All Posts in Exhibitions

March 15, 2016 - Comments Off on Rope, Dope & Hope by Lonwabo Kilani – 10 March – 2 April

Rope, Dope & Hope by Lonwabo Kilani – 10 March – 2 April

Lonwabo Kilani works in various media - painting, drawing, video, and interactive media. In his work, serious play has real signification, both as a conceptual process and as a material application to communicate the black state of non-being. Kilani studied Film (animation) and later digital arts and interactive media. Because he believes in making art for a purpose, Lonwabo is an activist.

Rope, Dope & Hope

While no documents seem to directly point to the historical origins of rope skipping in South Africa, piecing together various historical events may reveal the story. Recently recognized as one of South Africa’s indigenous games and national sports, Ugqaphu (rope skipping) originates from the Dutch and Americans, whose children sang while skipping two ropes. This game later earned the name “Double Dutch.” The game of jumping over a rope has been dated far back to ancient times in numerous cultures throughout the globe. It existed as a sport in Ancient Egypt, and was known as “hundred rope jumping” in China. From the relationship between the colonial settlers in South Africa and those in the Americas, a brief historical analogy can be pieced together.

Now, between the whipping sounds and the breaking echoes of the rope, I want to situate the political reality about blackness- blackness which is equally rooted in play and enjoyment as well as fear and terror. To foster hope among American inner-city kids, police officer Ulysses F. William reintroduced Double Dutch as part of an Inner City Outreach program called “Rope not Dope.” This rhythmic loop of rope violently lashing against the surface is accompanied by tranquil hymns- one – two – three – ele ele, one – two – three – ele ele. The beat of these hymns feels synonymous to the corporal punishment received in my high school days- one – two – three – next. Corporal punishment was not allowed to exceed three lashes in those days. While both rhythms cease to be violent, they both represent forms of keeping black youth in line. When we look deeper into this peaceful, humming beat, we start to see the relationship between oppressing forces and Blackness. As these patterns are repeated, we become desensitised to them, accepting it as normal. In order to restore what is normal, we must trace the relationship between police forces and blackness paralleled to schooling and blackness. It seems as if “civilizing” today’s black youth serves as the primary educator.

February 5, 2016 - Comments Off on Cape Town Art Fair – AVA Gallery showcase

Cape Town Art Fair – AVA Gallery showcase


A selection of Hanien Conradie’s Master of Fine Art work, Spore, will be presented at the Cape Town Art Fair by the Association for Visual Arts (AVA) Gallery from 18-22 February 2016. Also presented at the AVA Gallery booth during the art fair are rising star artists Siwa Mgoboza and Bonolo Kavula.

Conradie’s paintings include installations with indigenous matter and reflected light effects. This masterful work also incorporates smaller flower paintings, drawing on traditions of botanical illustration and preservation.

Her sensitively designed artist’s book, Spore, documents her search for ‘belonging’ through tracing threatened flowers in the Breede River Valley, where her ancestors tilled the soil. Spore, is based on a 17th century herbarium catalogue. It is extensively illustrated with Conradie's artwork, site photographs and family pictures. In Spore, Conradie's ancestry and identity as an Afrikaans woman is questioned. Rather than drawing on post-colonial debates, the book employs radical eco-political perspectives to explore the alien and the indigenous, the vine and the fynbos.

A visit to the AVA booth (F2) brings to light the reality of a mounting ecological crisis in the Cape Floral Region as well as reveal the relationship between the landscape and cultural and individual identity.

Siwa Mgoboza’s photographic constructs manifest his ‘post-post-colonial’ world called AFRICARDIA. He has imagined this future land’s physical landscape, its inhabitants and animal-life. Here nature and humans live side by side peacefully, the world of difference does not exist and hybridity is taken to new levels of boundless subjectivity. Mgoboza’s frenetic compositions, including the use of Isishweshwe, are a reflection on what it would be like if a cosmic clash occurred and beings of AFRICARDIA were teleported to our current reality. Mgoboza recently graduated – with distinction - from Michaelis School of Fine Arts.

Bonolo Kavula uses materials associated with the home and the personal. These disparate objects are used through printmaking techniques to force a visual relationship between them by means of play and experimentation. Her gratuate exhibition at Michaelis School of Fine Arts was entitled Obfuscation - a word that she uses as a strategy to make her art works.

Les Etres D'Africadia V Libertina LaReina

January 26, 2016 - Comments Off on Pixels of Ubuntu/Unhu – Zimbabwean pavilion of the 56th Venice Biennale – 13 Feb – 7 March 2016

Pixels of Ubuntu/Unhu – Zimbabwean pavilion of the 56th Venice Biennale – 13 Feb – 7 March 2016

In a major cultural coup for the local l Art (AVA) has negotiated to bring the highly-acclaimed exhibition in the Zimbabwean Pavilion from last year’s 56th Venice Biennale to Cape Town.

Pixels of Ubuntu/Unhu – Exploring the Social and Cultural Identities of 21st Century will open at the AVA Gallery on Saturday, February 13, and be on view until 7 March 2016.

It will be the first show of the work by the three artists - Chiconzero Chazunguza, Masimba Hwati and Gareth Nyandoro - after the prestige event in Italy, and will coincide with the Cape Town Art Fair later in February. (In April it will be exhibited in Harare.)

The project, which will bring the artists, as well as the curator Raphael Chikukwa to the Mother City, is made possible by support provided by Pro Helvetia and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

Presented under the auspices of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Pixels of

organisation, the Association for VisuaUbuntu/Unhu was the centre of much praise during the Venice Biennale last year, the third time that Zimbabwe’s pavilion stood out in the art maze of this big biannual international event.

As the subtitle indicates, the artists interrogate identity and its place in the global sphere. The subject is an ongoing Zimbabwean source of inspiration. Pixels of Ubuntu/Unhu continues the discourse on the appreciation and practice of ‘Ubuntu/Unhu’. Zimbabwean elders say “umuntu ngumuntu ngaBantu/ munhu munhu navanhu”. This is the deep-seated Afro centric assertion that “I am because we are” - which is the cornerstone of African people’s identity.

Chikonzero Chazunguza (born 1967) earned an MFA from the Institute of Pictorial Arts in Sofia, Bulgaria, where he spent seven years. He returned to Zimbabwe in search of uniting his European training with indigenous art. His artist resource centre, Dzimbanhete Arts Interaction on the outskirts of Harare, is still thriving. Recipient of numerous awards, he has exhibited in Africa, Europe and North America.

His multidisciplinary artworks raise questions about the postcolonial condition and about the unstable role and nature of art in that context. Among his most compelling works are those that reinstate for the viewer, a sense of ritual order and of life’s deeper mysteries, alongside proffering incisive, yet subtle social and political analysis.

Masimba Hwati (1982) studied visual arts at the Harare Polytechnic, majoring in ceramics and painting. He has collaborated with artists from outside Zimbabwe and his work is in several private collections.

His interest is the memory and energy of traditional objects, and the space they occupy in the urban world. His work explores the transformation and evolvement of indigenous knowledge systems. He teaches art at the Polytechnic.

Gareth Nyandoro (1982) trained at Masvingo Polytechnic, Harare Polytechnic and Chinhoyi University of Technology. Street life and the human interaction that accompanies it are recurring themes in his work. He has exhibited in Zimbabwe, Africa and abroad, with various residencies and is currently on one at the Rijksakademie in the Netherlands.

Nyandoro combines images of vendors with found materials which he processes by employing idiosyncratic variations on traditional craft techniques - like weaving with paper. His installations bring the two- and three-dimensional components together through drawing, props, and objects. These works reflect his research in relation to space, narrative, or storytelling, and materials as they are altered and transferred.

Raphael Chikukwa is chief curator at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe. He has been in charge of the two previous pavilions in Venice. The National Gallery’s director, Doreen Sibanda was the commissioner for Venice.

* On Saturday, February 20 at 12.00 there will be a question and answer session at the gallery with the curator, Raphael Chikukwa and visiting artists.

July 30, 2015 - Comments Off on Cape Town Salon – A Tribute to Rose Korber – Opening 2nd Dec 2015 – will run until 30th Jan 2016

Cape Town Salon – A Tribute to Rose Korber – Opening 2nd Dec 2015 – will run until 30th Jan 2016


The Cape Town Salon opens December 2, 2015

THE vibrancy of local art – its playfulness, but also its colourful social suss - is the thread that runs through the rather eclectic group exhibition that the Association for Visual Arts has put together for its end-of-year summer celebration in the AVA Gallery.

Titled the Cape Town Salon, the show will open on Wednesday, December 2 and run for the duration of the festive season. A wide range of paintings, prints and ceramics will be on display and for sale.

As the classic title ‘salon’ suggests, the artworks chosen, are meant for a more intimate experience - one that would ultimately manifest itself more personally when it finds a permanent home after being acquired by an art lover. The AVA Gallery’s interior has been especially furnished for the occasion, with help from new partners Madame Zingara and Stokperd Home Décor.

It is an important imperative of an exhibition like this (unlike one-person shows) that the works complement one another and that they are for sale – at an affordable price.

The non-profit Association for Visual Arts has been an active supporter of local art for many decades. Part of this vision is to take good artworks into people’s homes. Both appreciation and acquisition are promoted by the salon.

The first Cape Town Salon – it is hoped to become an end-of-year tradition – is also offered as a special ‘Tribute to Rose Korber’.

The esteemed art dealer and, for many years, member of the AVA and its predecessor’s committees, introduced the salon concept to Cape Town more than 20 years ago. Held annually at the end of the year, Ms Korber brought together art from the most diverse sources and studios, artists famous and unknown – all chosen with an expert eye.

She will be guest of honour at the opening.

The Cape Town Salon – A Tribute to Rose Korber will run until January 9, 2016.

* On Tuesday, December 1, as a preview to this important exhibition, a fundraising wine-and-art event will be presented at the gallery. Synaesthesia will match different wines from top producers with various artworks on show.

More information: 021-4247436



Saturday 28 March 11am – 12pm

Association of Visual Arts (AVA) Gallery

35 Church street, Cape Town, Western Cape

Join Rick Rohde, Hanien Conradie, Virginia MacKenny and Angus MacIntosh for a conversation about our relationship with the landscapes we inhabit and the implications of these relationships for social, economic and environmental justice.

Rick Rohde is an Anthropological Research Fellow and Co-investigator for the Arts and Humanities Research Council funded project focusing on the historical ecologies of the Namib and intangible cultural heritage of western Namibia. His work spans political ecology, land reform, and politics of climate change science, historical ecology, and visual ethnography.

Hanien Conradie is an artist whose work searches for answers to questions around belonging, uniqueness, and our relationship with the natural environment.

Angus MacIntosh is a grass farmer and carbon sequestrator. His farm, outside Stellenbosch, applies Biodynamic agricultural principles and practices in raising cattle, laying hens, vegetables and vines.

Virginia MacKenny is head of painting at the Michaelis School of Fine Art. She is also an independent art critic, writer and established painter with a special interest in environmental issues.

March 17, 2015 - Comments Off on A Pristine Land Interrupted By Paul Van Schalkwyk

A Pristine Land Interrupted By Paul Van Schalkwyk

The Association of Visual Arts in partnership with Spier presents A Pristine Land Interrupted By Paul Van Schalkwyk

24 March - 22 April 2015

The paradox is that I cannot observe and photograph without intruding. Without leaving my mark. It does not matter how careful I am. Even if I succeed to obliterate all evidence of my intrusion, the mere fact that I return with a photograph is proof of my intrusion. I have changed the scene’s status forever. I am taking away something and I am also giving something.

- Paul van Schalkwyk, June 2012

After opening to a packed audience at the Franco Namibian National Cultural Centre in Windhoek, A Pristine Land Interrupted is now travelling to Cape Town to be exhibited at the Association of Visual Arts gallery. Paul van Schalkwyk was Namibia’s original fine art aerial photographer who set the benchmark within this genre. He was a solo adventurer and a risk taker with a deep personal and emotional connection to the land he called home. From his soaring perspective, the landscape of Namibia that had inspired him throughout his life took on a new vivacity of its own. Far from conservative documentations of specific scenes or places, the harsh contrasts, extraordinary colors and rich textures in these images truly invoke a feeling of awe.

The project is a narrative spanning 10 years of Paul’s quest for a pristine land: a chronicle that ironically thrust him into a dilemma from which he could not escape. His yearning to seek out the unblemished, to photograph it and to share it became a double-edged act of admiration and interruption.

The show presents the viewer with a multi-faceted experience of familiar and unfamiliar landscape locations, which prompt a fascination with the aesthetic of an aerial viewpoint with its ability to see the unseen. It simultaneously probes one’s own association with the land and how our voyager meanderings come to take effect. It points to wider issues of climate change and is thus as much to do with our need to reassess our relationship with the planet as it is to do with our observation of it. In physics, the term “observer effect” refers to changes that the act of observation has on the phenomenon of being observed. With the modern world’s impulse to travel and consequent obsession to photograph the land that is seen, we come to question our own act of visual detection and what this in turn means for the livelihood of that very land which we so seemingly admire.

Curator, Jackie Ruth Murray who collaborated closely with Paul over the past three years has designed a multimedia installation comprising high quality Dibond prints, video/audio recordings of Paul’s flying missions, textual transcripts detailing research and GPS coordinates, and physical assemblages from light aircrafts.

During the month of April the exhibition will support a public arts program on environmental issues in collaboration with partner organizations; Young and Rubicam, The Big Issue magazine, Spier Regenerative Agriculture, Maccassar Educational Organization, the Big Fish School of Digital Filmmaking and Go/Weg magazine. Activities which will involve a public talk, an exhibition walkabout, video screenings, and an outing with schoolchildren from under resourced schools, will focus specifically on how land changes and aims to create awareness and develop action.

