Vuyile C. Voyiya / Susan Kruger-Grundlingh

Pentimenti / Karoo Stories / 22 August - 10 September 2005

AVA invites you to solo exhibitions Pentimenti by Vuyile C. Voyiya and Karoo Stories by Susan Kruger-Grundlingh. In the main and upstairs galleries, Vuyile C. Voyiya will exhibit new mixed media works and a video in a show entitled Pentimenti, while in the long gallery Susan Kruger-Grundlingh will show new paintings, Karoo Stories.

Pentimenti is a term that usually refers to underdrawings in paintings that show the artist’s creative process. They reveal the artist’s process of rethinking, redoing – or redrawing and repositioning. Typically the final media layer, such as oil paint, obscures these preliminary drawings. Pentimenti may be revealed as a work of art ages or in the cleaning and restoration processes. In some cases the preliminary drawings are quite visible and remain viable aspects of the completed composition. In this exhibition, Pentimenti alludes to the diverse life experiences in society. Some of these experiences are uplifting and others are disturbing. Being exposed to one set for an extended period of time may conceal the existence of the other life experiences to the extent that one may not believe they exist. Here the term pentimenti is not used as a technical term, but as a metaphor for the process of revealing experiences that, due to certain circumstances, may have been hidden from view. Finally the exhibition attempts to create and reveal uplifting moments of bliss, while at the same time articulating disturbing challenges that need to be confronted and resolved. Vuyile Voyiya studied art at the Community Arts Project in 1985 before going on to do a BA FA at the Michaelis School of Fine Art, UCT. He then began work as an art teacher and children’s art co-ordinator before becoming the information and then education officer (1995) at the SA National Gallery in 1992. In 1996 he co-ordinated the Volunteer Guides Programme at SANG, as well as the Asijki Art Programme, Molo Sangololo and the inter-school art programme. In 1997/8 he worked as a Communication Lecturer for the Access Course at the Cape Technikon, as well as the facilitator of the Cape Town component of the Millennium Art Project, Maharesee – Paris. Voyiya was employed as exhibition curator for ‘Homecoming’ at Guga S’Thebe in Langa (2001), programme facilitator and catalogue co-author for ‘Head North’ (2001) and for the Thupelo workshop at SANG (2001). He has presented many papers on art, including: “A South African Museum Without Walls: Cape Town’s In/Visible Art Institutions” at the Association of Art and Architectural Historians in the UK in 2002, “Overview SA Art” at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, USA (2003) and “Black Curators, a Challenge of a Different Hue” at Stellenbosch University in 2003, inter alia. In 2003 he again worked at SANG, this time as the education liaison officer, while at the same time doing his Honours (BAFA) at UCT. In 2004 he curated an exhibition at AVA entitled Herstory: Negotiating Tradition and Modernity. Voyiya has served on a number of committees including the Emerging Artists’ Fund of Truworths, the AVA and the AVA Artreach and Selection panel. He also has extensive television and film experience, starting off as a voice actor, translator, then actor, and dialogue director in the early 1990s. In 1998 he undertook a TV Production course through Mercury Productions and then worked as a camera person, co-producer, producer and director, producing documentaries on art and art historical studies. In 2001 he co-produced ‘Head North: Visual Cultures in Dialogue’, a collaborative project between SANG and the Bildmuseet. In 2003 he co-produced and directed The Luggage is Still Labelled: Blackness in South African Art. In 2003 he produced and directed “We Are Able”, a video project for SANG dealing with empowerment through the arts for disabled school learners, as well as ‘Kentridge at the SANG”, a video project introducing William Kentridge and his work, for the education department of Iziko Museums of Cape Town. Voyiya began exhibiting in the mid 1980s at CAP and the University of the Western Cape, as well as at Kulturhuset in Stockholm and the Oxford Museum of Modern Art in the UK. In the 1990s he participated in group exhibitions at the 29th Sydney Biennale and in The Enlightening Breath in California. Other participative exhibitions included shows at Primart, Chelsea Gallery, the British Council, the Volkskas Atelier regional exhibitions, the US Gallery, the Grahamstown Art Festival, SA National Gallery, and several exhibitions abroad in the USA, the Birmingham Museum of Art, Northwestern University. He last held a solo exhibition at AVA in 2000.

