Saturday, February 27, 2010

Broken Arrow San Art:: Exhibition Opening

On Wednesday evening the Kalk Bay Modern was excited to present
'Broken Arrow' an exhibition of contemporary San artwork, in collaboration with SASI (The South African San Institute), The Kuru Art Project and their long time colleague The Omba Arts Trust.
[Click on the links below to view the homepages of these inspiring organisations]

The exhibition includes painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, bead work and jewellery created by a number of San artists from communities all through southern Africa.
Nicolaas Maritz, an established South African artist who lives in
Darling, opened the show with a very informative speech about the
plight of the San. 
 Cheryl Rumbak and Nicolaas Maritz
[Click on the links below to read a brief profile on Maritz as well as  an entertaining article on
  his life and art in two fabulous Darling houses]
I was very excited to see so many extraordinary San artworks on show,
a few of which were by artists discussed in previous blogs. Up close
the works are even more vital and glowing than they are on a screen
and I urge anyone interested in either the San in particular or
contemporary art in general to visit this exhibition which runs
until 31st of March

The first thing to catch my eye was a pair of carved wooden animals.
As one can see in the picture below, they are carved with incredible
sensitivity and delicacy. Maritz pointed them out during his speech
offering what i thought was a very valid insight: that their
sensitivity and care of workmanship is remarkable in its contrast to
what often constitutes contemporary art. Such qualities are often
undervalued in western art of the moment, with its high energy focus
on immediacy, punchiness and shock value, characteristic of our
disposable society.

Scattered around on shelves and tables were also incredibly wrought
wire animals, some cartoonishly exaggerated, others so skilfully
descriptive of their subject's contours that I was blown away. There
was also a beautiful display of San Jewellry from the company ArtiSan,
part of the Omba Arts Trust.

In the next few blogs i will be sharing with you some of the most
beautiful paintings and prints, all of which are currently on display
and for sale at the Kalk Bay Modern. The works on show were all
incredibly strong and the stories behind them fascinating, haunting
and beautiful. I look forward to sharing them with you!

As a taste of some of the delights to come, I’ve included a painting by the artist Andry Kashivi whom I have discussed in a previous blog. Enjoy!

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