Renowned South African artist, art critic, writer, and academic Virginia MacKenny will open the exhibition on the 24 March at 18h00.

February 19, 2015 - Comments Off on Forming Impressions: The Ghost in the Machine

Forming Impressions: The Ghost in the Machine

works by Christian Nerf William Kentridge and Mongezi Ncaphayi

works by Christian Nerf William Kentridge and Mongezi Ncaphayi

Forming Impressions: The Ghost in the Machine

The AVA Gallery in partnership with Spier is pleased to present ‘Forming Impressions: The Ghost in the Machine’ a curated exhibition of original prints from the studios of Artist Proof Studio in Johannesburg and Warren Editions in Cape Town.

The exhibition comes at a time when South Africa’s rich history of printmaking is at an impasse, caught between the globalised trend in painting (referred to as the ‘silver-age’ of Abstract Expressionism) and the Internet, which has seemingly exhausted the potential of representation.

The exhibition takes its title from Gilbert Ryle’s critique of Hume’s concept of the distinction between ‘ideas’ and ‘impressions’, a critique that questioned the duality of the mind’s relationship to the phenomenal world.   ‘Forming Impressions’ seeks, in part, to question whether printmakers in South Africa, whose works formally resemble Abstract Expressionism, are influenced by Expressionism’s own claims that there exists a duality inherent in expressive form.

In the catalogue essay that accompanies the exhibition the curator, Matthew Blackman, contextualises certain questions in contemporary printmaking practices in South Africa.  He goes on to suggest that the works on ‘Forming Impressions’ intimate that this formalist development in South African printmaking has little connection with current overseas trends and more to do with South Africa’s own rhymes, politics and art history.

List of Artists:

Doris Bloom, Jan-Henri Booyens, Katherine Bull, Paul Edmunds, Georgina Gratrix, William Kentridge, Mongezi Ncaphayi Christian Nerf, Nkosana Nhlapo, Lucas Nkgweng, Jody Paulsen, Richard Penn, Chloë Reid, Matty Roodt, Michael Taylor, David Tsoka, Sara-Aimee Verity, Max Wolpe


‘Forming Impressions: The Ghost in the Machine’ opens on the 26 February at 18:00 at:

The AVA Gallery, 35 Church Street, Cape Town, 8001.

26 February – 19 March

December 3, 2014 - Comments Off on Greatest Hits : 2014 curated by Matthew Blackman 29 January – 20 February 2015

Greatest Hits : 2014 curated by Matthew Blackman 29 January – 20 February 2015

Greatest Hits 2014 is a curated exhibition with artworks selected from the Michaelis school of Fine Art UCT, Ruth Prowse School of Art and Stellenbosch University Graduate exhibitions. Greatest Hits 2014 offers an overview of the local and broader discourses that run through the three schools and reflects the quality of work produced by the graduate students in 2014.

November 19, 2014 - Comments Off on Handspring Puppet Company Event List : Workshops, talks and performances – closed JAN 2015

Handspring Puppet Company Event List : Workshops, talks and performances – closed JAN 2015




Join Jill Joubert in a step by step puppet making short course at the AVA Gallery. Using the current Handspring Puppet Company exhibition, Fabricate, as a constant visual reference, Joubert will guide puppet enthusiasts to construct their own puppet. All materials are included. No prior puppet making experience needed.

Workshop dates:

Saturday, 15 November Adults Puppet making course 10am - 1pm R200.00

Tuesday, 16 December 10am-1pm Christmas Puppet making Kids workshop (10 years and older) R200.00

Thursday, 18 December 10am-12pm Kids puppet making workshop (6-8 years old) R150.00

Monday, 22 December 6-9pm Adult Christmas Puppet making workshop R200.00

Saturday, 10 January 10am-1pm Kids Puppet making workshop (10 years and older) R200.00


Talks: (All talks are free to attend)

Tuesday, 25 November 2014 7-8pm - Adrian Kohler chats about the design challenges that faced the creative team behind War Horse

Saturday, 6 December 2014 11am-12pm Manipulation demonstration and talk by Handspring Puppeteers Gabriel Marchand and Mandiseli Maseti

Saturday, 17 January 2015 Walkabout with Handspring Puppet Company artist, Janni Younge


Performances : (All performances are free to attend)

Monday, 1 December 2014 7-7:30pm  I love you When you're Breathing: A lecture on puppetry delivered by a puppet.

Thursday, 4 December 2014  6:30pm  Joey the Horse Live (First Thursdays)


For more information contact the AVA Gallery : 021 424 7436

November 19, 2014 - Comments Off on Solving the Puppet Design Challenges of War Horse – a talk by Adrian Kohler 25 November 2014

Solving the Puppet Design Challenges of War Horse – a talk by Adrian Kohler 25 November 2014

Tuesday, 25 November 2014, doors open at 19:00
Join Handspring Puppet Company co-founder and artistic director, Adrian Kohler for an illuminating talk on the creative process and challenges that faced the team behind the award-winning production, War Horse.
Booking essential, doors open strictly at 19:00.
For more information contact the AVA Gallery : 021 424 7436
Featured image by CJ Chandler Photography

August 20, 2014 - Comments Off on Skattie Celebrates in partnership with Art South Africa – Thursday, 18 September 2014 18:00

Skattie Celebrates in partnership with Art South Africa – Thursday, 18 September 2014 18:00



SKATTIE, WHAT ARE YOU WEARING? started as platform to share the ups and downs of South African fashion. It has since become a cultural powerhouse, featuring local art, design, fashion and events curated by Malibongwe Tyilo, Visi Magazine’s editor-at-Large. As avid supporters of emerging artists, Tyilo and trend forecaster and fashion blogger, Sandiso Ngubane combined forces to present the second instalment of their SKATTIE CELEBRATES event series, in association with Art South Africa magazine. Sponsors include Spier Wine, Bombay Sapphire Gin and BOS Ice Tea.

August 20, 2014 - Comments Off on Worldwide Reading in Support of Edward Snowden – Monday, 8 September 2014

Worldwide Reading in Support of Edward Snowden – Monday, 8 September 2014

Liberty and Recognition for Edward Snowden Worldwide reading

Liberty and Recognition for Edward Snowden Worldwide reading












AVA Gallery, in association with the International Literature Festival Berlin, will host the Cape Town event of the Worldwide Reading in support of Edward Snowden. Readings will take place in cities across the planet, all on 8 September, and over 200 international authors have confirmed their support and participation. Readers for the Cape Town event will be announced in a forthcoming release – watch this space or join the Facebook event page: A spokesperson from Right2Know will also be present to highlight the important work that the network is doing here in South Africa and the key issues we face with regards to censorship, surveillance, and the struggle to protect civil liberties and freedom of expression.

For more information about the Worldwide Reading, please visit (and click ‘en’ for the English version), or contact the local event initiator, Alexandra Dodd:, or co-organiser Anne Taylor:

August 20, 2014 - Comments Off on Zapiro – DemoCrazy – 29 SEPTEMBER – 30 OCTOBER 2014

Zapiro – DemoCrazy – 29 SEPTEMBER – 30 OCTOBER 2014

The Sowetan newspaper describes Zapiro (aka Jonathan Shapiro) as “The best political cartoonist in the country.” His most recent book Democrazy (published by Jacana) presents a survey of satirical graphics of the foibles of South African politics over the past twenty years. In it he traces the indelible legacies of decisive moments that define, and still continue to shape, the country. In the twenty years since the advent of democracy, he produced more than 4,500 cartoons for publication in Mail & Guardian, Sowetan, Sunday Times and Independent Newspapers. From those he selected the 450 works shown in Jacana’s Democrazy.

For his forthcoming ZAPIRO – DEMOCRAZY at the AVA Gallery, he honed this selection even further into an exhibition of 60 graphics that describe – with fearless determination and precise clarity – a South Africa that, he writes, “was crazier than anything my imagination could conjure up”. The hardest challenge of mastering this dangerous genre, he continues, “has been to find that element of humour essential for effective cartooning in such debilitating events.” During the course of his exhibition Zapiro will also take his work into the Cape Town public realm. Characters, situations and texts – printed larger-than-life and pasted outdoors – will create surprising new meanings. Discover them striding down hallways, animating shop windows, peering out from behind corners, commenting from the sides of a passing bus or the inside of a lift, and assuming the textures of the stone walls or concrete slabs that become their gallery.

View and download catalogue here :

Mandela: The Early Years - Sunday Times 1998

Mandela: The Early Years - Sunday Times 1998

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July 3, 2014 - Comments Off on The Artist in Residency Programme : JAN-HENRI BOOYENS’ BINARY HUMANS Residency July – September 2014

The Artist in Residency Programme : JAN-HENRI BOOYENS’ BINARY HUMANS Residency July – September 2014

Jan-Henri Booyens will be utilizing The AVA gallery space between 4 July and September 2014, continuously producing work and hosting a series of studio open days to the public.

An invitation to participate in
Binary Humans
Jan Henri Booyens’s artist-in-residence program
AVA Gallery: 4 July – September 2014

SATURDAY 19 JULY, 10:00 – 13:00
Booyens’s collaboration with Jannes Hendrikz requires your presence to alter digital projection streams via code merging and data mulching

FRIDAY 25 JULY, 18:00 – 21:00
Open studio event with audio and video creation and real-time exhibition

SATURDAY 2 AUGUST, 10:00 – 13:00
Tender an anecdote or your portrait which, through digital capture, manipulation and scrambling, becomes a contribution to the artist’s project zine

Open studio event with audio and video creation and real-time exhibition

SATURDAY 16 AUGUST, 10:00 – 13:00
Stimulated by the collaborative precedent between artist Igor Stravinsky and composer Wassily Kandinsky, Booyens presents a painting workshop on the relationship between sound and images. This workshop is limited to 12 participants, who will need to cover their minimal material costs. Please email Laura on to make a booking (essential)

WEDNESDAY 20 AUGUST, 18:00–21:00
End of residency party celebration with audio and video creation and real-time exhibition

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Jan-Henri Booyens BINARY HUMANS

Jan-Henri Booyens BINARY HUMANS

BINARY HUMANS Jan-Henri Booyens

BINARY HUMANS Jan-Henri Booyens

June 6, 2014 - Comments Off on Great Stock – an Exhibition of donations to the AVA Gallery – 9 June 2014

Great Stock – an Exhibition of donations to the AVA Gallery – 9 June 2014


The AVA Gallery, since 1971, has been an enthusiastic and active participant in the radical shifts experienced by South Africa, and has played a decisive role in shaping the arts and culture sectors. As the oldest non-profit gallery in Cape Town, and arguably one of the more important nationally, the AVA has nurtured many of the country’s leading artists. Today, the AVA continues its commitment through regular exhibitions, supplemented by an exhilarating, interactive public events schedule that includes seminars and workshops, film screenings and performances, and a dynamic education programme. Even further, we administer Artreach, a vital support and development programme. The events launching on 9 June are part of the AVA’s continued drive to raise financial resources to support its work, and to assist in growing the organisation into one of the world’s leaders in contemporary visual culture.


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May 29, 2014 - Comments Off on AVA Gallery Saturday Cult Programme : True / Story Short Film Screening 31 May 2014

AVA Gallery Saturday Cult Programme : True / Story Short Film Screening 31 May 2014

TRUE/STORY Short Film Screening Saturday, 31 May 2014 17:00 - 19:00

Stills from Penny Siopis’ Obscure White Messenger
Stills from Penny Siopis’ Obscure White Messenger

This week, the AVA’s Saturday Cult programme screens four films dealing with issues of migrancy and alienation, here curated to obfuscate the erroneous boundaries between documentary and fiction. Thereafter, film fundi Roger Young ignites and directs the conversation between film-makers, producers, artists and you.

CROSSING THE LIMPOPO (2009, 15 min) by DAN HALTER shows the artist being lead across the Limpopo River from Zimbabwe into South Africa, by a cigarette smuggler, along one of the routes used by border jumpers. By playing the notorious barrier up against the passage Zimbabwean immigrants face, Halter uses a dark dark humour to interrogate xenophobia, international relations, and sad and empty promises

BORDER FARM (2011, 32 min) by THENJIWE NIKI NKOSI is a docu-drama about a group of Zimbabwean border jumpers who make their way across the Limpopo River from Zimbabwe to seek work on farms in South Africa. It portrays the many-layered drama of forced migration and is written, acted and crewed by the people who made the journey themselves. The film examines the structure of political, social and architectural power, and the invisible forces that create them.

VECINOS, translated as NEIGHBOURS (2013, 9 min 45 sec) by SYDELLE WILLOW SMITH follows three African migrants as they navigate the urban space of Barcelona: Xumo Nunjo, a musician born in Cameroon; Mamadou Dia, a writer and educator born in Senegal; and Gelia Barila Angri, from Equatorial Guinea. These participants offer an opportunity to re-consider notions of home and belonging in black Europe, framing their narratives around a real or symbolic return to Africa.

OBSCURE WHITE MESSENGER (2010, 15 min 7 sec) by PENNY SIOPIS splices together anonymous film footage found in flea markets with a transcript of the psychiatrist’s interview with  Demitrios Tsafendas, the man who murdered Verwoerd. By exploring the fact that Tsafendas was an oddball, an outsider, a drifter, a man to whom no country would give citizenship, not even the place of his birth, Siopis highlights the effects of xenophobia as much as she questions the distinction between fact and fiction.

