons will be especially surprised by the variety of model cannons that will be in action. The models are perfect replicas of cannons from the 17th and 18th century, but only one-tenth to one-twentieth of the original size.

A Dutch ship cannon of the year 1680, a German "Festungsgeschutz" (castle cannon) of the year 1701, a Swedish royal artillery model of 1754 and even models of the first cannon that was built in South Africa in 1881 during the First War of Independence of the ZAR, the Ras cannon, will be in action.

For more information, contact André Strydom on 012 346 8847.
Aesthetica art prize opportunities for emerging and established artists

Hosted by the international art and culture publication Aesthetica Magazine, the Art Prize offers a £5 000 cash prize, group exhibition, editorial coverage and publication within the inspiring Future Now: 100 Contemporary Artists anthology.

The Prize accepts works on any theme, pushing the boundaries of experimentation and innovation.

There are four categories - Photographic and digital art, Three-dimensional design and sculpture, Painting, drawing and mixed media and Video, installation and performance.

Submissions close on 31 August 2018.

For more information contact Sophie Lake on (0044) (0)1904 629 137, Visit |
VANSA news and projects

The Visual Arts Network of South Africa (VANSA), with the support of the Department of Arts and Culture, published the Best Practice Guide for the Visual Arts in South Africa in 2016. The guide was developed out of the need to share and develop industry practices that will support healthy and ethical relationships and transactions between practitioners in the industry.

VANSA offers an opportunity to be part of a network of visual arts practitioners, businesses and organisations committed to the development of our sector. Anyone is welcome to become a member. Find out more

VANSA Legal Helpdesk offers free legal advice for members. The Legal Helpdesk functions in partnership with Legalese, who responds to legal queries on a weekly basis. The legal advice is offered to VANSA members only, and specifically deals with copyright and intellectual property; contracts, sales and services; and business and organisational structures.

For more information call 010 206 9012, email or visit the website.
Javett Art Centre in the making. (Liam Purnell)
Shadows in Play at Lynnwood Road. (Liam Purnell).
The Javett Art Centre at University of Pretoria reaching across Lynnwood Road. (Hein Dedekind)
FOCUS on... The Javett Art Centre

The Javett Art Centre at the University of Pretoria aims to forge a partnership between the university and the public.

Gauteng's latest art centre, featuring a handful of galleries, something which can stand as a counterpoint to Cape Town's Zeitz MOCCAA and Norval Foundation, is in the process of being built on the edges of the University of Pretoria's Hatfield and South campuses.

Named the Javett Art Centre at the University of Pretoria (Javett-UP) in honour of its philanthropic donor, work started in 2016 and the centre is set to open in the first half of 2019. Art writer Dianne de Beer spoke to the architect, Pieter Mathews, whose firm Mathews and Associates designed the centre as a link to the people.

Even before we get to the art, which is really what the Javett Art Centre is all about, there's the building – and according to lead and concept architect, Pieter Mathews, it is easily the most challenging project his firm has ever worked on.

Keeping in mind that with these grand art projects, the buildings have become as important as the art featured, the fact that the first concept design was penned at the end of 2012, captures the complexity of the endeavour. With the help of project architect, Liam Purnell, assisted by two project dedicated architects, Carla Spies and Jannes Hattingh, their goal has been to create a space that would activate the connection between art and architecture. That's also why the specific site (one of three options) was selected, because of the proximity of the Boukunde Building and the Visual Art Building that flank the Art Centre.

"It makes sense that those three should be linked," says Mathews.

It also complicated the challenge because it meant that they would be building across one of Tshwane's main arteries, Lynnwood Road and yet, because of their approach, it will heighten the visual appeal as well as the visibility of the centre. They have turned the bridge into a huge feature wrapped in lightweight concrete cloth that reaches across the exterior and interior based on the much-loved shweshwe fabric. This "cloth" displays many different features including a play of light and shadow also turning the bridge into an expansive feature when it is illuminated at night. "It almost looks like fairy lights glistening in the middle of the road," explains the architect about this design feature which has strong South African connections which embrace all its people.

But the bridge is also the connector between the public and the students and academics, the two campus sites and the diversity which is embraced on campus.

The other reason for the site is that while it has one section on the main Hatfield campus, the section that crosses to the far side of Lynnwood Road will offer the public easy access to the galleries as well as a restaurant which will be part of the complex and is planned as an inviting addition for museum visits.

Apart from the bridge, which is also an exhibition space and offers visual invitations to the other galleries, the Mapungubwe gallery – which will house one of the most important collections entrusted to the stewardship of the University of Pretoria – is the other focal point of the centre, towering into the sky. It adds to the dominance of the building not only because of the design but also its height.

The building will profoundly change the landscape of the campus as well as the city. When complete, it will comprise nine distinct exhibition spaces, one of which will be housed in the iconic bridge and in addition to the Javett Foundation's collection of 20th century SA art and contemporary collections from the university as well as private donors, Director Christopher Till will feature exciting rotating exhibitions and the students, from across the university, will have rolling exhibitions in the dedicated student gallery. The centre, with its focus on the Art of Africa, will also include a sophisticated restoration department and an auditorium which can be used for performances or public lectures.

Other design features that had to be taken into account were heritage buildings in the vicinity which are reflected in the design of facing walls of the new structure, trees that had to be maintained, the extension of the main artery of the university known as Tukkie Laan and the inclusion of two main squares, the Art Square which embraces both the art and the architecture students on either side and the Museum Square which is the public entrance to the galleries from different public parking spaces.

Before any of this even started, Mathews, who has just been awarded the Medal of Honour for Visual Arts (Architecture) by the Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns, went on a 10-day museum tour courtesy of the Mellon Foundation accompanied by the late Stephan Welz who was also instrumental in the appointment of his architectural firm together with Prof Antony Melck and Prof Karel Bakker from the Department at UP where Mathews studied. It was a learning curve, an intense museum tour to different world-class institutions visiting everything from their restoration spaces to their storage facilities. They were also introduced to different curators and the way they shaped their exhibitions, all of which had an impact on the final design.

And with something this all-encompassing as the Javett Art Centre, they had to find a unifying leitmotif to bind the various elements like the bridge wrapping, the faceted concrete shell structure of the Mapungubwe "mountain", galvanised steel pergolas and all the other building elements. The solution was found in the colour scheme determined by the concrete cladding – a natural light grey. When they want to separate various elements, they will use charcoal as the shadow colour.

Anyone who knows the architect, will deem this a perfect fit – not only because of his innovative design skills, but also because he has always combined art with architecture.

"I am an ambassador for the visual environment, " says Mathews whose firm designed among others the Nellmapius Bridge on the N1, the New Mussina Bridge as gateway into South Africa (expected completion date end of this year), Transport Architecture TRT stations in the historic sensitive Pretoria CBD, (for example, Rivonia Trial station opposite the Old Synagogue) and various award-winning educational buildings for city schools, including Afrikaans Hoër Meisieskool and a new music centre for Afrikaanse Hoër Seunskool. He and his Cool Capital team also hosted and designed the 2017 South African Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. He is happy that he and his team have a good hold on this massive project. "I am very confident in the collective brain at work here."
SANAVA secretariat
Junxion Communications, e-mail, tel +27 82 551 4853