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Garden Route Workshops


17 January 2024

George, Western Cape


As part of the objective of the South African National Association of the Visual Arts (SANAVA) to empower and support the professional development of artists, the Object workshop and exhibition was launched at the Southern Cape Association for the Visual Arts in George. The project was presented by Prof. Elfriede Dreyer, who is affiliated with Unisa as an Extraordinary Professor. Elfriede is widely known as an empathetic and supportive mentor who has the ability to develop artistic talent in others. She has complete study guidance to more than 30 masters and doctoral students, but also works with professional and upcoming artists to develop technical, conceptual and professional skills. A key strong point is her complex and interdisciplinary frame of reference due to her academic qualifications in various disciplines.

The works on exhibition were produced during a workshop that took place over four days and included assessment of the artists' work; the identification and selection of content for artmaking; and the practical execution of ideas. The theme of Object is concerned with the projection of meaning on the things/objects that surround us, including material culture and objects in nature. The choices of objects regarded interpretations of a doll, jewellery, an old floor brush, a skull, a burnt protea, light, green shoes, maps, trees, a chair, a mirror, a tortoise, a teacup, a statue and sticks. The artists are Alison Lombard and Cathy Rogers from Cape Town; Maryna Joubert from Jeffreys Bay; Elsa van der Klashorst and Gwenneth Miller from Pretoria; and Anthea-Ann Jennings, Denise Woodgate, Donne Rundle,  Kala Combrink, Mary-Jane Morris,  Michelle Henn, René Scribante, Rosa Snyman-Wessels, Sue Duthie, Tersia Hoffmann, Vandana Premchand and Zanne Small from the Garden Route. These artists worked with ideas to do with memory, history, culture, nature, psychoanalysis, Romanticism, alchemy, the Anthropocene and identity.

Event details

Part 1: Assessment of artworks

On Day 1, the day before the practical workshop, you will have a chance to have some of your works assessed that were done prior to the workshop. Present any but not more than 3 works to be assessed in terms of idea and execution. The purpose is to learn and grow. You have to book a specific slot of 30 minutes for this. There are only 14 slots available: 6 slots from 9am to 12 noon, and 8 slots from 1pm to 5pm. It would be beneficial for all to be present for the duration of all the crits.

Part 2: Practical workshop

I believe in the development of each artist’s individuality, no matter who you are and where you are from. Some of the world’s greatest art has been produced by people from the most unexpected backgrounds and surroundings, and often by people without academic art training. The important factors in becoming a successful artist is your vision, dedication and marketing skills. All of these will be addressed during the workshop.

For three days there will be a workshop dealing with the identification and selection of content for artmaking; the development of ideas ;and the practical execution of ideas. Advanced experimental thinking and creativity will be cultivated and developed. There will be focus on each participant’s individual art production, techniques and thought processes. Each participant will produce several artworks during the workshop and the best thereof will be go on exhibition.

The workshop’s theme of OBJECT is concerned with finding content in the things/ objects that surround us. You will work with memory, history, culture and identity in your conceptual development and technical making. Once you have registered for the workshop, you will receive information regarding  your preparation and homework for the workshop. You can work in any medium and form of expression of your choice, including painting, dry graphic media, digital work or sculpture. However, be mindful that the work has to be completed during the 3 days, and if you want to print you should have access to a printing facility. Paintings don’t have to be framed, and it is advisable to work on stretched canvas and not paper. If you want to do sculpture you need to work in assemblage or quick-drying media.

Part 3: Exhibition

On conclusion of the workshop, selected workshop works will go on exhibition until 15 November 2023. Each artist will have the opportunity to exhibit work on this exhibition. Work will be for sale. On Saturday morning we will set up the exhibition to open that evening and there will also be a talk on how to market yourself as an artist and how to compile an exhibition proposal.

The workshop, The Benz, George

The Object Exhibition, George Museum

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