Friday, October 29, 2010

Project Update

In May 2010, VANSA put out a call for proposals for the project Two Thousand and Ten Reasons to Live in a Small Town, with a deadline for submissions in August. A series of project briefing and proposal writing workshops were held across the during the course of June and July. Click here to find out more about the brief for the project.

A large number of exceptional proposals were received, and we would like to thank all who engaged with the project concept. A total of seven projects were finally chosen by the curatorial team VANSA convened for the project, comprised of Nontobeko Ntombela, Rat Western, Rike Sitas, Dorothee Kreutzfeldt and Joseph Gaylard. VANSA has also made available smaller project development commissions against four proposals that were felt to show substantial potential.

In October 2010, we convened a weekend workshop involving all of the commissioned artists and the curatorial team, aimed at sharing ideas, building a ‘community of practice’ and putting in place practical plans for the realisation of projects. Kindly hosted by the Nirox Foundation, the weekend was a great success, opening up lots of new possibilities and ideas for all involved.

In the posts below, are brief summaries of the projects selected and bio's on the artists.

Sutherland: Dark and Silent – Sutherland, Northern Cape

Bronwyn Lace and Marcus Neustetter

Sutherland: Dark and Silent is based on the project Sutherland Reflections, a series of interventions in the town and an exhibtion at the Goethe Institut in 2009. Reflections aims was to create an experience of participation, artistic intervention and a creative spectacle in the form of a community driven kite flying artwork. The project also aimed to investigate and address the current attitude and relationship between the seeming “distance” of the disadvantaged communities in Sutherland and the international neighbouring telescopic observatory. Dark and Silent continues with the research and projects completed over the last 3 years wit ha view to manifesting a series of site-specific intervention collaboration with the local communities, visiting scientists and artists.

Marcus Neustetter is an artist, researcher, consultant and project developer in the field of new media. He is a founding member and joint director of the Trinity Session and is heavily involved in the Johannesburg art industry. Neustetter holds a MA in Fine Arts from Wits and has exhibited widely both internationally and locally.

Bronwyn Lace is a practicing artist living and working in Johannesburg who completed her undergraduate degree in Fine Arts at Wits in 2004. As part of her practice she has been involved in the development of young artists, notably co-founding with Simon Gush and Nathaniel Stern. Lace has been instrumental in developing the About Arts programme at the Bag Factory where she is the Educations Officer. Lace has exhibited work locally and internationally.

The Domino Effect - Hermon, Western Cape

Tracey Derrick and Chris Murphy

Working with the separated past of the village of Hermon - which continues to manifest in the present – Tracey Derrick and Chris Murphy plan to establish the Hermon Domino Tournament in partnership with the local community. The project will also involve the erection of large-scale domino sculptures in the tournament play area, as well as public photographic displays in commemoration of the event and history of the village.

Tracey Derrick has been a full-time portrait and documentary photographer since 1991. Her projects are primarily concerned with social and community issues. Last year she completed her Postgraduate Diploma of Art at the Michaelis School of Fine Art. Chris Murphy has extensive experience as a graphic designer in London and Cape Town, and studied at both Ruth Prowse School of Art in Cape Town and Ealing College in London.

Workshop and Bronze Sculptures - Richmond, Northern Cape

Guy du Toit

Du Toit’s project aims to connect Richmond to the outside world and inject an energy that would break the monotony of rural life whilst facilitating local skills development. It also seeks to build spatial and human connection across the town/township divide within Richmond. The project will consist of a series of events and workshops and will result in the casting and placement of two bronze sculptures by the town’s residents. The workshop will be hosted by MAP (Modern Art Projects) which has a residency space in Richmond, initiated by Harry Siertsema.

Guy du Toit is a bronze and ceramic sculptor who has BA (FA) from the University of Pretoria with distinction. He currently works, lives and lecturers on a part time bases in Pretoria.

noli procrastinare (meaning: “don’t put off until tomorrow what can be done today”) or Kooperasie Stories - Laingsburg, Western Cape

Kathryn Smith

Undertaken in conjunction with the department of Visual Arts at the University of Stellenbosch and the Laingsburg Municipality, Smith’s project will involve the realisation of a festival commemorating the 13th anniversary of the Laingsburg flood. Her proposal outlines a researched set of responses to a planned vloedherdenkingsfees. Following the festival - based on research and reflection -a series of collaborative, permanent sculptural works will be created responding to ideas around reconstruction, vision and co-operation.

