VUT Visual arts and design department engages: Africa-centred knowledge
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VUT Visual arts and design department engages: Africa-centred knowledge

Delegates that attended the visual arts educator’s art exhibition and colloquium

Rose Fumane Nthoroane

“A work of art is a world in itself, reflecting senses and emotions of the artist’s world.”  – Hans Hofmann. With that being said, the Department of Visual Arts and Design (Fine Art) held a two-day Southern African Development Community (SADC) visual arts educators’ art exhibition and colloquium from 4-5 October in Bodutu Art Gallery at the Vanderbijlpark campus. The art exhibition was also open for public viewing from the 05-18 October.

As one of its kind in the region, this event aimed at establishing a formal visual arts educator’s forum in the Southern Africa. For this year, the participating countries included educators from Botswana, Zambia, Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

The theme of the exhibition and colloquium was “Rethinking Africa-centred knowledge in/through visual arts”. The theme explored the notion of the nexus between the educator and the practitioner through the production of Africa-centred knowledge in Visual Arts. Discussions were around what Africa-centred knowledge is within visual art production and to generate new knowledges in the context of the educator/the practitioner.

The key note speakers and artists addressed the theme using different media (text, painting, photography, animation, sculpture) from different perspectives and backgrounds. This was evident during the colloquium and the “walkabout” where artists were given the chance to talk about their artworks, what inspired them and what they were intending to communicate through their work.

The exhibiting artists/educators included: Obed Mokhuhlani, Linda Hesse, Velaphi Mazhinye, Japhet Funwayo, Mashaole Makwela, Anneke de Klerk, Farrell Ngilima, Kanni Badu, Barbara Hopley, Ephia Mmbidi, Gilbert Maepa, Ivy Radipodi-Mosimanyana, Johannes Antonie Kotze, Jabu Dhlamini, Matshepo Thibudi, Gordon Froud, Sonwabiso Ngcai and Wesley van Neel.

Mr Mashaole Makwela, Course Coordinator and Senior Lecturer in Fine Art expressed his gratitude and said: “I am more than happy with the outcome, the colloquium discussions were very informative and the responses we have received have been positive. We are eagerly planning to take this forum to other SADC countries from next year so that we all continue to stay connected and be part of this initiative.”

Albert Einstein once said: “Creativity is intelligence having fun” … the artworks of each artist at this exhibition reflected exactly that.

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