May 28, 2014 - Comments Off on AVA Gallery Saturday Cult Programme : Conversations on Creativity 8.0 Saturday 31 May 2014

AVA Gallery Saturday Cult Programme : Conversations on Creativity 8.0 Saturday 31 May 2014













Saturday, 31 May 2014 12:00 - 15:00

Creative Nestlings – in association with the AVA Gallery and Creative Cape Town,  a programme of the Cape Town Partnership – invites you to #ConversationsonCreativity 8.0. This is the eighth in the Cape Town series, and here guest host Didi Ntsie enlists four creative heavyweights from around the globe to share their work, lives, and thoughts.

DANIEL TING CHONG is an illustrator, designer and artist, and is now emerging as one of Cape Town’s top creative talents with his series of art exhibitions, talks, commissions from clients, and collaborations with leading international brands including Nike, New York Times and the Discovery Channel.

JESS CROSS is an artist and DJ based between Cape Town and San Francisco. In 2010 she started a non-profit company called SoulCity Movement, a collective of artists who facilitate creation, collaboration, mentorship and showcasing as a platform for cross-cultural understanding through personal leadership development.

CELESTE ARENDSE interned at Klûk CGDT before becoming an Elle New talent finalist in 2009. From there she ventured into creating her own clothing brand – Selfi, inspired by architecture, forms and patterns in nature.

DATHINI MZAYIYA is an artist who works in oil paints, charcoal and video installations to create prolific narratives and social commentary. He is a founding member of the Visual Arts Network South Africa (VANSA, Western Cape), Africa South Arts Initiative (ASAI) and Gugulective.

May 22, 2014 - Comments Off on Terry Kurgan and Alex Dodd’s Checking in to Hotel Yeoville / Imraan Coovadia Tales of the Metric System reading – Saturday, 24 May 2014

Terry Kurgan and Alex Dodd’s Checking in to Hotel Yeoville / Imraan Coovadia Tales of the Metric System reading – Saturday, 24 May 2014


Still image from Nadine Hutton's satirical video artwork, Alien Invasion [or] burning people is as South African as braaivleis (2009)

Still image from Nadine Hutton's satirical video artwork, Alien Invasion [or] burning people is as South African as braaivleis (2009)

Join us on Saturday, 24 May 2014 at 11am for Terry Kurgan and Alex Dodd’s highly visual presentation Checking in to Hotel Yeoville. It begins by looking at contemporary South African representations of alienation (including Rian Malan’s essay collection, Resident Alien, and Neil Blomkamp’s science fiction blockbuster film, District 9); reflect on the making of Hotel Yeoville as a collaboration with a hybrid mix of professionals from across the African continent and the globe; and conclude with a quest that seeks to “establish bonds of care across boundaries”.

 Imraan Coovadia's reading from his forthcoming novel Tales of the Metric System (to be published by Umuzi in 2015) will provide a special insight into the unfolding of the novelist’s working method and explore, in literary form, the theme of how friendships are formed across borders that exist in the mind and the body.

May 5, 2014 - Comments Off on Better Together CAMERON PLATTER


In partnership with Dulux and in celebration of World Design Capital 2014, The AVA Gallery has enlisted the help of Cameron Platter to transform the gallery facade into a work of contemporary art.
Cameron Platter has been one of the most dominant figures in the South African art scene of the last 10 years.  Born in 1978, Platter graduated from the Michaelis School of Fine Art in 2001. After a short period training in restaurant kitchens, Platter has gone off record to say that he turned back to art because ‘it had to be easier than that.’ During the early 2000s he became one of the founding members of the Flash Art group – a group that included other famous names such as Dan Halter and Ed Young.

May 5, 2014 - Comments Off on Human Zoo ANYA ADENDORFF 12 May – 5 June 2014

Human Zoo ANYA ADENDORFF 12 May – 5 June 2014

Anya Adendorff - Day after Day

Anya Adendorff - Day after Day

Drawing from her experience of architecture, Anya Adendorff's, Human Zoo represents her view of the urban masses and their seemingly pointless en devours on the backdrop of a greedy and rushed city. With a frenzied over-crowding of the canvas, Adendorff makes subtle references to society's manic over-consumption and wastage.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Cape Town in 1996, Adendorff established and worked with various design studios until deciding to pursue art full-time in 2006. After numerous group exhibitions, Human Zoo is Adendorff's first solo show.
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May 5, 2014 - Comments Off on Soft Walls SYDELLE WILLOW SMITH 12 May – 5 June 2014

Soft Walls SYDELLE WILLOW SMITH 12 May – 5 June 2014

Sydelle Willow Smith - Sunday at Mzolis

Sydelle Willow Smith - Sunday at Mzolis

Soft Walls seeks to deal with convivial relationships between migrated African nationals and South Africans; revealing the subtle ways in which individuals make sense of their experiences; forming relationships and bonds that can challenge dominant perceptions wherein difference is celebrated and prejudices towards “foreign” Africans are perpetuated.
With migrants settling in, marrying, developing friendships and building homes with South Africans, the question of identity and belonging has become central. While immigrant integration has fairly engaged and transformed South African communities, the process has not, necessarily, led to cohesive communities. This has, in turn, led to the perceived walls or restrictions and unfavourable relationship issues.
Smith’s Soft Walls figuratively investigates the subtle ways in which African nationals and South Africans, in relationships, make sense of their space, experiences and complexities.
Sydelle Willow Smith is the first recipient of the Gisèle Wulfsohn Mentorship in Photography. Market Photo Workshop in association with the family of the late Gisèle Wulfsohn in 2012 established the mentorship. The mentorship is set out as a developmental mentorship; and is seen as an opportunity to continue Gisèle Wulfsohn’s approach and interests in photography.
Smith was mentored by Dave Southwood.
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April 7, 2014 - Comments Off on ANTI-AIRCRAFT GIRL: A NEW SCULPTURAL INSTALLATION BY STEFAN BLOM 15 April – 8 May 2014



Stefan Blom Studio

Stefan Blom Studio


Anti-aircraft girl (2014) – the sculptural amalgamation of a female torso with the mechanism of an anti-aircraft weapon – is an immersive installation which ironically emphasizes non-participation. The polychrome fibreglass figure implies a complex and reciprocal relationship between its sculptural form and the colour enhancing it, modified into a mutual dependency. The artist’s intention is to explore the complex relationships when a personal sense of morality goes up in arms against authoritative coercion.


Stefan Blom (born in 1963, lives and works in Cape Town) is a sculptor whose work is shown primarily in European and American galleries and museums. Blom was a nominee for the FNB Vita Art Now Awards (1996), and has completed work and permanent installations for the District Six Museum and St George's Cathedral, both in Cape Town.




Harris Steinman- Figments : 9.18 pm - 2013 Archival pigment print; 297 x 420 mm

Harris Steinman- Figments : 9.18 pm - 2013 Archival pigment print; 297 x 420 m


Harris Steinman's evocative series of photographs of his childhood town reflects his disconnection of memories from their reality, capturing these surreal images at nightfall. Figments sees the artist set forth on a moving and intimate journey in an attempt to heal and to make sense of the sub-conscious influence that predicates his current state of being. Secretly claiming these images from a distance, Steinman eerily translates his apprehension to dismantle the past. He probes the space of the

imagination and one’s own perception of what is “real”. These mundane neighbourhood scenes come alive with the sense of a haunting presence hidden from sight. For a moment, we are allowed to see into the inaccessible and private spaces of the artist's own struggle to accept and let go of that which has past.

The artists writes that, “I am recognizing and accepting that loss is irrecoverable, that I can never return. I am trying to comprehend that past disappointments, suffering, and melancholy, are meant to mature and transfigure, and shift me. These images are my catalysts – figments to move me from the dark to un-dark, to kindle my transformation.


Harris Steinman trained at the Ruth Prowse Arts Centre, and later with specialised photography tutors. His work has been shown at Iziko South African Museum and Youngblood, and published in Images Beyond Words (2005, Kirstenbosch,  Briza Press).



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April 3, 2014 - Comments Off on INSIDE OUT: A SOLO EXHIBITION OF NEW PAINTING BY SWAIN HOOGERVORST 15 April – 8 May 2014


Swain Hoogervorst: Reflection 3 primaries plus white (2014); Oil on paper

Swain Hoogervorst: Reflection 3 primaries plus white (2014); Oil on paper


Swain Hoogervorst is one of a new generation of South African painters who are reinvigorating the technical meticulousness of classical oil painting in their explorations of the contemporary. Inside Out, an exhibition of Hoogervorst’s new work, uses the artist’s own photographs and found material to explore specific questions he has about painting.

Hoogervorst writes that: “Painting is a place of comfort, yet all the time uncomfortable. It can be completely liberating or extremely fearful. The studio is a retreat, a safe place of peace and quiet that does not require explanations; it can even be an excuse. At the same time it can become isolating, overwhelming, depressing and even be a cause for anti-social or 'abnormal' behaviour. Within this retreat I paint more retreats of my own. Places that I am drawn to, be it by their colour or the questions that brought me there; by the forms created through the interplay of light and shadow or even just the overall beauty of the image itself. I paint because this is the one way I know how to communicate my feelings about what I see and what I encounter.”


Swain Hoogervorst holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts from Vega (2010), and has previously worked with Andrew Putter’s The Sketch Assembly (2010). He currently works from Eastside Studios in Cape Town. In 2013 Hoogervorst was a finalist in the Absa Atelier Competition, and a participating artist at Schildersweek in Domburg, The Netherlands. His work has been shown in numerous group exhibitions nationally and internationally.


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April 3, 2014 - Comments Off on flash!back(s): A SOLO EXHIBITION OF NEW WORK BY JOHANN DU PLESSIS 15 April – 8 May 2014

flash!back(s): A SOLO EXHIBITION OF NEW WORK BY JOHANN DU PLESSIS 15 April – 8 May 2014

Johann du Plessis - From the "flash!back(s)" series - 2012/2013 - UV cured inks on perspex

Johann du Plessis - From the "flash!back(s)" series - 2012/2013 - UV cured inks on perspex


The award winning artist Johann du Plessis looks back at 2012 and 2013 with a series of 30 new mixed media works in his latest solo exhibition, “flash!-back(s). Du Plessis, who began to recover last year from a long and arduous battle with cancer, utilises photographs taken en route to Cape Town from last year’s Klein Karoo National Arts Festival, Oudtshoorn. The process of integration of these images with other mediums such as collage and drawing was a reaction to newfound hope and dignity as the effects of radiation and chemotherapy on body and soul gradually started to fade.

Du Plessis reworked and manipulated his images into an arresting series of vertical and horizontal panels. It is less of a documentation of specific places, and more of a process of reflection through remembering (pictures) and re-enacting (drawing and collage) an emotive journey through time and space. Visually, the panels have a strong meditative quality which flows smoothly through fragmented landscapes. Du Plessis describes these works as “reflections of moments in time and space, allowing ideas to form meaning through different layers of reality”.


Johann Du Plessis is an artist, art educator and curator. A retrospective of his work recently travelled to the Sasol Museum in Stellenbosch, the William Humphreys Art Gallery in Kimberley and the gallery of the North West University in 2014 and 2014. His work is included in various public, corporate and private collections in South Africa and abroad.  Du Plessis has received numerous awards including being the overall winner at the FNB Art Competition (1987); a merit award at the 15th Grand Prix International d’Art Contemporain in Monaco, and finalists in the FNB Vita Art Now Award (1995) and the Brett Kebble Art Awards (2003).


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February 20, 2014 - Comments Off on Jo Voysey – Remedy – 3 March – 10 April 2014

Jo Voysey – Remedy – 3 March – 10 April 2014

In this exhibition Jo Voysey focuses on the expressive potential of medicinal remedies as a medium for painting. Her exploration is concentrated on aspects of the human relationship to animals in captivity, and stems from a relationship she had with a caged bear when she was living in Georgia, Eastern Europe, in 2011. Her time with the bear affected her profoundly, and prompted her to think more deeply about human relationships with animals and how they are expressed in contemporary art.

She started using medicine as her medium for painting many years ago. At that time, she was working with ideas of hurt, loss and healing that related to her experience of the sudden and traumatic deaths of her three uncles, who died in quick succession over a very short period. She wanted a medium that could function symbolically and formally, and that could evoke the human bodies that she did not want to depict naturalistically. Medicine offered to be the perfect medium that now continues to function analogically with loss and healing in her work. In this exhibition, she uses it to portray her encounter with another animal family: that of the bear.

The work speaks of the obscuring of boundaries between humans and animals. It reflects that the lives of the two are becoming increasingly intertwined, and the dividing line between what is distinguished as animal and what as human is becoming incredibly thin. In this instance, Voysey sees the ever-softening dividing line as a metaphor for our love for animals, as well as our contradictory ability to treat animals with disregard, or to simply abandon them.


Jo Voysey - Curious Creature - 2013

Jo Voysey - Curious Creature - 2013
















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February 3, 2014 - Comments Off on The AVA Gallery Benefit Auction hosted by Provenance Auction House / Wednesday,19 February 2014

The AVA Gallery Benefit Auction hosted by Provenance Auction House / Wednesday,19 February 2014

This exciting event will take place at the Provenance Auction House, 6-8 Vrede Street, Gardens, in Cape Town at 18:30 for 19:00.  A preview night on the 12th of February at Provenance Auction house at 18:30 for 19:00, paired with wine and canapés will give prospective bidders the chance to leisurely view works one week prior to the official auction.