Kathryn Smith graduated from Wits University with an MA FA (distinction). She currently works as an artist, curator and researcher and directs the Serialworks project space in Woodstock, Cape Town.

Dlala Indima - Phakamisa, Eastern Cape

Kwanele Mboso, Zingisa Nkosinkulu and Buntu Fihla

This team of artist plans to engage the community in giving the township a face-lift using street art as a vehicle, inspired by the idea of Dlala Indima (meaning: “playing your role”). The project will involve the transformation of the townscape, with a particular focus on buildings that will become facilities for skills training for the large population of unemployed youth in the area. Working with several well-known graffiti artists, the aim of the project is to involve these youth in the beautification of the township in order to instill self-esteem and self-worth.

Zingisa Nkosinkulu is an East London born artist who graduated from Walter Sisulu University in 2010 and currently works as an art teacher at the Belgravia Art Centre. Nkosinkulu's interest lies within the intersections street art and fine art. He is currently working towards his 2nd solo exhibition to be held in the National Art Festival, Grahamstown 2011.

Kwanele Mboso was born in Ilitha township.and had his primary education at Ilitha primary and attended Hector Peterson high school in Zwelitsha. After matriculation in 2003 he enrolled at Buffalo City Public F.E.T College where he achieved an N6 certificate in photography.

Buntu Fihla is an Eastern Cape born graphic designer, photographer and graffiti artist with a ND Graphic Design from CPUT(2006). Fihla's work stems from an interest in all of all these different practices and is mostly aimed at social commentary and/or community upheaval. Currently working as a Graphic Designer for Ogilvy Cape Town, he has been active in the creative industry since 2006.

Made in Musina – Musina, Limpopo

Thenjiwe Nkosi and Ra Hlasane

The Made in Musina project has evolved out of research undertaken by Thenjiwe Nkosi and Ra Hlasane into the Musina arts community. The proposed project aims to facilitate collaboration and networking between organizations in the largely fragmented arts community of Musina. Nkosi and Hlasane intend to get people talking about the arts community in Musina and to start looking for ways to unify and amplify Musina’s artistic voices.

The artists plan to work with the Dulibadzimu Theatre Group, a community theatre group that formed out of a previous project that Nkosi initiated on a farm on the outskirts of Musina. There is a fundamental break in communication between different communities in Musina. They are interested in finding creative ways to bridge the farm/town divide, and in other ways investigate and break down the town/township divide, which falls along both racial and class lines. Working with the Dulibadzimu Theatre group is one such effort.

Nkosi and Hlasane imagine that Made in Musina will be an opportunity for Musina’s multiple arts organisations to lay the foundation for developing a Musina arts network. The idea is that the network will be a catalyst for ongoing collaborations and that it will facilitate wider exposure of Musina’s talent.

Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi received a M.F.A in Video, Photography and related Media from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. She currently lives and works in Johannesburg as an artist.

Rangoato Hlasane is an artist completing an Mtech in visual arts at the University of Johannesburg. He is the co-founder and director of Keleketla! Library, an interdisciplinary library based at the Drill Hall, Johannesburg.

Raymond Marlowe is a documentary photographer and vidographer and community workshop facilitator from Orange Farm. He is a student at the Market Photo Workshop and a part-time facilitator at the Bag Factory. He will be a facilitator and documenter of the project.

Living within History- Dundee, Kwazulu Natal

Vaughn Sadie and Neil Coppen

Vaughn Sadie and Neil Coppen’s ‘Living Within History’ project will take place in the historic battlefield town of Dundee in northern Kwa-Zulu Natal. The artists will spend three months interviewing and conducting workshops with participants from local and surrounding communities. Sadie and Coppen will work towards staging a weekend of public space re-enactments (in and around the town) which they hope will both interrogate, and reinvigorate interest in, the area’s abundant history.

Vaughn Sadie is an installation artist who works across disciplines. Sadie completed his MFA at the Durban University of Technology in 2009. Neil Coppen is a theatre maker/ playwright and journalist from Durban and is the recipient of this year’s Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Theatre.