Message from the Manager

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As the end of the year approaches, the Tatham Art Gallery programme is packed full of exciting exhibitions and events.

There is still time to view Hermine Spies Coleman’s exhibition The Power of Loss and Gain, where the artist explores how the hardship of change and loss is often rewarded positively by gain.

This exhibition will be followed by Flowers in Art from the Tatham permanent collection. Artists’ depictions of flowers vary from the abstract to the sublime, and are presented in a number of different media.

A celebration of BIG artworks from our collection is on show in the Main Exhibition Room. A number of the art works on this display have been on sabbatical in storage for many years, including the magnificent Riviere Noire by well-known KZN artist, Andrew Verster. This work comprises 48 individually framed pieces which make up a drawing so big that it spans two walls of the Gallery. You are invited to view it before it returns to storage.

Big art works will be replaced by tiny ones when the annual  FOTAG Fabulous  Picture   Show   takes   place in November. This annual exhibition and auction of donations from artists is a highlight on the Gallery’s calendar. Artists from all walks of life donate their art works which are sold to raise funds for new additions to the Gallery’s permanent collection. It is the relentless support of these artists and the Friends of Tatham Art Gallery that enables us to keep the Gallery collection alive and relevant.

There are two exciting exhibitions planned for the end of the year. Both of these exhibitions will be on view over the holiday season.

Our Choice, an eclectic exhibition of art works chosen from the Gallery permanent collection, is bound to intrigue. The art works have been chosen by all those who currently work at the Gallery either as employees or in a voluntary capacity. This exhibition is their opportunity to celebrate a favourite from the collection.

And last, but certainly not least, an exhibition entitled Mending the Scars will fill the Schreiner Gallery. Four fibre artists from KwaZulu-Natal have produced a body of work that addresses issues of pain and healing. The mixed media works are bound together by a common thread of empathy felt by the artists, for their subjects and their home, South Africa.

We have had a busy and productive year at the Gallery, and my sincere thanks goes to the staff that have made this possible. Without your efforts, Pietermaritzburg would not be able to celebrate this art museum that we are all so proud of.

And all that remains, is for me to wish our patrons and supporters a happy holiday season. We value your support and invite you to join us in the New Year for another exciting and busy programme of exhibitions and events.

Bryony Clark (Acting Manager)


The Tatham Art Gallery has an exciting line-up and variety of exhibitions for the next four months. The ever popular KZN Midlands Matric Art Exhibition attracts large audiences of scholars and adults alike. It is a vibrant visual expression of the excitement and challenges of youth, and it provides inspiration for future art scholars in terms of thematic interpretation, and explores many different creative methods and techniques.

The Schreiner Gallery is available to practising artists who wish to exhibit. Three recent applications have been accepted by the Exhibitions Committee:

Siyabonga Ngubane has just completed his Honours degree in Printmaking at the Centre for Visual Art on the local University campus. As with numerous other developing artists in the past, the Friends of the Tatham Art Gallery have assisted with some of his exhibition costs. His exhibition of linocuts entitled The Suffering of the People is well worth a visit.

Jaap Jacobs’s display of his recent work consists of sculpture and two dimensional art works. His use of interesting materials that include DNA and dust, focuses on Afrikaner and family history.

Hermine Spies’s exhibition of abstract paintings follows Jacob’s exhibition. Spies has been teaching art for over forty years and currently runs Giverny Studios in Curry’s Post, where her focus is on creative expression.

The Standard Bank Young Artist for Visual Art 2018, Igshaan Adams, is also exhibiting during this quarter. Combining aspects of performance, weaving, sculpture and installation that draw upon his upbringing. His cross-disciplinary practice is an ongoing investigation into hybrid identity, particularly in relation to race and sexuality.

The staff continue to focus on museological aspects of the Gallery’s operation. We can happily say that the conservation of paintings and paperworks damaged in the flood two years ago, is nearing completion.

A number of artists participated in the Gallery’s ARTBIN project recently. Thanks go to Kobie Venter who co- ordinated this exciting project. The brightly painted bins are soon to be placed in the Gallery grounds and should help to keep the City Centre litter-free.

Once again our grateful thanks goes out to City Printing Works. Without your part-sponsorship, we would not be able to produce the printed outline publication.

Bryony Clark (Acting Manager)

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As we enter a new year we reflect on the past year as one of change, but also one that has provided great opportunities for the future. At the end of September last year, Brendan Bell retired. He had been the Manager of the Tatham Art Gallery since 1992. Brendan was trained by Lorna Ferguson, his predecessor. The current Gallery staff take this opportunity to thank them both for the solid museological foundation and legacy that they have, in turn, left behind.

At the Annual General Meeting last year the Board of Trustees for the Tatham Art Gallery Trust for 2018 – 2021 was nominated and confirmed.

Prof Ian Calder
Bryony Clark (Acting Manager)
Christopher Duigan (Vice Chair)
Heather Gourlay-Conyngham
David Gush (Chairperson)
Dr Louise Hall
Gavin John
Thulani Makhaye
Suren Naidoo
Sibusisiwe Ngcobo
Bona Nyawose
Anand Singh
Beauty Sekete

It is eighteen months since the devastating flood occurred in the Gallery basement. Numerous art works were affected by the flood, but in many ways we find ourselves better positioned as a museum now, than before the flood. Most of the Gallery’s recovery can be attributed to human endeavor and the effort that has been made, since the flood, to remedy the damage and to ensure that there is not a recurrence of the disaster.

Slowly but surely, the art works damaged in the flood are being repaired. Ekkehard Hans continues to restore paintings and DK Conservators in Cape Town are working on all works on paper. The Gallery’s collection of Persian carpets has been restored and relined and the sculpture damaged by the water has been repaired.

Through the generous financial donations received from Strauss & Co, as well as Carola and Martin Gordon, the Tatham Art Gallery now has a number of art work stands, created as platforms to keep all large art works in storage safely off floor level, and a stand-alone pump in case of water in the basement. There are new pumps in our basement plant room to keep the underground stream at bay, and an early warning alarm system that triggers if the stream rises. In addition, the Gallery now has a large generator which kicks in, in the event of a power failure. All paper works returned from Cape Town have been reframed, and a donation from Julia Meintjes Fine Art has enabled us to replace frames where necessary.

The Gallery’s technical team have rearranged the storage facility at the Gallery. We are extremely proud of their attention to detail and focus on the safety of the City’s cultural heritage. Their tireless efforts have made our storage better than ever before.

Without the efforts of many people, from those who assisted immediately after the flood to the staff and conservators who continue to care for our collection, it would not be possible to write this good news story. Thank you to each and every one who continues to maintain the highest museological standards of care for the Tatham Art Gallery collection, thus keeping the legacy left by our predecessors, alive.

Bryony Clark (Acting Manager)