The proceeds of this auction will benefit the AVA Galley and will go towards maintaining its role as a platform for the development of the visual arts in the Western Cape – a role that it has performed successfully at 35 Church Street for the past 42 years. All of the funds raised on the night will secure the AVA Gallery's continued exhibitions and Artreach development programmes.

As Jane Alexander has said of the AVA:

‘In a country where most of the population has extremely limited, if any, access to art, the AVA plays an extremely important role.  Apart from providing support for artists through Artreach funding, it is virtually the only central, accessible, neutral, comparatively affordable and respected venue for established, young, and lesser known artists to show their work.’

Over 70 works of art by national and internationally recognised artists will be auctioned, including the likes of William Kentridge, Jane Alexander, Cameron Platter, Dan Halter and Jan-Henri Booyens. Beginning bids will be below retail gallery prices. The Provenance Auction House will conduct this benefit art auction.

All of those attending the viewing on 12 February will be entered into a raffle and could stand the chance of winning a valuable editioned print by a well-known South African artist.  This work will be awarded on 19 February at the auction.

For more information contact Laura at The AVA Gallery : /  (021) 424 7436 / For an online catalogue email Paul at Provenance Auction House : / (021) 461 8009

Mervyn Gers Ceramics - Walter Battiss transfer on plate - Figure, White

Mervyn Gers Ceramics - Walter Battiss transfer on plate - Figure, White
















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January 21, 2014 - Comments Off on Nicholas Esterhuizen – The Face of Cape Town – 3 March – 10 April 2014

Nicholas Esterhuizen – The Face of Cape Town – 3 March – 10 April 2014

With his new body of work, Nicholas Esterhuizen has spent the last year searching for the identity of Cape Town through the many faces of its inhabitants. Nicholas has endeavoured to weave together a picture of the multi faceted society of the city with over 30 portraits painted on linen. Painting each portrait from life he has tried to express the dialogue between the artist and sitter as well as to represent the colourful types common to the Mother City.

Baptism of Fire - Nicholas Esterhuizen

Baptism of Fire - Nicholas Esterhuizen

















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January 21, 2014 - Comments Off on Donovan Ward – Brutalised Barbie – 3 March – 10 April 2014

Donovan Ward – Brutalised Barbie – 3 March – 10 April 2014

The American corporation Mattel Inc. started producing the Barbie doll in 1959. Barbie, like many products marketed at children by corporations based in the highly industrialised economies, has become ubiquitous. There have been approximately 2000 different types of Barbie dolls with accessories designed, and although marketed globally at children, the toy is also collected by adults.

The image of Barbie that endures is of a white, all American, and blue eyed blonde. Barbie occupies a fantasy world and she is promoted as a lifestyle, and not just a toy.


The doll comes in various versions that include a Hawaii beach type Barbie, a beauty queen Barbie, fairy Barbie as well as a princess Barbie. Nowhere is she represented as a migrant worker, blue collar worker, an activist interested in social issues or for that matter unemployed. She and her accruements largely reflect a happy though vacuous lifestyle that seems to echo a commodity culture promoted by the mainstream media. Barbie and her adornments register the lifestyle and values of the privileged consumer and capitalism.


The reality of most of the world’s children is not reflected in Barbie‘s world. This body of work attempts to draw attention to some of their realities. Some live in war zones and occupied territories like Palestine and Afghanistan. Others live with the memories and trauma of the bombing of Baghdad and Gaza, or the aftereffects of Agent Orange and the killing fields of Cambodia, Vietnam and Rwanda. Millions of children also live in abject poverty and are often exposed to drugs, sexual abuse and violence; in addition to being exposed to toxic pollutants and its effects.

This body of work builds upon a series of Barbie dolls started started by Donovan Ward in 1995.


Donovan Ward - Gaza Barbie

Donovan Ward - Gaza Barbie





















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December 9, 2013 - Comments Off on Greatest Hits 2013 : Industrial Harvest 20 January – 27 February 2014

Greatest Hits 2013 : Industrial Harvest 20 January – 27 February 2014

GREATEST HITS 2013: Industrial Harvest  curated by Kirsty Cockerill

Greatest Hits 2013 is a curated exhibition with artworks selected from the Michaelis school of Fine Art UCT, Ruth Prowse School of Art and Stellenbosch University Graduate exhibitions. Greatest Hits 2013 offers an overview of the local and broader discourses that run through the three schools and reflects the quality of work produced by the graduate students in 2013.

Featuring works by  Sarah Akerman, Jessica Arnot, Jamie Belford, Gregory R Bertrand, Katinka Bester, Sarah Biggs, Annchen Bronkowski, Stephané E. Conradie, Yazmin Ezzideen, Isabella Knemeyer, Rudi le Hane, Linki Lutz, Angus MacKinnon, Mitchell Messina, Tess Metcalf, Berry Meyer, Garth Morris-Davies, Rosie Mudge, Noël Platts, Alexandre Rochard, Carolina Salinas, Amy Sephton, Jake Singer, Molly Stevens, Nikita Stevens, Andrew Thomas, Anika van der Westhuijzen, Alexia Vogel, Cora Wasserman, and  Joshua Williams.

Alexia Vogel - Daisy Tree, 2013

Alexia Vogel - Daisy Tree, 2013


















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November 15, 2013 - Comments Off on Vanitas 2013 / 2 December 2013 – 16 January 2014

Vanitas 2013 / 2 December 2013 – 16 January 2014

A group exhibition of 21  painters

curated by Clare Menck.

The Latin term 'Vanitas' can broadly be translated as vanity, or transience, and is interpreted in Dutch and Flemish still-life painting of the 16th and 17th centuries with symbols like skulls, smoke, hourglasses, fish and hunted animals, fruit, insects such as flies and butterflies, and bubbles.  These contrasting symbols underline the paradox of the life-death dichotomy, by on the one hand describing the sensuality of the pleasures of the flesh, and on the other reminding of the certainty of its passing and of decay.

Vanitas 2013, a group exhibition with 20 painters was curated by Clare Menck. Vanitas 2013 aims towards a new take on this age-old theme in terms of contemporary South African painting, with a sterling list of celebrated and promising contemporary painters. New symbolic images that relate to the ancient wisdom will give new life to it and to painting now.  Vanitas 2013 includes paintings by Ingrid Winterbach, Johann Louw, Walter Meyer, Anton Karstel, Henk Serfontein, Pauline Gutter, Anathi Tyawa, Simon Stone, Andries Gouws, Nicolaas Maritz, John Murray, Eugenie Marais, Peter van Straten, Cobus van Bosch, Jan du Toit, Wendy Gaybba, Annelie Venter, Kennett Sinclair, Monique Schumacher (Netherlands/Austria), Albert Greving (Netherlands) and Clare Menck.


Anathi Tyawa - Portrait of a four-year-old with spear and bone, after Paulus Moreelse (1571-1638)





















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November 6, 2013 - Comments Off on Selfshots / Hentie van der Merwe / 23 September – 18 October 2013

Selfshots / Hentie van der Merwe / 23 September – 18 October 2013

Hentie van der Merwe presents Selfshots in the Long Gallery. A series of faces produced through an elaborate process of appropriation, reflection and manipulation. Selecting images posted online, taken by individuals capturing their own reflections by way of mirror or cellphone camera, van der Merwe reconstructs this images, offering the viewer a new face, one that metaphorically and technically investigates the phenomena of sharing private moments on public platforms.

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November 6, 2013 - Comments Off on Once there was and once there was not / Elize Vossgatter / 23 September – 18 October 2013

Once there was and once there was not / Elize Vossgatter / 23 September – 18 October 2013

Fascinated by folklore and the cautionary tales of old, Elize Vossgatter paints a story with no beginning, or end, somewhere between the alchemy of materiality and the gesture of hand - characters are birthed and morality is reflected on. The beautiful, and the grotesque, stand within the picture plain as monuments and memorials to humanness, painterly contradiction, social success and failure.

Opening address by Andrew Lamprecht

Elize Vossgatter - Snow











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November 6, 2013 - Comments Off on Brief Encounters / Frans Smit / 29 July – 23 August 2013

Brief Encounters / Frans Smit / 29 July – 23 August 2013

Brief Encounters is a series of painted portraits on paper. Frans Smit mentored by the late Lucian Freud “squashes” the painted surface, destroying an accurate portrayal and any intimacy with the subject, whilst offering a sense of the person, a compelling encounter.

Frans Smit - Looks like such a nice girl

November 6, 2013 - Comments Off on Ani-men (A human in an animal) / Wallen Mapondera / 29 July – 23 August 2013

Ani-men (A human in an animal) / Wallen Mapondera / 29 July – 23 August 2013

Wallen Mapondera imagined himself living the life of an animal, a dog that spends the day on a leash, a pig in a dirty sty, dog fighting, cock fighting and the ruthlessness of humans that commit such violations on animals. The same way they would abuse a fellow human if chance allowed.  Ani-Men (A Human in an Animal) is a series of paintings that through the above lens investigates social abuses.


Wallen Mapondera - The Cock












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November 4, 2013 - Comments Off on Still Life / Co-curated by Chantal Louw and Sarah Walters / 21 October – 27 November 2013

Still Life / Co-curated by Chantal Louw and Sarah Walters / 21 October – 27 November 2013

Still Life

Co-curated by Chantal Louw and Sarah Walters

John Bauer ,Yogi de Beer, Paul de Yong, Lisa Firer, Louise Gelderblom, Christo Giles, Ralph Johnson, Hennie Meyer, Nina Shand, Rebecca Townsend, Clementina van der Walt, David Walters, Sarah Walters.

In Still Life co-curated by Chantal Louw and Sarah Walters, a collection of ceramic objects, by 12 ceramicists becomes a sculptural landscape. The curves and angles of the whole are read with clarity while the individual is displayed. Still life an exhibition of ceramic forms, some functional, some not, has been curated into an exhibition installation. The display allows the individual pieces to oscillate between functional object and sculptural form.













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November 4, 2013 - Comments Off on Beasts of Burden / Robyn Denny / 21 October – 27 November 2013

Beasts of Burden / Robyn Denny / 21 October – 27 November 2013

Beasts of Burden

by Robyn Denny

Robyn Denny presents Beasts of Burden in the Artsstrip. This series of work engages with the shock, beauty and pathos of the biological contingency. By evoking a theme of violence and brutality versus fragility and vulnerability, a dynamic paradox is animated through the use of ink & gouache.

African Wild Dog

African Wild Dog

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October 17, 2013 - Comments Off on Jo O’Connor / Visage / 21 October – 27 November 2013

Jo O’Connor / Visage / 21 October – 27 November 2013

Jo O’Connor
Jo O’Connor employs the Long Gallery with a collection of portraits. Using wood as the primary medium, the individual faces have been simplified, rendered in oils onto the wooden surface. The wood grain acts as both a support and a camouflage creating a tension whereby the individuals painted move between blending into the natural environment and being visible.
Jo O'Connor - Aneesa
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September 18, 2013 - Comments Off on Roadscapes / Lara Feldman / 23 September 2013 – 18 October 2013

Roadscapes / Lara Feldman / 23 September 2013 – 18 October 2013

Roadscapes a series of painting by Lara Feldman presents internal images articulated on the painted surface as disconnected, remembered moments. Random to all but the subconscious, Feldman shares with the viewer the journey between internal disturbance and outside noise, capturing the isolation felt by many in contemporary society.

What lies behind dark waters - Lara Feldman







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August 14, 2013 - Comments Off on Out of Site / Jean Brundrit

Out of Site / Jean Brundrit

in partnership with Spier
invites you to the opening of
Out of Site by Jean Brundrit

Opening address by Svea Josephy
Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at the Michaelis School of Fine Art UCT

Opening on Monday, 26 August at 18:00
Exhibition closes on Thursday 19 September at 17:00

As the pun in the title implies, the show takes both sight- as in vision- and site- as in place- as starting points to generate a dialogue between new and older works from the artist’s extensive oeuvre. Loosely unified by Brundrit’s continued interest in negotiating identity politics, Out of Site breaks fresh ground both formally and conceptually.
Vision plays a pivotal role in The Space Inside, the most recent manifestation of an ongoing exploration of lesbian subjectivity. Here, in a gesture equal parts unsettling and subversive, Brundrit’s subjects reject their status a spectacle. Although captured in ample detail to invite scrutiny, their closed eyes starkly demarcate internal and external worlds in an inversion of the power equation between the viewer and the viewed.
This challenge to the very terms of visibility is carried through in Making the Waves, a series of large-scale 3D scans produced with equipment traditionally used for mapping the physical environment. Framed by works produced earlier in Brundrit’s career, among them her Out in the archive (2006) and Nature Study (2011), these more recent pieces are contextually enriched. Read as a whole, Out of Site provokes a reflection on the nature of vision and its implications for representation, particularly those instances that intersect with the nuances of desire.
A book titled, Out of site: representations of identity in the work of Jean Brundrit (SoSo Press) will be launched at the opening.

Jean Brundrit is a visual artist who works with photographic media. She has exhibited extensively in South Africa and contributed to a number of international exhibitions. She is a Senior Lecturer at the Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town where she teaches photography. Her research interests are primarily concerned with exploring identity, specifically lesbian identity and strategies of representation within a South African context.



July 9, 2013 - Comments Off on Brief Encounters / Paul Painting / 29 July – 23 August 2013

Brief Encounters / Paul Painting / 29 July – 23 August 2013

Anthroposcopy by Paul Painting

Anthroposcopy by Paul Painting employs the main Gallery. Painting offers the viewer a body of work that distils the human form with the intensity of an interrogators gaze.  The pseudoscience of physiognomy, also called anthroposcopy, with its assumptions that character can be gleaned from a study of facial features is a venerable and equally questionable one. It has enjoyed cycles of credibility and scientific contempt. The notion that our drives and passions distort and impress upon our features is an eminently attractive, and evocative hypothesis. For an artist it is alive with visual potential and richness.


