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)

Main Building

New Breed Art Competition 2021

Opening: Tuesday, 5 October18:00
Kay Fourie. Scrapyard (2019). Charcoal on Academia.
Bongani TshabalalaDeeper into the Soul (2019). Photograph.

Date: 5 October – 14 November 2021 

Location: Main BuildingOliewenhuis Art Museum

Museum timesMon – 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 websitewww.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.” 

Amita Makan. Snow Protea I (2017). Embroidery with metallic, nylon and polyester threads, synthetic ribbons, beads, Swarovski crystals, vintage saris and sequins on tulle, 130 x 92 x 6cm.
Amita Makan. Vasant III (2017). Embroidery with silk and viscose thread, repurposed plastic packaging on silk organza, 83 x 120 x 3cm.
Amita Makan. Ubuntu Baobab I (2019). Embroidery with vintage saris, sequins, beads with metallic and viscose threads on silk organza, 270 x 114cm.

Pauline Gutter & Jacques Fuller

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.

To confirm your attendance, please contact Monte Bello’s events coordinator, Jeanne-Mari van den Berg at jeannemari@montebelloestate.co.za.

Interface Exhibition

Curated by Miné Kleynhans and Teboho Mokhothu

Date: Virtual exhibition launch 4 October 2021

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”.

Allen Laing. Cellphone Holder (2020). Fever tree and Kiaatwood.
Lesego Motsiri. Roses of the City (2021). Digital artwork / print on Albond metal.
Lyrene Kuhn Botma. Quick Response (2021). Digital drawing with scannable QR code on photo rag.


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.

Gallery times: 9:00 – 16:00