Monday, May 31, 2010

New Artwork at Kalk Bay Modern

The Kalk Bay Modern has recently acquired some new artwork by the exciting, upcoming artist Michael Chibogo.
He is passionately inspired to be the voice of the homeless and expresses their plight through the media of printing, painting and poetry.  His intensely atmospheric work also speaks out against the abuse of drugs and alcohol that are the downfall of many homeless people, pointing out how these substances can lead any of us down their sad path. His work is inspired by a deep empathy and desire to ease the suffering of our less fortunate fellows.
Chibogo has participated in a number of exhibitions many at the Artist Proof Studio, in Newtown where he now works as an assistant facilitator. He also works for the Creative Inner City Initiative were he facilitates silkscreen printing workshops.
KBM is in the throes of preparation for a particularly exciting exhibition featuring art on paper to open later this year as well as the upcoming Nicolaas Maritz exhibition entitled Mermaids and Mountains which opens on Wednesday the 9th of June.
Be sure not to miss out on any of these exciting events!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Ardmore Exhibition (A Tribute to Cecil Skotnes)

The inspiring origins of the Ardmore Ceramic workshop make their beautiful pieces a fitting accompaniment to the work of veteran South Africa artist, Cecil Skotnes, in the Kalk Bay Modern’s most recent exhibition, A Tribute to Cecil Skotnes. The Ardmore section of the show was opened by Jonathan Berning, the son of Fée Berning who started the workshop after taking the now legendary Bonnie Ntshalintsha on as an assistant to her own private work.

Over time the workshop grew and a second workspace was established, providing a large group of self-employed  previously-disadvantaged artists the infrastructure to make their livings.

To view the Ardmore Ceramic Art website click on the link below

This beautiful piece below, currently on display at KBM, is entitled Ukwashela – The Proposal and was sculpted by Petros Gumbi and painted by Mickey Chonco. 

It depicts a traditional Zulu ceremony in which a man proposes to a woman and she accepts him by donning white beads. The figures dancing around the piece are symbolic of the couples coming of age as newlyweds. Other traditional symbols used are a wooden stick – induku, and a spoon -  ukhezo. The stick is the groom’s symbol indicating that he has reached the maturity to be a husband while the spoon is symbolic of the woman’s role in her future marriage – that of nurturer, care-giver and home-maker.

Petros Gumbi is a highly talented and skilled craftsman, taught under Fée Berning, and now one of Ardmore’s most successful artists.
Mickey Chonco has a passion for painting although he is also highly skilled in ceramic sculpture. His work is immediately recognizable by his particular sensitivity for colour which results in a distinctive harmony and elegance

The Kalk Bay Modern always has a selection of beautiful Ardmore Ceramics on display and is proud to have some particularly notable pieces on exhibition at the moment.

These beautiful ceramic sculptures coupled with the powerful prints of Cecil Skotnes make this an exhibition not to be missed.

Friday, May 14, 2010

A Tribute to Cecil Skotnes

From 7 to 30 April, 2010, the Kalk Bay Modern had the pleasure of presenting one of their most exciting shows yet. A Tribute to Cecil Skotnes was opened by Tom Scully, the printer Skotnes worked with on a series entitled The Assassination of Shaka (1974) which is still on display at KBM.

Cecil Skotnes, who died on the 7th of April 2009, was one of South Africa’s most venerated artists and social activists. During the racist Apartheid regime when black people were barred from all universities and institutions, he acted as cultural officer at the influential Polly Street Art Centre of the 50’s, training and encouraging young black artists, some of whom became household names.
He also set up the Nyanga Art Centre in the 80's, and taught at the legendary Community Arts Project. He was awarded the Goodman Gallery Award in 2005 for a lifetime of service to South African community and art.

In his own words:
My work is grounded in an African idiom - when I was a boy at school a friend in the church ran a Salvation Army school in Soweto, so I visited there often, and since then I have traversed the entire country. It's been a fortuitous trek, this journey.
'There are two elements here - a great depth of understanding of the art of southern Africa before the white man even put his foot in the country and secondly, my experience in teaching and working with a serious small group of township people who became professional artists.”
He often dealt with aspects of South African history that were neglected due to the Aparthed government. The Assassination of Shaka, based on a poem by Stephen Gray of the same title, is an example of his passion for the authentic South African narrative. 

As pointed out by Sue Williamson in an ARTHROB biography on Cecil Skotnes, one does not need to look hard to see how deeply rooted in the atmosphere of Africa Cecil Skotnes’ work is – it is plain to see in his rich earth colours and stark intense forms.

To read the entire biography on the fascinating household name, click on the link below.

This show also contained several beautiful pieces from the Ardmore Ceramic Workshop which will be the subject of the next blog.