Paul Painting - Infantry















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July 3, 2013 - Comments Off on Artreach Make Me an Offer / Artthrob Launch of Portfolio 5 / Parking Lots / 1 – 25 July 2013

Artreach Make Me an Offer / Artthrob Launch of Portfolio 5 / Parking Lots / 1 – 25 July 2013


Curated by Matthew Blackman
Dineo Bopape, Georgina Gratrix, William Kentridge, Senzeni Marasela, Sam Nhlengethwa, Walter Oltmann, Cameron Platter, Athi-Patra Ruga, Claudette Schreuders, James Webb and Sue Williamson.

Patrick Latimer


Igshaan Adams, Sanell Aggenbach, Arlene Amaler Raviv & Louis Jansen van Vuuren, Danielle Bischoff, Katherine Bull, Kurt Campbell, Ayanda Mabulu, Charles Maggs, Gerald Machona, Ndikhumbule Ngqinambi, Dave Robertson, Chad Rossouw, David Rossouw, Marc Shoul, Christopher James Swift, Adolf Tega, Jill Trappler, Dale Washkansky, Vernon Williams and more.

Opening on Monday, 1 July at 6 pm

Exhibition closes on 25 July at 5pm
Artthrob proudly presents the launch of its fifth portfolio. “We have been extremely lucky in being able to create a portfolio containing works by William Kentridge, Senzeni Marasela, Sam Nhlengethwa, Walter Oltmann, Claudette Schreuders and Sue Williamson.  In celebration of this occasion we are also exhibiting several other works by these artists whose practices have defined much of South Africa’s contemporary art landscape over the last thirty years.

We will also be exhibiting our notable fourth portfolio, which contains works by the now acclaimed younger artists: Dineo Bopape, Georgina Gratrix, Cameron Platter, Athi-Patra Ruga and James Webb.  A selection of these artists other works also forms part of this exhibition. We would like to thank all of the participating artists for their much-valued support.”   Matthew Blackman Editor of Artthrob

Patrick Latimer presents PARKING LOTS in the Long Gallery. Parking lots are often found right next to some of the most interesting places a road can take you. This series of acrylic paintings explores some of Cape Town's best known and rarely appreciated parking lots. Utilising a naive style with odd, almost aerial perspectives of the cars and people, these paintings focus more on the narrative of the visitor's arrival and departure than the 'beauty shots' normally associated with these well known landmarks.
MAKE ME AN OFFER is an exhibition of generously donated artworks with the full proceeds from sales going to the Artreach fund. The Artreach Fund was founded by the AVA committee in the late 1980s; its vision was to create a fund that would assist needy and deserving visual artists with their art-related needs.


   Claudette Schreuders - The Bystander 2 (editions for Artthrob 2013)

Claudette Schreuders - The Bystander 2 (editions for Artthrob 2013)

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May 31, 2013 - Comments Off on Critic’s Choice / Ebb Tide / Playing House / 3 – 28 June 2013

Critic’s Choice / Ebb Tide / Playing House / 3 – 28 June 2013

13 Local art critics; Bettie Coetzee Lambrecht, Wilma Cruise, Hazel Friedman, Genna Gardini, Athi Jojo, Andrew Lamprecht, Tim Leibbrandt, Melvyn Minnaar, Sean O'Toole, Lloyd Pollak, Anna Stielau, Veronica Wilkinson, and Gavin Younge have each selected a work by an artist whose current production compels their inclusion on the CRITIC'S CHOICE EXHIBITION.

Selected artists; Stuart Bird, Olaf Bisschoff, Randolph Hartzenberg, Roxy Kawitzky, Marlise Keith, Dathini Mzayiya, Chad Rossouw, Jonah Sack, Henk Serfontein, Robert Slingsby, Simon Stone, Nicolene C. Swanepoel, and Claire van Blerck.

Verity FitzGerald presents in the Long gallery EBB TIDE, a series of photographic images that explore Robben Island. A place visited by thousands of tourists annually, and yet still remains mostly unavailable to the public. The guided tours, while allowing access to aspects of our past, have also shaped a certain representation of it. In light of the Island’s historical significance, these images consider the landscape beyond the parameters of the guided tours, and bring into question what Robben Island represents today.

PLAYING HOUSE a series of photographs by Rima Geffen employ the Artstrip. These images explore childhood sentiment, while creating a distorted chronicle of childhood reminiscence. Geffen’s close up photographs of children’s toys, rearrange the real and offer the viewer an out of focus but familiar narrative, a remembered sense of home and childhood. 

Garden of Invalids (2012) Marlise Keith

Garden of Invalids (2012)
Marlise Keith


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April 17, 2013 - Comments Off on 3 ½ meters / Replica of Memory / Weird Marriage / 6 May – 30 May 2013

3 ½ meters / Replica of Memory / Weird Marriage / 6 May – 30 May 2013


The Main Gallery of the AVA hosts a group exhibition, titled 3 AND A HALF METERS: COMMITTEE’S CHOICE . The ten current AVA committee members, Stacey Adriaans, Matthew Blackman, Caroline Coates, Chantal Louw, Marilyn Martin, Richard Mudariki, James Nilsen, Chad Rossouw, Elgin Rust, Cobus van Bosch, have each selected a work or works by contemporary artists to be exhibited in their allocated three and a half meters.

REPLICA OF MEMORY   by Aidon Westcott

Aidon Westcott’s mixed media artworks fill the Long Gallery , filled with symbolic imagery aimed at awaking forgotten memories in the subconscious mind of the viewer. The imagery is build up in layers of antique packaging and selected ephemera through the medium of collage which is combined with hand stitching, thread and oil paint.

WEIRD MARRIAGE   by Ilené Bothma

Bothma explores the strangeness of the domestic space, the relationships that play out within that space, the repetitive activity of human labour and the poetics of the everyday. She explores this through sculpture, video and installations installed in the Artstrip.




April 5, 2013 - Comments Off on Translation Games / The Apostles / Lucky

Translation Games / The Apostles / Lucky

Translation Games by Elgin Rust, presented in the Main Gallery, is a response to the current media hype produced by the ever increasing reports of violent gender crimes and their subsequent trials. These often very violent cases, flood media platforms positioning the judiciary in the lime light. The public not only watches to see “justice being done”, it actively judges perpetrators and victims based on the continual information released. Television, news, newspaper articles, online blogs and twitter feeds translating legal jargon and performances for public consumption. This performative collaboration investigates the unpredictability and circular nature of the translation processes.


In the Long Gallery, James Macdonald's sound installation, The Apostles, functions as a site of reflection,a chapel of sorts. Twelve listening stations present the stories, life experience and personal philosophies of twelve individuals – all homeless and living on the streets of Cape Town. Shifting the manner in which these men and women are generally heard, or not heard, the monologues were transcribed and presented as though texts of scripture or liturgy by Bishop Garth Counsell and Reverend Margaret Haynes of the Cape Town Anglican Diocese. Thus, engendered with a sense of spiritual and moral significance.


Lucky by Danielle Bischoff Is a photographic series presented in the Artsstrip gallery. An exhibition that visually investigates dogs and their human counterparts, shared lives, special connections and intertwined histories. Dr. Sandra Swart from the University of Stellenbosch writes: “Dogs provide a lens into understanding human society and culture in Southern Africa. Behind every dog breed we find ethnography and a social history as well as a genealogy – its cultural, as well as its genetic heritage”


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February 26, 2013 - Comments Off on Portals / Wading / Between the Blue Swimming Pools

Portals / Wading / Between the Blue Swimming Pools

Anthea Delmotte employs the Main Gallery with an exhibition titled Portals. A series of portraits that resonate as visual interviews between the artist and her subject. Delmottes fascination with individuals in the South African contemporary art world has manifested into paintings of well known gallerists, curators, and other artists. A self taught realist, her works capture the individuals in their work environments, the way they look, how they organise themselves within their space and the way in which the artist relates to these individuals on an emotional level.

Rodger Bosch presents Wading in the Long Gallery. Photographing in the confines of Kalk Bay, a small seaside village, Bosch uses a rangefinder camera and black and white film to explore an internal world dimly recalled, filled with feeling and navigated through instinct. Using the sea as a conduit for his investigation Bosch strives to find, read and understand what there is beyond the familiar, his images articulating the moment when lands, seasons and people become ideas, recollections and feelings.

In Between the Blue Swimming Pools Katrine Claassens exhibits a new body of oil paintings that looks at the environmental costs of the one of the world’s most desired living spaces: suburbs. Suburbia is often explored in negative terms relating to banality and subversive things happening behind the clichéd picket fences however there are other, more pressing, troubles in these tamed landscapes where lakes are fishponds, fields are coaxed into lawns and walking is driving. Claassens paintings explore the suburbs as both, emotional landscapes and problematic centres of consumption.


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February 8, 2013 - Comments Off on Perceptual Vigilance

Perceptual Vigilance

THE AVA GALLERY in partnership with Spier, invites you to

Perceptual Vigilance, Curated by Kirsty Cockerill

Participating artists:

Mncedi Bodlo
Zemba Luzamba
Ayanda Mabulu
Richie Madyira
Fikile Mqhayi
Richard Mudariki
Taurai Muzambi
Cinga Samson
Khaya Sineyile
Zolani Siphungela
Adolf Tega
Shakes Tembani
Anathi Tyawa

Opening on Monday, 11 February 2013 at 18:00.
Exhibition closes on Thursday, 7 March 2013.

Perceptual Vigilance is the act of noticing something somewhere only to subsequently notice it everywhere.  A situation, a gesture, a colour, an object, anything that holds particular importance to the individual is easier for them to perceive. Perceptual Vigilance is the process by which individuals activate a form of selective perception based on their particular frame of reference. It is a tool that assists us all; artists, curators and the public at large to sort through our sensory data. Perceptual Defence, its binary opposite is likewise a tool, and to commonly a blindness that allows an individual to not perceive reality in order to protect themselves from internal dissonance and psychologically unpleasantness. Thirteen painters negotiate their individual concerns in an exhibition distilled to reflect as much their own, as the curator’s Perceptual Vigilance. Political surrealism, the binding of stories, an investigation of truth and blindness, the awake and the sleeping, reality and dreams.


Richard Mudariki - Symbols of African Art

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January 10, 2013 - Comments Off on Greatest Hits 2012: IF THE HALLS COULD TALK

Greatest Hits 2012: IF THE HALLS COULD TALK

GREATEST HITS 2012: IF THE HALLS COULD TALK - Co-curated by Stacy Adriaans and Kirsty Cockerill

Greatest Hits 2012: If The Halls Could Talk, is a curated exhibition with artworks selected from the Michaelis school of Fine Art UCT, Ruth Prowse School of Art and Stellenbosch University Graduate exhibitions. Greatest Hits 2012 offers an overview of the local and broader discourses that run through the three schools and reflects the quality of work produced by the graduate students in 2012.

Participating artists:

Elinor Auerbach
Leigh Bassingthwaighte
Ruann Coleman
Mia Couvaras
Christopher de Wet
Carla Espost
Nicole Fraser
Jeanne Gaigher
Quanta Gauld
Lyndall Gente
Haroon Gunn-Salie
Soma Holloway
Gabrielle Holmes
Sulaiman Jacobs
Siobhan Keam
Megan Mc Namara
Sethembile Msezane
Nobukho Nqaba
Liona Nyariri
Roche Pienaar
Liesl Potgieter
Helen Teede

Opening on Monday, 14 January at 18:00
Exhibition closes on Friday, 8 February 2013 at 13:00

Mia Couvaras - Untitled (Wynberg)

Mia Couvaras - Untitled (Wynberg)

November 26, 2012 - Comments Off on Generative V3.0

Generative V3.0

Restive employs the new Media room with a sound installation titled generative v3.0. Exploring perceptions of, and relationships to sonic environments; Restive builds a spacial sculptural event. Through his investigation of generative sound processes and compositional devices, Restive draws the visitor’s attention to the physical component of sound.

November 26, 2012 - Comments Off on A Well Worn Road

A Well Worn Road

Timothy Zantsi presents A Well Worn Road in the Artsstrip. A series of paintings that defer, both in their formal articulation, and in their reflections on social norms, to the works of Gerard Sekoto and Peter Clarke. Zantsi hinges his investigation on modes of transport as signifiers of power, highlighting with humour and irony how South African society in certain ways is still walking the same road it was, when Sekote and Clarke were in their prime.

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November 26, 2012 - Comments Off on Places to get lost in – Empty Traces

Places to get lost in – Empty Traces

Vernon Williams presents Places to Get Lost in – Empty Traces in the Long gallery. The landscape paintings provide no markers, disallowing a sense of place, fostering an eerie limitless, no boundaries, no beginnings or ending. The figures captured in oil on canvas inhabit, as much as they embody, this existential space.

"Midway upon the journey of our life, I found myself within a forest dark, for the straightforward pathway had been lost." The Inferno: Dante Alighieri.

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November 19, 2012 - Comments Off on La Sape

La Sape

Zemba Luzamba presents La Sape in the Main Gallery. La Sape explores the growth of an aspirational way of living with imagery of people enjoying a contemporary African way of life. Whilst Luzamba medium of oil painting is traditional, his choice of subject matter is contemporary. This body of work investigates the expanding performative tradition of the ‘La Sape’ in central Africa and from where he hails in Zambia. These paintings, mostly of men, dressed in extravagant and symbolic clothing draw on a recognisable aesthic often associated with African barber shop signage.

