Category: Visual Arts

stones

After a long day of wandering through a number of the Festival exhibitions, I found myself on High Street at an exhibition that I’m not sure most people were aware of. Located in a room that sits just before the infamous Long Table, the Cory Room was host to the 40 Stones in the Wall exhibition.

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Antoinette Pienaar is a graphic designer based in Grahamstown who works under the umbrella of Woel Design.

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Artist Francois Knoetze presents a cell phone suit and one of the six Mongo characters in his public art exhibition, Cape Mongo, in Grahamstown on 6 July 2015, at the National Arts Festival. Cape Mongo looks at the stories of these characters, each made from the city’s discarded waste, as they journey through Cape Town. (Photo: CuePix/Mia van der Merwe)

However you look at it, 2015 has been a curious year so far. Not long after the Red Berets staged their version of Karate Kid in Parliament, an understudy to political activist Andile Lili splashed poo on a triumphalist bronze metaphor that, up until recently, lazed on a plinth at an eminent university.

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Far off the beaten track, 20 minutes along the pothole infested R67, is Phall♂s Art Gallery. After being jolted by ditches and engaging in extreme mud sliding while trying to navigate the car over a bridge without taking an unplanned trip into the Bloukransrivier, we arrive at Bon Tempo Farm the home of Africa’s only gallery dedicated to Phallic Art.

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7 weird and wonderful things. Done by: Heather Cameron and Sarah Rose de Villiers

One can find many things at the Village Green. There’s food, clothing, accessories and even a rather pricey life-size beaded lion. The lion’s one of the many weird and wonderful things one can purchase at the market. Here’s an illustration of 7 such objects.

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Abbas Ma-azu, a Ghanian trader specialising in handbags.
Photo: Sihle Nthembu

The corner of High Street and Somerset is a melting pot of African tongues. Here, under the shadow of the Drostdy Arch, lies an informal arts and craft market that stretches from Albany Natural Sciences Museum to the Rhodes Art School Gallery. This is a place where Kiswahili mingles with Shona, and isiXhosa dances with Akan.

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The Freedom of Expression in Broad Strokes exhibit showcases the winners of the international cartoon competition by displaying the artworks on a series of free-standing pillars. The thematically arranged exhibition was assembled by the Canadian Commission for UNESCO and the Canadian Committee for World Press Freedom. It celebrates cartoonists who have wielded their pens as weapons against censorship, oppression and controversy over the last 15 years.

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The National Arts Festival breathes life into the streets of Grahamstown, but artist Taryn King moves the spirit to another level – the rooftops.

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On Sunday 5 July festival-goers had a chance to enjoy the ambiance of a different market in town. Atmosphere Market, which is a newly launched monthly market was successful in giving an alternative to the veteran Village Green and Cathedral Markets.

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“I like leaving things open-ended,” says Monique Pelser, as she stands in the centre of her art exhibition, Conversations with my Father. “Very layered but intentionally framed so that everybody who comes in has a different experience.”

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