Ons Perspektief is a collaboration between the Dutch art/hip-hop collective BrotherTill and various South African rymklets artists.They merged musical styles and backgrounds to create work that transcends not just musical genres, but also the boundaries between disciplines, countries, and cultures.
For the Vrystaat Arts Festival, BrotherTill curated a virtual gallery that guides the viewer through the diverse work of this art project. A retrospective exhibition.
Platfontein is the residence of the !Xun and Khwe people, first-nation inhabitants from Southern Africa. Free State Arts and Health (FSAH) initiated a print project for the youth, in partnership with the William Humphreys Arts Gallery and the Isibindi Youth Centre. During the project, young artists engaged in dialogue with their elders who shared some of the stories that have been passed down for generations in the oratory tradition of the !Xun and Khwe. The project allowed young artists to act as agents between the generations of their community in a manner that reaffirmed their rich cultural heritage. The artworks became the product of a community art cultural development process that contributed to the resumption of community pride and cultural agency among the participating artists. For the youth from here, traditional folklore contends for assimilation with surrounding master narratives that are alien to them. For many of the project participants, it was the first time that they heard the stories that these artworks share with us. Now, this print portfolio visually encapsulates traditional stories from the !Xun and Khwe first-nation peoples.
The prints were made by young artists from Platfontein as part of a generational cohesion project that facilitated the transfer of cultural narratives from the older generation to the younger. In the last quarter of 2019, the Platfontein Print Project produced a whole new body of work with the support of our partners on the ground and with additional help from the National Heritage Council. In 2020, due to the constraints caused by the pandemic, our interactive community art exhibition was cancelled, and a virtual art gallery was created which became part of the world-renowned Ars Electronica Festival. The work titled Ons Kom Vanaf Ons Stories is a three-dimensional virtual space in Mozilla Hub. It was the product of !Xun and Khwe first- nations people’s community art cultural development process that contributed to the resumption of community pride and cultural agency among the participating artists. For many of the project participants, it was the first time that they heard the stories that these artworks share with us. In 2021, FSAH will be publishing a mini catalogue of all the prints and several stories encapsulated in the prints.
Exhibitions at Oliewenhuis Art Museum during the Vrystaat Arts Festival
Museum times: Mon – Fri: 09:00 – 17:00; Sa – So: 09:00 – 16:00 (depending on lockdown level)
New Breed Art Competition 2021
Opening: Tuesday,5 October, 18:00
Date: 5October – 14 November 2021
Location:Main Building, Oliewenhuis Art Museum
Museum times: Mon – Fri: 09:00 – 17:00; Sat – Sun: 09:00 – 16:00 (depending on lockdown level)
Phatshoane Henney Attorneys, in association with Oliewenhuis Art Museum, the Art Bank of South Africa and Free State Art Collective, annually invites emerging Free State artists to enter the New Breed Art Competition to encourage these artists to take a step towards being discovered as a “new breed” of artist. The exhibition of selected artworks will be on show from Tuesday, 5 October 2021.
You are also invited to cast your vote for your favourite artists to win this year’s Public Choice Award via the official competition website, www.newbreedart.co.za.
Āvāhana – Invocation
a solo-exhibition by Amita Makan
Curated by Dr. Bongani Mkhonza
Opening: Tuesday, 5 October 2021, 19:00
Āvāhana-Invocation, is a travelling solo exhibition by South African-born artist Amita Makan. Celebrated internationally for fabric constructions with embroidery and collage, Makan infuses her work with identity, memory, and history by using vintage saris, and intuits the contemporary by integrating found materials – the detritus of plastic that litters our surroundings and pollutes our expressions of care.
Makan begins with a self-portrait from which radiating avenues explore the flailing survival of the very nature upon which we depend. In this way, Makan underlines her role within an increasingly urgent cultural response to capitalist-driven environmental mayhem that, here, takes form as a prayer to restore the balance and harmony of a fractured earth. In an essay accompanying the exhibition, art historian Hélène Tissières writes: “The rendering of nature into art aims to question the … domination of nature which gradually leads to the disappearance of thousands of species, breaking the food chain, disrupting the regulation of the ecosystem.”
A poetical, visual and symphonic conversation between four artists and two cities: Cape Town and Zwolle.
October 2020 – during the Corona crisis – the artist duo BrotherTill and film maker Jonathan Sipkema from The Netherlands worked together with South African word artist Jitsvinger and film maker Lindsey Appolis on a unique project. In this film project they looked for new ways to get to know each other via digital channels. Their work stemmed from the idea: listening is looking, and looking is listening. “How does the streaming water sound on your side? Which song do the birds sing in the evening? Which sound sits under your skin?” In the 72-hour-long film project, four artists came to know each other through the words they put to the sounds of their homes and the poetry of the city they imagined.