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October 10, 2012 - Comments Off on Ernest Cole Photographic Award Winner

Ernest Cole Photographic Award Winner

The series of photographs, Life under Democracy, was inspired by the Ernest Cole exhibition at the National Gallery in Cape Town, in February 2011. Cole’s images feature life under apartheid. Yudelman’s series looks at life under democracy and where we are after eighteen years of liberation.

Many of the images were shot in passing and are personal daily reflections – while others involve more deliberate excursions. In Life under Democracy, Yudelman returns to the areas he photographed in the eighties, for the series, Suburbs in Paradise, which cross-examines white suburbia under the influence of legislated segregation.

To gain perspective, he also visits some of the people and areas Cole photographed. A sense of how much has changed begins to develop; and in some cases how much has stayed the same. As if in conversation, Yudelman uses his iPhone camera as a means of discourse. The senses are unified through a device, historically utilised for discussion, in turn, mirroring the merging of a nation whose past is omnipresent.

Yudelman’s work is a consequence of a studied eye, brokered over 30 years of ceaseless image making. Enthralled with the many-layered dimensions of reality, his images are a spectacle of how modern photography is able to escape the bounds of the ‘record’, creating an authentic and evocative account of recent times.  – Simone Tredoux

Dale Yudelman’s career in photography has led him through two eras of South African history as well as across several continents. Born in Johannesburg, he began photographing at a young age under the tutelage of his father and was barely out of his teens in 1979 when he landed a job as staff photographer at South Africa’s largest daily newspaper The Star. In 1986 Yudelman left South Africa – working as a freelance photographer first in London and later in Los Angeles, he returned to South Africa in 1996 and currently lives and works in Cape Town.

The Ernest Cole Photographic Award has been established to stimulate creative work in photography in southern Africa. The award, initiated by the UCT Libraries with support from the Kirsh, Peter Brown, Gavin Relly Trusts and Orms, has been named after the documentary photographer, Ernest Cole. The emphasis of the award is on creative responses to South African society. The winner of the inaugural award is Dale Yudelman and his book, Life under Democracy, is the first in a series of annual publications to be published under the auspices of this award.

Dale Yudelman - Nelson Mandela Square – Day of Reconciliation - Sandton City, Johannesburg

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September 25, 2012 - Comments Off on Diminished Man / A Country Imagined / Embracing the Nature

Diminished Man / A Country Imagined / Embracing the Nature

Unathi Sigenu through his exhibition Diminished Man, explores the representation of the human body. Body function, body language, gestures, and the politics of the body. Human body as a medium through which we experience life. Sigenu through this body of work negotiates the culture of difference, the us and the other, human classification, gender, stereotypes, and the histories of violence associated with the human body. How the body occupies space and how it adapts to spaces, public and private. Body logic, body posture, and the way we walk, the way we sit, the way we stand, the way we conduct and tune our physical orchestra are observed by the artist, and played back to us in drawings installed in the Main gallery space.

Msa Xokelelo presents A Country Imagined, a body of work that looks critically and humorously at the popular images of South Africa’s media culture. It explores the sensationalist nature of our national dialogue and conversation landscape, its fascination with headlines and slogans. It seeks to reflect an almost banal depiction of the South African sensibility and its relation to the search for a common identity between the dominant and marginalized public cultures.

Bangikaya Maqoqa presents Embracing the Nature in the Artstrip, a series of paintings that resonate in the space of dreams and omens. The heightened colours of dawn and dusk capture metaphorically on the picture plane, the dialogue between the artist and the ancestor. These conversations are in stark colour contrast, to the everyday world of social and political realities that are clearest in the middle of the day.

Musa Xokelelo - Julius buys art

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August 23, 2012 - Comments Off on Our Fathers

Our Fathers


Is an NPO, contemporary art gallery. The AVA gallery’s mandate is to provide a professional gallery platform, for artists and curators to develop cultural capital through exhibition exposure and critical dialogue. The AVA’s selection policy allows artists working in all media to propose exhibitions. Exhibitions are selected by the selection committee, which is made up of members, from the visual arts community. Exhibitions selected reflect a variety of perspectives, investigations and engagements, by artists and curators, working within the field of contemporary art practise.


An exhibition Co-curated by Kirsty Cockerill and Chantal Louw, is hosted and supported by The AVA Gallery. The exhibition runs from 18h00 on 27 August – 13h00 on 21 September 2012.


Lynette Bester / Paul Birchall / Lien Botha / David Brits / Georgina Gratrix /Anton Karstel / Ayanda Mabulu / Charles Maggs / Elsabe Milandri / Brett Murray / Dathini Mzayiya / Paul Painting / Monique Pelser / Ken Rees-Gibbs /Chad Rossouw / Lyndi Sales / Cinga Samson / Damien Schumann / Zolani Siphungela / Gerald Tabata / Frank van Reenen / Elize Vossgatter / Khayalethu Witbooi  / Dale Yudelman .


Our Fathers engages the notion of patriarchy, as an emotional economy as well as a system that promulgates an unequal distribution of power. Our Father, another name for the Lord's Prayer intrinsically represents patriarchy as a form of social organisation whereby society is governed by a system in which the father is the supreme authority in the place of worship, family, community, country and work environment. bell hooks states in Teaching Critical Thinking: Practical Wisdom    “Patriarchy has no gender” and yet gender is a politically and socially coerced category, in patriarchy’s syllabus of teaching, that effects the most intimate of spaces, the family. The curators have drawn artworks from artists whose oeuvre either specifically, or consequentially, investigates the idea of “father”.

The failure of the father and the greatness of the father. The loss of a father, or abandonment by the/a father. The imagined idea of what a father is, was or should be. This exhibition presents the works of 24 different artists. The artworks have been selected by the curators, because of their ability to engage the various roles played by the father; leader, guide, military, business, home. Our Fathers exhibition is a considered investigation of the challenges faced by, or reflected on, by children of the father; the personal, the social and the political.

Lien Botha - White stick for the Arctic: Inside the house the mother did not build (2008)

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July 30, 2012 - Comments Off on My Digital Plague

My Digital Plague

Maurice Mbikayi writes of his Installation titled My Digital Plague:

I’m dragged into a virtual world of codes daily. There in that valley, an irresistible fascination and a whispering concern, transforms me into something alien - battling my digital demons.

Every day is inevitably tiring; I click, type and enter this world. Suddenly I’m surrounded by an overwhelming invasion of aliens. I backspace; try to shift, but their mobility and fashionable grip on me Ctrl my moves. Then I pause - break, try to upgrade my hits: 1, 2, 3. But the aliens inject me with their multiple insidious diseases. I slowly contract some insane after effect experiences:  Speed dial moves, focus on subjects, zoom in, zoom out, click on  this , click on that -Bluetooth into the brain,  just couldn’t get my senses. I twitted, I tagged; it became worse.

Before I realized it, I was a half alien, locked up in the “Silly Valley”, googling my dreams to be one of them, with my Negro skin suffering the hypodermic injections of their insatiable grid.

Maurice Mbikayi - My Digital Plague (Installation)

July 30, 2012 - Comments Off on Remerge


Remerge by Kitty Doerje is a body of work dealing with the ever shifting aspects of personal life, things merging with and emerging from one another, as well as the positive and negative connotations inherent in this flux. The drawn mark allows Doerje an outlet for the emotional turmoil that was processed during a time of the loss of a love relationship. The work was not conceptualised beforehand but emerged through the process and the cathartic act of drawing.

Kitty Dorje - Gridlock composite

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July 30, 2012 - Comments Off on Africa without borders

Africa without borders

Africa without Borders is an exhibition of mixed media paintings by Adolf Tega that employ the Main gallery of the AVA. African migration is unpacked on the painted surface. Africa without Borders depicts the systems that process migrants, how the individuals survive and how they integrate into societies foreign to them. The use of materials is symbolic; the textures on the painted surface are created with soil, referencing the myth, that when one goes into foreign lands, one must lick the soil as a sign of acceptance. The spirits of these lands will then secure the individual from all foreign ills.

Adolf Tega - At the cathedral

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July 2, 2012 - Comments Off on Happily Never After

Happily Never After

The group exhibition Happily Never After encompasses three bodies ‘at’ work which engage performative strategies of self, in an attempt to challenge ideological constructions. The three bodies of work actively employ post colonialist and feminist ideas of mimesis (the-same-but-not-quite) as a means of subversiveness to contest identity categories resulting in critical enquiries that are humorous, playful and, at times, acerbic.

The artists Sharlene Khan, Nelmarie du Preez and Lebohang Kganye choose masquerade and sartorial strategies in front of the digital camera lens, to interrogate social issues as it relates to their lives: Khan satirises various dimensions of her South African Indian identity, while du Preez parodies constructions of femininity via the white wedding spectacle, and Kganye deconstructs the influence of Western fairy tales on her childhood psyche. By using their own bodies not only as sites of critique, but also as sources for experience, the artists explore the difference between the performative dimension of the day-to-day and its artistic re-enactment. This way, the performative nature of the racial, gendered bodies of the artists as well as of the viewer implicate the social scripting that informs their roles daily.

In What I look like, What I feel like (2008), Sharlene Khan juxtaposes notions of public projections of oneself versus private personae and masks that one dons in everyday presentations of self. Her dualistic, sometimes explicitly didactic, sometimes caricaturing, restaging of stereotypes of race-class-gender show how these matrices intersect with issues of education and religion and how they play out in and question the transformation of an apartheid subject to a post-apartheid one.

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Nelmarie Du Preez’s Shooting the Bride (2012) addresses the gender scripting process in Westernised ‘princess bride’ narratives. The work is a witty tongue-in-cheek criticism of the white wedding, in which external appearances of femininity becomes the dominant trope around which this cultural institution is formed. Du Preez mimics ‘mini-dramas’ described by recently wedded friends and exposes the ‘before’ and ‘afterness’ of the wedding performance. Her back-lit photographs give the autobiographical narratives a hyper-dramatic feel worthy of a popular movie.

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In B(l)ack to Fairytales (2011), Lebohang Kganye mockingly role plays her relationship to the Western fairy tales she grew up with as a black child in a township in Johannesburg. Harnessing her adult body in displays of excessive dress up and fantasy and using children’s toys as props, Kganye’s surrealistic photographs make evident the farce of the fairy tale narrative where the princess is saved by her prince and lives ‘happily ever after’. Kganye tries to make evident the psychological disjuncture that occurs between the ‘white’ fairy tale and her black existence, reconstructing a dream-like space where this fantastical violence is played out.

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June 4, 2012 - Comments Off on MY BEST SHOT


MY BEST SHOT by Stefan Carstens is an exhibition of beautiful crafted wooden sculptures. Monuments to the unknown, the everyday, to the memory of the moment one decides to embark on an adventure, or the moment one decides to pause. Humour, melancholia and all things in between are embedded into sculptural form through the labour of carving.

Stefan Carstens - My Best Shot

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June 4, 2012 - Comments Off on YOU THINK YOU KNOW ME


Zolani Siphungela presents YOU THINK YOU KNOW ME in the Long Gallery.  Unpacking contemporary South African hypocrisies.  Siphungela engages the brutality of social, economic and ideological frictions at work in his South African context.  This exhibition of monumental paintings draws on the figurative body to convey and challenge the status quo. Siphungela’s lush and evocative use of paint and colour creates a tension between content and form. It’s in this tension that Siphungela finds his voice.

Zolani Siphungela - Searched hard for you and your special ways

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June 4, 2012 - Comments Off on NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN


Catherine Ocholla presents NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN, a body of skyscape paintings in the Main gallery. These closely observed studies demonstrate a magisterial ability to use painting to transform seemingly ‘banal’ subject matter. Ocholla’s paintings in their apparent realism - from a distance some appear to be photographs but up close the painterly gestures are revealed - question perceptions of the real. The skyscapes deconstruct shapes of things to come and things that have been. Moods, thoughts, reflections and illusions imbue everyday moments with meaning.

Catherine Ocholla - No news from God

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May 7, 2012 - Comments Off on DIDN’T WANT TO BE YOUR GHOST


In Didn't want to be your ghost, Fourie offers the viewer insight into a collection of intimate moments. The exhibition hangs like a poem of photographs in which Fourie explores her personal curiosities and fears. Gravitating towards content that scrutinizes the complexities of companionship, intimacy and the vulnerability of the human body, Fourie’s images capture how we share our thoughts, feelings, lives and bodies. Fourie and her subjects are at times perfumed with a spray of sentiment, emotion, fantasy, and in other instances they are stripped raw, reflecting realties of decay, mortality and ruin.

Natasja Maria Fourie - Cave

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May 7, 2012 - Comments Off on REWIND


Khaya Sinyile presents Rewind in the Artsstrip. When your arm stretched over your head, can touch your ear, then you can go to school. Throw your baby teeth onto the roof of the house, and then your grand mother will bring you new ones. These are the transient processes, child hood rituals, games and stories Sineyile remembers from his youth. Rewind is a body of paintings that rework the stylised visual language of the cartoons Sineyile watched as a child. Through this series of paintings, Sineyile rewinds, retells and reviews remembrances from a childhood passed with wit, whimsy and humour.

