Friday, November 26, 2010

Developmental Commissions

In addition to the main projects that VANSA has selected for Two Thousand and Ten Reasons to Live in a Small Town, there were a number of proposals that the curatorial team felt showed substantial potential but would benefit from a small commission to further their research and to further develop their proposed projects.

This commission is designed to give them the resources and the opportunity to find additional funding for realization in the future. Below are the projects selected and brief bios of the artists involved.

Natal Patria – Margate, Kwa-Zulu Natal
Bianca Baldi

In 1922, there were reports of a sea monster that washed up on the beach in the Margate Ramsgate area. The monster, named Trunko, is well documented in the annals of crypto-zoology and is listed alongside others such us the Loch Ness Monster and the Yeti. Baldi proposes to use the historical documented accounts and the town’s archive to enact a public event that will be formulated by the community members. The culminating event will be modeled on processions similar to those held for sporting events.

Bianca Baldi was born in Johannesburg in 1985 and lives and works between Frankfurt and Cape Town. Baldi completed her BA(FA) in Studio Practice and Theory at UCT and is currently studying at The Staatliche Hochschule fur Bildende Kunste Stadelschule in Frankfurt. Baldi has exhibited widely in Cape Town at Blank Projects, the AVA and serialworks amongst others.

Up and Down – Bekkersdal, Gauteng and Masiphumelele, Western Cape
Steve Bandoma and Maurice Mbikayi

Up and Down aims to create an experience of participation somewhere between sport and artistic site-specific interventions. Bandoma and Mbikayi aim to build two soccer pitches, one in Gauteng and one in the Western Cape. Playing with the metaphor of the ‘level playing field’, they will be traditional soccer fields with a difference: one will be built on a hill and the other in a valley with the fields conforming to the shape of the landscape. The project intends to foster dialogue between foreign nationals living in the town and local residents through soccer matches on these pitches.

Steve Bandoma was born in Kinshasa, DRC in 1982 and graduated with a degree in Fine Art from the Academies des Beaux-Arts. He subsequently moved to South Africa in 2005 and has participated in several group exhibitions both locally and internationally.

Maurice Mbikayi was also born in Kinshasa, DRC and completed his education in sculpture at a Polytechnic Academy and in 2000 graduated from the Academies des Beaux-Arts with a diploma in Graphic Design and Visual Communication. Mbikayi was selected for the Spier Contemporary 2010 and was nominated to participate in the 2010 Hollard Exchange Programme facilitated by the Spier Arts Academy in Cape Town.

Mighty Tiny – Naledi Rural, Free State
Meghan Judge

Mighty Tiny plans to engage the town with a series of workshops the artist calls “inventive realisation”. These workshops will explore the notion of transport as an integral part of peoples daily lives by investigating different modes of transport and recreating/reimagining these using scrap metals and recyclable material. Judge aims to use the opportunity to continue the research needed by engaging in complex series of workshops using photography and narrative techniques to explore their immediate environment. This is designed to introduce ideas of sequential art forms and process.

Meghan Judge graduated from the Michael Mount Waldorf School in 2001 and subsequently won a scholarship to Boston Media House to study animation, the only institution to offer a full comprehensive course in animation in South Africa at the time. Following this Judge, began travelling and studying and exploring the various forms of sequential art, frequently collaborating with artists, musicians and film makers.

Secret (Agent of Change) – Coffee Bay, Eastern Cape
Heath Nash

Heath Nash has proposed to work quite closely with the Masizane Womens’s Group, a weaving collective in the town in productive development and skills transfer while retaining and reinvigorating the heritage of weaving and beading in the area. The end result envisioned involves drawing in younger community members to learn and propose a permanent structure using traditional techniques that would be of use to the community as a whole.

Heath Nash is a contemporary designer with a growing national and international profile. He graduated with a BA(FA) from the Michaelis School of Fine Art, and runs his own company, Poise and maintains a studio space called “its beautiful here.” Nash’s design work focuses on process and each piece is informed by the material used to fabricate it. Ideas, around traditional methods, recycling, sustainability, process and the materiality of the object are fore grounded.

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