Susan Kruger-Grundlingh says of her show, Karoo Stories, in the Long gallery: “For some time, my work has been concerned with displacement and dislocation. In this body of work there is a shift from displacement to place. The Karoo has become that place. The desire to be somewhere else generated restlessness in me that only journeys to faraway places could temporarily satisfy. A recent trip to the vast, desolate and alien landscapes of Arizona and New Mexico left me with a longing for the Karoo. I realised that the Karoo had become a part of my frame of reference, that I used it as a calibrating tool. The landscape has always been an emotionally loaded subject, regardless of country or culture. Through myopic western eyes, Burchell, Baines and Pierneef portrayed and romanticised their promised land; on canvas, as on battlegrounds, land was laid claim to, demarcated and divided. Only the sky remains uncommitted, defying all ownership. The South African landscape is drenched with the ongoing history of people disowned and moved from their land. On my return to our farm at the foot of the Klein Swartberg, I immersed myself in that corner of the Karoo and began to rediscover a familiar landscape. The landscape that witnessed the fossils, the Bushmen and the Voortrekkers started revealing itself to me. I felt the weight of all who had passed there before me and found new empathy with that burdened land. I made trips to dorpies and farms and listened to people telling their stories. One merely has to present oneself and a narrative starts unfolding. Like a stage for our human drama with that big neutral sky as a backdrop, the Karoo wants to tell its stories. A walk in that landscape is a walk through history – a journey through narratives which, like any journey, starts within and ends within.” Susan Kruger-Grundlingh (born 1952, Cape Town, South Africa) obtained her National Diploma in Fine Art and Ceramics from Bloemfontein Technikon. She worked as a graphic designer, marionette designer/maker/operator, lecturer and teacher before becoming a full time professional artist. Her work is included in private and corporate collections in South Africa, England, USA and Europe. She serves on the committees of the Bellville Arts Association and the Durbanville Rust-and-Vrede Gallery. Susan was a resident artist at the Cite Internationale des Arts in Paris for three months in 2003 Kruger-Grundlingh began exhibiting in South Africa on APSA regional and national exhibitions in the 1980s. In 1990, 1992 and 1994 she participated in SA Ceramic Awards exhibitions. Subsequently, she took part in group exhibitions at the Cape Gallery (1993), the British Council (1996), Josephine Mill in Newlands (1997), Dorp Street Gallery in Stellenbosch (1999 and 2001), Pretoria Arts Association (1999), African Window Gallery in Pretoria (1999 and 2000), Rust en Vrede Gallery in Cape Town (2000), Klein Karoo National Arts Festival in Oudtshoorn (2001), Rust en Vrede Gallery in Durbanville (2002, 2003 and 2004), Altech Ceramics Biennale in Johannesburg (2002), Association of Arts in Pretoria (2003), Association of Arts in Bellville (2004), AVA Gallery (2005) and ArtB in Bellville (2005). This exhibition at AVA will be her first local solo show. Internationally, she has exhibited on group shows in Hong Kong (1994), Leipzig, Germany (1998), and Oxford, England (2001 and 2002). She held a solo exhibition at the Cite Internationale des Arts Gallery in Paris during her residency there in 2003. Since 2000 Kruger-Grundlingh has undertaken numerous commissions for: Cape of Good Hope Bank, SAP, Old Mutual Bank, Orion Telecom, Old Mutual Unit Trust Head Office, Decillion, Total, BP, Medscheme, Bankmed, Siemens, Radisson Hotel, Faircape, Swist, Eagle Investments, Swiss Re, First Link, Arabella Hotel, Smartsources Offices, and Vincent Palotti Hospital, inter alia.

Vuyile Voyiya – Black & Blue II

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