Khaya Sineyile - Sharing

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May 7, 2012 - Comments Off on VLAKPLAAS


Renzske Scholtz presents Vlakplaas in the Main gallery. In 1979 Scholtz's grandfather sold his farm whose name Vlakplaas (Shallow farm) had, for years, signalled the flat, peaceful plains of the Highveld, to the State Security Department. He did not know that it would become the headquarters of the C1 Unit from 1979 to 1993. Operating as a parliamentary hit squad, the C1 unit captured political opponents of the government, tortured them and then either turned them, making them Askaris or executed them. This exhibition examines the ways in which land can become transformed by the events that it bears witness to. Vlakplaas the exhibition confronts both the artist's irrepressible attachment to an ancestral home and the ways in which land itself can appear changed, not by any physical alteration, but by the events that occur on it.


Renzske Scholtz - Jackal fur coat

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April 10, 2012 - Comments Off on ….DRIPPING AWAY UNATTENDED INTO SHADOWS


Odette Marais presents ...Dripping away unattended into shadows. In this body of work Marais investigates a personal, domestic and emotional time-line using the traditional still-life as vessel. The journey a painter takes when translating inanimate everyday objects into animated and emotionally charged subjects, is a path that offers the gallery viewer an experience of painting that falls somewhere in between the figurative and the abstract. Notions of memory, loss, absence and presence are reflected upon by Marais in this series of bold and compelling paintings.

Odette Marais - Towards Kasteelberg

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April 10, 2012 - Comments Off on STOP / AND / GO


STOP / AND / GO is presented by the artist collective Iliso Labantu and FOTO Project Space, an artist-run platform for disadvantaged artists. The exhibition has been the outcome of FOTO Project Space’s mission to provide an opportunity for township-based photographers to create work that they are intimately invested in, thereby challenging clichéd themes oftentimes imposed on their work. STOP / AND / GO is a photographic exhibition that explores everyday rhythms and patterns within various townships in the Western Cape. By walking along train tracks, riding donkey trolleys, attending parking lot fashion events, following neighbourhood characters, and going to the shebeen, five township-based photographers reveal the familiar nuances of their surroundings.  Featuring artists: Masixole Feni, Brice Kimbembe, Sipho Mpongo, Wandile Tonga, Lindeka Qampi

See the interview clip of Cape Town TV with the STOP / AND / GO artists.

Brice Kimbembe - Untitled, from the series La Sape!

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April 10, 2012 - Comments Off on WIRED WORLD


Catherine Sassoon presents Wired World, a photographic exploration of technologies ability to connect and disconnect us from our world, and each other. Wires hang like existential questions on the vistas of buildings and across landscapes. Sassoon creates a tension in her images through the stillness she captures and the modernity the images represent. Documenting with a wry humour our connectedness whilst communicating a desolation, isolation and loneliness, Sassoon’s images lyrically seduce the viewer to take a journey through the modern world and into ourselves.

Catherine Sassoon - Blue Door

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March 12, 2012 - Comments Off on Sterntaler


Elize Vossgatter presents Sterntaler an exhibition of paintings in the Artsstrip. Sterntaler, a story by the Grimm’s’ Brothers is the departure point for Vossgatters investigation of contemporary femininity and the roles women play in society. Sterntaler is a story of total submission, total self abnegation. The girl gives everything, risking even her life and only then is rewarded by heaven. A dismal story of womanhood world-wide.

Elize Vossgatter - Hera

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March 12, 2012 - Comments Off on HELLO OSCILLATOR


Nathan Gates employs the long gallery with his mixed and new media exhibition titled HELLO OSCILLATOR. Gates drawing on Lévi-Strauss’ theories on Bricolage, found himself continually oscillating between mythological and scientific modes of thought and action. Hello Oscillator is a witty exhibition grounded in the conceptual investigation of two different ways of thinking.

Nathan Gates - Hello Oscillator

March 12, 2012 - Comments Off on INGEKLEUR: OUTSIDE THE LINES


The Main Gallery of the AVA is employed by a group exhibition titled INGEKLEUR: OUTSIDE THE LINES, a title chosen for its direct meaning. ‘Ingekleur’ translated from Afrikaans is ‘coloured in’, ‘coloured’ or ‘marked’. The term ‘Ingekleur’ refers to the imposed identity. The subtitle alludes to boundaries often transgressed by the people of this social/cultural group. It imbues the societal constructs that were put in place but at the same time speaks of rebellion. ‘Outside the lines’ alludes to identities that are not homogenous and static, but are shifting, contradictory, liminal and diffusive. Stereotypes of identity are easy to market and employed to strengthen narrow perceptions of what identity entails. In exploring Coloured identity the project also aims to blur the boundaries of art production and art processes by including various forms of creative projects. Work by creative’s from the realms of graffiti, archiving, performance and installation will be included.

Featuring artists:  Igshaan Adams, Robyn-Leigh Cedras, Dion Cupido , George Hallett, Lee-Anne January, Vivien Kohler, Craig Masters, Selvin November, Sophie Peters, Ayesha Price, Roderick Sauls, Donovan Ward, and Mak1one.

Donovan Ward - Coloured by the Other

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February 13, 2012 - Comments Off on There But Not There

There But Not There

Angela Briggs presents There But Not There. The meditative act of painting allows Briggs to explore the paradox of articulating something at the level of detailed observation, and simultaneously through an emotive gesture. There But Not There is a series of paintings that draw on the artists visits to the coastal forest in the nature reserve at Cwebe in the Eastern Cape. This series of paintings encompass through colour the lush forests, and with emotive line her memories of that landscape.

Angela Briggs - Palm and canopy, Cwebe Forest

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February 13, 2012 - Comments Off on Briewe uit die Tankwa

Briewe uit die Tankwa

Adriaan Oosthuizen presents Briewe Uit Die Tankwa a series of photographs taken over a four year period. Briewe Uit Die Tankwa explorers the quiet, vast, Karoo landscape. Far from being superficial postcards, the photographer through the images, introduces the viewer to the individuals who invigorate the landscape with warmth, pride and dignity. This lyrical series reflects on the complicated and yet simply union, between man and the land.

Adriaan Oosthuizen - Willie en Siela van Rooi

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January 16, 2012 - Comments Off on Sandile Mhlongo

Sandile Mhlongo

Sandile Mhlongo presents his recent paintings in the Artstrip. Mhlongo’s paintings capture a sense of his environment. A sense articulate and expressed through colour, a strain of lilac highlighted by a tiredness of blue weaves through the paintings as they negotiate the colour of poverty.


Sandile Mhlongo - Earning a nickel spending a dime

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January 16, 2012 - Comments Off on Given to Fly

Given to Fly

Given to Fly is Vivien Kohler’s much anticipated first Solo exhibition at The AVA Gallery is sponsored by the National Arts Council of South Africa. This body of work negotiates the human urge to excel, the ability to control the trajectory of one’s life, and the social dynamics that hinder the realisation of childhood dreams. Kohler’s mixed media works create tensions through the illusionist approach to painting and the tactile application of sculptural components.

Vivien Kohler - Terms of hope 2

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January 16, 2012 - Comments Off on TJORTS!/CHEERS!


Tjorts! /Cheers! In the Main gallery is an exhibition inspired by a single unpublished poem, Tjorts! By Danie Marais. It summarise living and working in Cape Town in the twenty first century. The direct and personal nature of drawing finds a resonance with the personal nature of Marais’ work. In this text Marais – whose work often conjures up strong visual associations- maps a space overtly familiar to all the participants (and also to most of the viewers). Each artist responds to the text in a series of drawings. The drawings are associative rather than descriptive, and artists were encouraged to respond to the text in a range of media. Executions therefore vary from work on paper to site-specific spatial constructions. Artists also circulated some of the drawings in progress and responded to each other’s interpretations a deliberate effort to find synergies and stimulate ongoing dialogue.

Liza Grobler - Bubbly botteltjiesblou

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November 21, 2011 - Comments Off on A Natural Selection: 1991 – 2011

A Natural Selection: 1991 – 2011

The AVA Gallery in partnership with Spier Invites you to the opening of A Natural Selection: 1991-2011 Part 2 of the AVA, 40 year retrospective exhibitions Curated by Clare Butcher To be opened by Sue Williamson Opening at 18:00, Monday 21 November 2011 Exhibition closes on Thursday, 12 January 2012

Participating artists, interventions and selectors: Bill Ainslie, Sanell Aggenbach, Bridget Baker, Beezy Bailey/Joyce Ntobe, Bianca Baldi, Lynette Bester, Willie Bester, Lien Botha, Kevin Brand, Justin Brett, Jean Brundrit, Katherine Bull, Francis Burger, Kirsty Cockerill, Lionel Davis, Barend de Wet & Mr. James, Tracey Derrick, Brendhan Dickerson, Josh Ginsburg, Stephen Inggs, Waddy Jones, Svea Josephy, David Koloane, Andrew Lamprecht, Fritha Langerman, Louise Linder, Johann Louw, Charles Maggs, Isaac Makeleni, Thando Mama, Dillon Marsh, Colbert Mashile, Richard Mason, Clare Menck, Zwelethu Mthethwa, Brett Murray, Daniel Naudé, Christian Nerf, Gabi Ngcobo, Ndikhumbule Ngqinambi, Selvin November, Andrew Putter, Sonya Rademeyer (& Aliaa El'Gready), Ken Rees-Gibbs, Lyndi Sales, Claudette Schreuders, Eris Silke, John Skotnes, David Southwood, Gregg Smith, Michael Taylor, Jill Trappler, Johann van der Schijff, Francois Van Reenen, Mandla Vanyaza, Donovan Ward, James Webb, Robert Weinek, Max Wolpe, and Wonder.

To talk about the development of a contemporary art scene using scientific terms like ‘Natural Selection’ seems odd. But in fact, the changing cultural climate, political terrain and available resources determining artistic evolution in an ecosphere like Cape Town, are at times quite Darwinian. Which qualities are inherited? What are the connecting traits? Are there radically new qualities which adapt under pressure? The second half of the 40-year retrospective exhibition at the Association for Visual Arts in Cape Town, focuses on one such period of pressure – 1991-2011 – and presents a selection (out of the many possible) of works from the artistic network evolving around this organisation. The arts community is made up of multiple interdependent relationships – the artists, the gallerists, the framers, the funders, the institutions, the markets, the passports, the journalists, and importantly: the viewers. Each of these groups may use their own languages, have their own dress code, and negotiate personal politics in very different ways. But when seen together in the context of an exhibition, we get a sense of some of the ‘family resemblances’ between them. Making these associations is a central tenet of the AVA’s work and as such, the Association for Visual Arts together with curator, Clare Butcher, have invited members from the arts community in the region to make a number of selections of existing works and create new interventions. The result is a collaborative reflection of the dynamic nature of artistic practices that criss-cross genres and techniques, as well as the need for a symbiosis that spans the recent past, present and future.

Daniel Naude - Afrikanus 1, Steydenburg, 31 March 2008

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October 3, 2011 - Comments Off on 1970–1990: A Legacy

1970–1990: A Legacy

The AVA in partnership with Spier invites you to the opening of 1970–1990: A Legacy Paul Alberts, Tyrone Appollis, Bruce Arnott, Kevin Atkinson, Hardy Botha, Claude Boucherain, Gail Catlin, Bettie Cilliers-Barnard, Frans Claerhout, Peter Clarke, Christo Coetzee, Leon de Bliquy, Paul du Toit, Neville Dubow, Garth Erasmus, Alice Goldin, Geoff Grundlingh, Elizabeth Gunter, Louis Jansen van Vuuren, William Kentridge, John Kramer, Erik Laubscher, Renée Le Roux, Azaria Mbatha, Gladys Mgudlandlu, Hylton Nel, John Nowers, Sheila Nowers, Fred Page, Malcolm Payne, Victor Petersen, Michael Pettit, Patricia Pierce-Atkinson, Stanley Pinker, Douglas Portway, Hyme Rabinowitz, Olivia Scholnick, Francine Scialom-Greenblatt, Larry Scully, Cecil Skotnes, Pippa Skotnes, Helmut Starcke, June te Water, Herman van Nazareth, Jan Vermeiren, Marjorie Wallace, Sue Williamson, Joe Wolpe, and Manfred Zylla curated by Marilyn Martin

The former Western Cape Region of the South African Association of Arts, founded in 1945, was the successor to the South African Fine Arts Association and, situated in the Cape Argus building, it soon it became the hub of art life in Cape Town. From the earliest days well-known personalities were involved as custodians, chairpersons and committee members. Twenty five years later the Homes Trust Life Art Gallery (subsequently the Metropolitan Gallery) became the home of the Association and the new premises opened in 1970 with Mary Murray as custodian and Herman van Nazareth as first exhibitor. In 1995 it was decided to sever ties with the mother body in Pretoria and the Association for Visual Arts (AVA) came into being. It now works in partnership with Spier, which recently acquired the building. The AVA has continued to support artists and has remained one of the foremost venues for art exhibitions and associated programmes in the city. Hundreds of artists exhibited at the AVA during the years 1970-1990 and the curator, Marilyn Martin, working closely with the director, Kirsty Cockerill, had to make choices: The core of the exhibition comprises works by 21 artists who showed at the Gallery three times or more. In addition there are works by artists, some emerging at the time and now established, who have in one way or another made their mark on the South African art scene during the period. As far as possible, works from the period were selected, thereby providing trips down memory lane for many visitors, as well as an historical overview, and reminder, of individual artists’ production and the styles, ideas and techniques that dominated at the time. With a few exceptions, all art works are for sale; this affords the public an opportunity of acquiring paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, ceramics and sculpture of artists well known, remembered or forgotten. This is an auspicious celebration for the AVA and we hope that the art community will rally to share in the excitement, and to support this great centre of culture and opportunity. Marilyn Martin

Bettie Cilliers-Barnard - Enblem

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August 8, 2011 - Comments Off on At night we dream during the day we see

At night we dream during the day we see

At night we dream during the day, curated by Kirsty Cockerill, what we see is a group painting exhibition that explores political surrealism in contemporary South African painting. Symbols merge with political and social realties on the canvas to offer the viewer a hyper real experience, one that loaded and layered and waiting to be aimed. Each of the 8 selected artists, Zolani Siphungela, Anathi Tyawa, Ndikhumbule Ngqinambi, Mncedi Bodlo, Adolf Tega, Cinga Samson, Richard Mudariki, Bangikaya Maqoqa negotiate their individual concerns and articulating their unique approach in vastly different ways, however there is a thread that binds them and it’s this thread that the exhibition At night we dream during the day we see has been curated to highlight.