The film project falls within the international collaboration project ONS Perspektief.
Datum en tyd/Date and time
Peter van Til – BrotherTill, Jitsvinger (Quintin Goliath)
Municipality Zwolle (NL), BrotherTill Foundation
Afrikaans – Nederlands
Mathijs van Til
Peter van Til – BrotherTill, Jitsvinger (Quintin Goliath)
Video: Jonathan Sipkema, Lindsey Appolis Audio Post-produksie: Tonny Nobel Kleurgradering: Wieger Steenhuis
The story is simple, not the consequences. After years, a man and woman meet again at their child’s grave, but they are different – he moved on, she didn’t. They lost a child, then themselves, then each other. What now? This performance was recorded during the 2017 Vrystaat Arts Festival.
Datum en tyd/Date and time
Atandwa Kani, Tinarie Van Wyk Loots
NATi, Vrystaat Arts Festival, The Kingdom of the Netherlands
Free State artists Pauline Gutter and Jacques Fuller join forces and talents for a visual art exhibition at the Monte Bello Estate on 15 and 16 October 2021. Gutter and Fuller, with their combined sixty years of experience as visual artists, bring their latest artworks to this picturesque and modern estate. Festival-goers can expect a celebration of technical excellence in the art of painting, brass sculpting, charcoal drawing, and lithography.
Pauline Gutter’s work addresses issues of power and land, and the instability and volatility of the agricultural sector. Viewers will be whisked away to a pseudo-reality that challenges them to examine the conflict between land and machine, man and technology, often with the bull as a metaphor for man’s monetary unit, for power, and the transference of the landscape’s inherent energy. This exhibition is Pauline’s first in the Free State since her solo exhibition, Purgatorium, in 2016.
Jacques Fuller’s work poses a fine balance between satire and commentary on contemporary political issues. Jacques uses the extremely difficult medium of tempered brass sculpting to entice the viewer. His exceptional sculptures take a unique look at the powerful contrast between seriousness and tongue-in-cheek humour. With this exhibition, Jacques demonstrates four decades of experience in the forging of brass sculpting, while exhibiting his incredible control of an inexorable medium – metal.
The combined artistry of these two artists in one space is a distinct honour for the Free State. Join them in this superb exhibition, and two days of magical creativity.
The event takes place at the Monte Bello Estate on 15 October from 18:00 – 22:00, and 16 October 2021 from 10:00 to 22:00.
“far from being a transparent window into the data inside a computer, the interface brings with it strong messages of its own. what kind?”
Virtual artworks and online art viewing have been prevalent for some time, yet the situation surrounding Covid-19 escalated a very rapid migration into the virtual space. We experience art through gallery websites, virtual exhibitions, online art fairs, and social media. The exhibition Interface brings together a selection of artists that grapple with the concept of “interfacing” as a meeting place between technology and users, art and audiences – or arguably, in some understandings, an absence of “meeting”.
The exhibition will be showcased on a dedicated web domain followed by a physical exhibition in 2022 and interrogate the exchange and contradiction between these spaces that are “inter”.
Jeannette Unite. MINING THE ARTIST’S PAINTBOX (1992 – onwards). Segment of personalised periodic table of elements collected from the artist’s travels.
Jeannette Unite has focused on Africa’s rich and contentious mineral histories and the ways humans exploit Earth, since living on Africa’s west coast alluvial diamond mines in the 1990s. Her artistic, archival, and on-the-ground research addresses the question of why Earth matters and the relationship humans have with minerals and Earth historically. This has resulted in a highly personalised body of work, of which her bar-code geo-seam mineral paintings will be installed as a continuous lode at the LAND/MINE exhibition.
The material qualities of her works are themselves extraordinary: the artist recycles detritus leftover from industrial sites as the colour and pigment in her drawings and paintings. She also collaborates with geo-chemists, painting chemists, and a ceramicist to develop her own paint and pastel recipes. Her palette, organised in a unique periodic table, consists of jars filled with mined matter; both the precious ores used in the industry and that of slimes dams and tailing dumps she has collected from travels to remote extraction areas in 32 countries. Unite’s direct use of mined matter underpins her research-based practice which dwells on the ongoing role of mining in (re)producing colonial power relations.
Dates: 12 October – 12 November 2021
Location: Johannes Stegmann Art Gallery, UFS
Due to Covid-19, access to Bloemfontein campus is restricted to permit holders.