Juxtaposition: style - metaphor - format
- Perimeter Gallery
This eclectic display of European and South African art works invites viewers to reflect on similarities and differences between art works in order to appreciate what, how and why artists communicate at different times and in different places.
The Art of Democracy: 20 Years of Collecting
- Main Exhibition Room
- Closes Sunday 10 April 2016 at 17h00
This exhibition of selected art works acquired since 1994 celebrates the diversity of collecting for the Gallery’s permanent collection. Smaller works can be overlooked, but are nonetheless equally compelling. Peter Machen’s triptych, Forgotten Herstories of KwaZulu-Natal, is an example of how the creative process invites us to consider alternatives to our preconceptions of the role of women in our history. In these digital images, fiction is presented as fact.
Consider the possibilities of Machen’s Feroza Zulu: “Few are aware of Feroza Zulu, the woman who led a brief but dramatic uprising against Shaka. Written off as a witch by both the British and the Zulus, Feroza nevertheless managed to garner intense loyalty and obedience from her small band of seditionists. Quite how she rose to power has never been established. She appears like a violent exclamation mark on the pages of history, and apart from her failed coup – in which Feroza died at the hands of Shaka himself – all that is known is that she escaped from an indentured labour camp at the age of five and was adopted by one of Shaka’s more recalcitrant wives”.
This exhibition reflects how the growth of the Gallery’s permanent collection has been significantly affected by the significant changes that have taken place in South Africa. Political, social, and economic shifts have impacted on the Gallery’s acquisitions policy, as have developments in art making and theory. What has been acquired for the permanent collection is the result of these shifts, taking cognizance of the collection’s growth from its founding in 1903.
The most challenging aspects of collecting during this period have been selecting for inclusivity, the breakdown of barriers between so-called ‘high art’ and craft, and focusing the Gallery‘s role as a regional repository of visual art heritage. This selection of art works is both a celebration and an opportunity for reflection.
Building History: Drawings and prints of historic Pietermaritzburg buildings by Carola Brotherton
- Schreiner Gallery
- Opens: Sunday 7 February at 10h30 for 11h00
- Closes: Sunday 29 May at 17h00
This exhibition from the Gallery’s permanent collection comprises pen & ink drawings and linoprints of a number of Victorian and Edwardian buildings in the centre of Pietermaritzburg. These were created by Carola Gordon (née Brotherton) in the 1960s when she was a student and teacher at the Department of Fine Art, University of Natal. Each building on display is juxtaposed with a photographic image of what was found at that street address in August 2015. Some buildings have been restored, some altered, and some have developed signs of deterioration. Two of the buildings have been demolished.