Mncedi Bodlo - Intlombe

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August 8, 2011 - Comments Off on Nature Study

Nature Study

Nature Study is an exhibition of new photographic images by Michaelis lecturer, Jean Brundrit, in which she examines the natural world and human nature through the depiction of animals. The images embody a strong concern with environmental issues. The connection between nature, human emotion and identity, and culture is highlighted through the choices made by the artist and linking the images to three texts: ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1798), the Book of Genesis, and Barbara Smuts writing in response to J.M. Coetzee’s lectures, published in The Lives of Animals in 1999. Brundrit presents two series of images for Nature Study; large, monochrome, shadow grams where the scale of the animal’s image has a direct relationship to its size in life and a second series of colour photographic portraits of animals. The exhibition raises a number of questions and compels us to consider the role we play as individuals and communities in our natural environments. This exhibition is based on research supported by the National Research Foundation.

Jean Brundrit - Nature Study 2

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July 11, 2011 - Comments Off on Mien


Paul Birchall’s third solo exhibition, Mien, at the AVA is a series of portraits, which will be on show in the Long Gallery. Inspired by traditional portraiture, Birchall has produced a series of painted portraits of people he knows, exploring his interest in really looking at someone who sits before him, thus developing a visual intimacy and level of detail that goes deeper than what is visible on the surface. In a world where creating a self-image is a daily routine, a world where we present ourselves (or our avatar-egos) for everyone to see, we are more than ever aware of how we want to present ourselves to the world. We seem to live behind a vale of our own concepts of who we are and how we appear in the public gaze. However, by agreeing to be painted, the sitters have given up the right to control how they will appear in a public domain and leave themselves open to vulnerability in the artist’s eye.

Paul Birchall - Jorge

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July 11, 2011 - Comments Off on A wounded Surface

A wounded Surface

A Wounded Surface is a translation of Lauren Palte’s personal experiences into painting. The experiences engage memories and stories mined from her family photographs, while also located in an experience of illness in her body. The body of work traces the progress of the figures that are disrupted in the process of painting. Becoming less and less specific, they dissolve until only vestiges of recognisable forms remain. The surfaces of the paintings are disrupted, transgressed, broken and discoloured. This wounding is as much to the painting’s surface as to the human body, a breached skin that grants access to the fragile inner body. The paintings show the residue of what once appeared whole – the family photograph, the familial unit, and the body. This body of work was completed towards a Masters of Fine Art Degree at the Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town in May 2011.

Lauren Palte - My Primary School Graduation

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June 13, 2011 - Comments Off on And Not But

And Not But

Francis Burger and Christian Nerf's generative installation And Not But has been extended for a second run with added elements of sound, film, text, painting and sculpture. Propelled by the emergence of a recurring form and following a recording experiment led by musician and inventor Brendon Bussy, And Not But is inviting attempts at teaching a sculpture to talk, listen, see and be seen. Leading up to a collaborative book project titled ‘Unbecoming’, And Not But is an optimistic glossarium of ideas, objects, shapes and feelings - part teaching machine, part epiphanic fold. For more information, images and updates go to

Christian Nerf & Francis Burger - And Not But II

June 13, 2011 - Comments Off on Amanuensis


Karen Cronje presents Amanuensis, a collection of sketchbook images in the Artstrip. "These works are taken from my personal sketchbooks. Originally intended as a daily sketchbook and an exploration of ideas for later artworks, they have (since the first in 1998) taken on many different permutations and a life of their own. The results reflect a process that incorporates found images, and objects and photographs that I collect on a daily basis. They are about manual labour and possessiveness and repetition, and reflect thoughts and tangents based on what is generally garnered and appropriated from mass media - war, nuclear experiments, fairy tales and falsehoods." Karen Cronje

Karen Cronje - wtf

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June 13, 2011 - Comments Off on We hope you enjoyed your visit

We hope you enjoyed your visit

We Hope You Enjoyed Your Visit by Colin Payne employs the Long Gallery. Payne is drawn to graphic media in popular culture. Simple, clean and often colourful forms have a commanding effect on him. His makes work about simple things - discovery, vanity, loneliness, distance, fear, joy, peace. Influenced by museums and by inference tourism, public displays and the repackaging of culture. Payne presents works in plastic gold, oil painting paint-by-numbers, and landscape paintings exploding in flat colour: each piece is either inspired by classical art subjects or museum relics and plays with the contemporary way in which they are produced. He also really does hope that you enjoy your visit.

Colin Payne - Follow the leader

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June 13, 2011 - Comments Off on The Duality of Remembering and Forgetting

The Duality of Remembering and Forgetting

The Duality of Remembering and Forgetting, a group exhibition in the Main Gallery, could just as easily have been called ‘Object and Obsession’ or ‘the Quite Subversive’. Corlie de Kock, Sandra Hanekom and Madelein Marincowitz all create art pieces in a lyrical and detailed manner. Artworks that imbue the mundane and commonplace with a sense of imaginative significance. The common thread woven through each of these artists work is the compulsive and obsessive fastidiousness in which they create detailed images.

Madelein Marincowitz - Collective Memory (Untitled 9)

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May 16, 2011 - Comments Off on And Not But

And Not But

Francis Burger and Christian Nerf present their third text And Not But, featuring a combination of projected and printed elements in the New media Room. Functioning as a lead into, a collaborative book project titled Unbecoming. And Not But is an optimistic glossarium of ideas, objects, shapes and feelings - part teaching machine, part epiphanic fold. Loosely arranged on a space-time line around the concept of unbecoming, as well as those of congruence, conflation, conversation and cooperation, this series of experiments attempts a concomitant exposure of the ridge and the crease.

Christian Nerf & Francis Burger - And Not But

May 16, 2011 - Comments Off on Borderline


Damien Schumann employs the Long Gallery with the photographic series Borderline. Borderline captures the daily life where two worlds meet; on the border between the United States of America and Mexico. The differences are so extreme that the region has become its own entity. As a South African photographer, Schumann is an outsider to this specific environment but a commoner to these conditions. Many of the images in the Borderline series reflect social dichotomies so familiar in their visual make up, that they could be mistaken for areas in South Africa where the haves and the have not's leave side by side.

Damien Schumann - Free Hugs

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May 16, 2011 - Comments Off on Unqulo


Shakes Tembani presents Unqulo in the Artsstrip. Unqulo is a Xhosa word meaning 'worship'. With these large paintings, Tembani honours the women in the Christian community who embody the strong moral qualities of kindness and humanity. Tembani's signature style utilises strong colour plains, simplifying the subjects and creating a dynamic tension which activates and monumentalises his subjects and their contributions to society at large.

Shakes Tembani - Unqulo

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May 16, 2011 - Comments Off on Along these city streets

Along these city streets

Mary Visser presents Along These City Streets in the Main Gallery. With this new series of paintings, Visser reflects on the architecture of Cape Town's city centre as a silent witness to the lives that pass through its streets. Through the captured glimpses of blocks of flats, shop windows, car salesrooms, tarmac and traffic Visser explores themes of security, heritage and belonging. "It is the act of painting itself that excites me; here the image becomes a backdrop to the gestural sweep, the graphic mark, the blobs and smears of colour. It is in seeking a tension between the illusionistic space and the surface of paint that I hope to encounter the shared urban experience. Whereby I locate something beyond the image and beneath the surface; a flash of movement in the stillness of a buildings' façade, a life lived." - Mary Visser

Mary Visser - Green Tiles

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April 18, 2011 - Comments Off on Judgement, Uitspraak 2011 Case No. 001/05/2008

Judgement, Uitspraak 2011 Case No. 001/05/2008

Elgin Rust presents Judgement, Uitspraak 2011 Case No. 001/05/2008 with participating artists: Paul Birchall, Kitty Dörje, Claire Jorgensen, Dave Robertson, Max Wolpe, Ian Grose, Gretchen Van der Byl, Cara van der Westhuizen, Natasha Norman, Sonja Rademeyer, Isabelle Grobler, Bridget Baker, Dale Washkansky, Nina Liebenberg in the Main gallery. Judgement, Uitspraak 2011 Case No. 001/05/2008 is a collaborative group show developed out of and in some ways concluding part of Elgin Rust's Redress1-Un-Dressed, Advocate Alice Presents: R v JR 2010. This project investigates processes of judicial and aesthetic redress to offer fresh perspectives on the victim within the criminal justice system. For Judgement, Uitspraak 2011 Case No. 001/05/2008, the fourteen different responses by participating artists are juxtaposed in relationship to aspects of Rust's Redress1-Un-Dressed, Advocate Alice Presents: R v JR 2010. Displayed alongside the above, Rust presents a series of large photomontages and an installation of evidence in the form of Das Narrenschiff 2010, which is assembled using material collected from the Cape Town courts. In this manner, the collaboration does not attempt to offer an undifferentiated pluralism, but rather, a judgment which is based on the most rigorous respect for difference.

Elgin Rust - Exhibit E

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April 18, 2011 - Comments Off on Rusting Iron

Rusting Iron

Cinga Samson presents Rusting Iron, a series of mixed media paintings in the Artsstrip. Rusting Iron refers to the slow corrosion of colonial power and Apartheid systems. Samson offers insight into the general perceptions of power reflected within our society at large, unpacking history and personal experience with an emotionally charged use of colour and paint application.

Cinga Samson - Only Dignitaries

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April 18, 2011 - Comments Off on Lay of the Land

Lay of the Land

Dillon Marsh presents Lay of the Land in the Long Gallery. Marsh documents unusual objects within their immediate environment, picking them out of a landscape into which they might otherwise blend in. These include cell phone towers disguised as trees, titled Invasive Species, telephone poles that have been claimed as nesting perches, and trees that have been permanently bent by persistent winds titled, South Easter. In each of these series Marsh has chosen objects that can be found in multitude within their environment, and by photographing the individual examples depicts a family of objects in a series of photographs.

Dillon Marsh - Assimilation 1

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March 21, 2011 - Comments Off on The Long Street Show

The Long Street Show

The Long Street Show by David Lurie employs the Main and Artstrip galleries of the AVA with a photographic exploration of one of South Africa's most famous streets. Long Street is noted for its Victorian buildings with wrought iron balconies, restaurants, bars, bookshops and second hand stores.”Long Street, as all locals know and visitors are informed, is an essential, not-to-be-missed part of our media-saturated Cape Town multi-culture". Lurie likens himself to "a kind of party-crasher disguised as a photographer", who over a period of months would visit, mingle with the diverse crowd, have a drink, chat and photograph the passing show. In The Long Street Show, so-called unmediated documentary photographs capturing the social and political character of this iconic street are juxtaposed with images that are collaboratively staged, in which the characters "impersonate themselves being themselves" for the photographer. This series is both an original look at Long Street as well as an enquiry into different ways of seeing and representing the urban experience.


David Lurie - The Long Street Show 1

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March 21, 2011 - Comments Off on Ten Million Pounds of Sludge

Ten Million Pounds of Sludge

Ten Million Pounds Of Sludge, a video work by Hugh Upsher, employs the New Media room. Taximonkey.jpg is trying to claim fabulous prizes as it has been declared the 10 000th visitor. It quickly finds this to be no easy task as it attempts to navigate through a maze of obscure and sometimes obscene content. These found images are collected from a large variety internet sources in an almost random fashion. The animation plays out as a mindless hyper paced consumption of content that demonstrates the impending democracy of images. After pushing through ten million pounds of sludge taximonkey.jpg finds his efforts fruitless and returns to the digital graveyard he came from.

Hugh Upsher - Ten Million Pounds of sludge (screen still)

March 21, 2011 - Comments Off on Beautiful World / Everything’s Done under the sun

Beautiful World / Everything’s Done under the sun

In the Long Gallery, Christiaan Diedericks and Carol-Anne Gainer present new works on paper. Beautiful World by Christiaan Diedericks is an edition of seven, original hand-made artist's books, and a special extension of a larger edition of fine art prints by the same title. Each unique book contains seven original dry point engravings and seven Afrikaans poems (with English translations) by contemporary South African author Johann de Lange, as well as text by Hayden Proud, curator at The Iziko South African National Gallery in Cape Town, and Dr. Eugene Vorster, a well-known Cape Town psychiatrist. All artworks and text in Beautiful World are hand printed in the etching and silk-screening studios of the Frans Masereel Centrum during a three week residency awarded to Diedericks by the Vlaamse Overhijd, held in January 2011 in Kasterlee, Belgium. In And Everything's Done Under The Sun, Carol-Anne Gainer presents a series of monotypes prompted by her experience travelling, and living in rural France. Gainer's appreciation of the natural world is mediated through a curious combination of 18th century farm implements and the domestic bric-a-brac of the last century, including a heron in a bell-jar, tulip containers and farming implements juxtaposed with images or text about animals. The eclectic mix speaks to a concern with our custodianship/relationship with a nature that is increasingly fragile.

Chris Diedericks - Mechanisms for Hating

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