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FOTAG Focus Articles

For a number of years the Natal Witness ran articles by FOTAG members. These articles called the FOTAG Focus discussed artworks from the collection on display.

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New Articles

Self Portrait as an Anachronism, Terrence Patrick

by Robyn Smithies

The intensity of Patrick's Self Portrait immediately grabs one's attention. One finds oneself drawn into the penetrating gaze of the figure in the artwork.
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Old Articles

From a horned toad to a princess

by Simon Roberts

It was Gordon Small, the architect (and magician), who transmuted a horned toad into the princess which is the Tatham today. Paterson, the colonial engineer, had provided the slow-gestating multi-faceted toad, conceived as the courthouse in 1865...
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Apples, Mark Gertler

by Val Maggs

Two green, three red and four yellow apples dance around the picture plane in repetitive circular rhythms creating a sense of harmony. Identical coloured apples are cunningly arranged in triangular motifs.
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Album 19 no V, Joan Miro

by Michael Lambert

In this work, Miro continues his experimentation with form, rhythm and colour. The geometry of the interlocking conical shapes is subverted by the contraction of the background cone.
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Boys' swimming pool, Walter Battiss

by Daryl Houghton

At first glance, Boys swimming pool appears to portray a group of archetypal figures in the style of a san rock painting - swimming and sunning themselves under an African sky. However, a closer look at the work reveals two bicycles, discarded clothing and even a pair of boots...
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Brooding hills, Melmoth, Diamond Bozas

by Bethuel Mkhize

This is one of my favourite paintings in the gallery. It is a scene with green hills and clouds. No human beings can be seen. A patch of sunlight falls through the clouds. It shows nature with grass and trees displaying their chlorophyll to enhance living in summer...
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Edith picking flowers, Bertha Everard

by Stephen Coan

Her gift (as well as her name) comes to mind while considering Bertha Everard's painting of her sister Edith picking flowers. Here is a snapshot from a more leisurely age - a time when afternoons could be spent picking flowers and such an activity serve as subject matter for a painter.
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Gravesend Reach, Cecil Hunt

by David Livingston

The picture that always catches my attention at the Tatham Art Gallery is this watercolour by Cecil Hunt. Gravesend itself was part of the London docks area, which in its heyday was one of the world's busiest shipping docks - now of course no more.
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How Dr. Gustav Fritsch might or might not have ordered strange and formless worlds, Keith Dietrich

by Fiona Jackson

This delicate, complex work draws me with its fascinating layers. I love Dietrich's mastery of watercolour - the fine luminosity with which he renders each object so painstakingly real. Musing on its possible meanings. I remember...
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In the Orlando train, Gerard Sekoto

by Val Woodley

This oil painting could be called A Study in Browns. It depicts three men in the dark interior of a railway coach painted in various shades of brown with black outlines on hats, jackets and windows; powerful brush strokes; pleasing composition.
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Landscape, Gerard Bhengu

The Tatham Art Gallery has an outstanding collection of artworks by the earliest black South African painters. Art reflects our society and its attitudes: it shows us how people think and what experiences they have.
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On the Lawn, Dacres Adams

by Shirley Gault

We do not know exactly when this was painted, but the painter was probably intent on conveying an English upper middle class life style. The people depicted could be a mother with her three children...
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Seth, Jackson Hlungwane

by Sheila Davies

Seth, the third son of Adam, 'doth bestride the world like a colossus', stepping out with confidence from his corner on the first floor of the Tatham gallery. He is unashamedly still a tree-imithi - the source of medicine, warmth and shelter for the people of Africa.
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Still life, Alexis Preller

by Val Woodley

Born in Pretoria, Preller studied in London and Paris before serving in the S.A. Medical Corps during the Second World War. After being captured at Tobruk, he was a prisoner-of-war for two years. The horrors and suffering with which he came into contact influenced his choice...
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Still-life with sunset, Bronwen Findlay

by Shirley Gault

Amidst the sombre times in which we live this painting uplifts my spirits as if of 'paradise regained'. A blue river bisects two landscapes, one wild and one domestic (a garden perhaps). Midcentre in the background is a haphazard but startling red setting sun...
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Stripped ("Oh Yes") Girl, Jane Alexander

by Nontobeko Ntombela

Being around this sculpture gives me a very uncomfortable feeling. But what I like about it is the realistic confrontation that it brings out. To me it talks about male destructiveness and the male enjoyment of destroying women.
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Study for an African head, Alexis Preller

by Val Woodley

This second painting of Alexis Preller's is an appealing small study of the head of a young African girl. We see the side view of her head and neck as carved out of a light wood.
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Tête, Henri Matisse

by Colin Gardner

Matisse was one of the great artists of the first half of the twentieth century. It is an indication of the richness of the Tatham Art Gallery's collection that it should have, among all its South African and international gems...
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The Dancer, Gerald Festus Kelly

by Emmanuel Mlondolozi Caluza

Kelly's The dancer (Rita) is a painting of a remarkably elegant and serene lady in a white dress. This is the largest painting in the Lorna Ferguson Room, and evokes in me a feeling of pleasure, complaisance and great admiration for a really beautiful painting.
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The Inyanga, Joseph Manana

by Muzi Sibiya

One of my favourite paintings hangs in the Perimeter Gallery of the Tatham. It is entitled The Inyanga and the artist is Joseph Manana. In the foreground is the inyanga (or witch doctor), dressed in patched European clothes, in the process of injecting...
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The Ring, John Henry Frederick Bacon

by Gina Vandeverre-Poole

What attracted me to this painting was the exquisite opalescent quality of the work and the fine painting technique. Both the eloquent choice of colour and the glossy smooth veneer of the vintage canvas exude an ethereal sentiment.
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Tenements, Gavin Andersen

by Shirley Gault

My dictionary tells me that tenement/s refer to one of several rooms in a building, each rented by one family and held by a tenant/s - the presence of people in such conditions is explicit. This collage is devoid of humans but their past may be speculated upon by the viewer.
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Twisting stream, Ivon Hitchens

Whether Ivon Hitchens (1893 - 1979) intended to produce an illusion of the sound of water is hard to say. But he certainly did try to create 'visual song' and over many years developed a personal language of painting in order to do this.
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Tyd is Stof, Jaap Jacobs

by Kobus Moolman

One of the (many) joys I derive from working at the Gallery is the opportunity to talk about works of art with people, young and old, from all walks of life and cultures. In all of these discussions it is the meeting between the individual and the artwork that...
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Collection

Johansson collectionThe Tatham Art Gallery holds an Art Collection that contains significant British and French artworks dating back to the 18th century. Its South-African art collection is focused on, but not exclusive to, the art of KwaZulu-Natal.

Exhibitions

ImageThe Tatham Art Gallery hosts a range of Art Exhibitions. These include traveling and researched exhibitions as well as exhibitions initiated by the Gallery and compiled from the collection.

Articles

A selection of current and archival articles from the Tatham Art Gallery. These articles provide a historical and contemporary perspective on the Gallery and the visual arts in KwaZulu-Natal.

Art Gallery Shop

ImageThe Tatham Art Gallery shop stocks high quality works by local crafters. It is an ideal place to find unique presents and original collectables.