MASTERS: The Marriage of Craft & Art is an exhibition that examines how craft and fine art are perceived. How does one distinguish between the two, and should such distinctions exist at all?
The exhibition draws from the vast creative well of KwaZulu-Natal, filling the Main and Mezzanine Galleries of the KZNSA with a visually and emotionally rich spectacle.
At the core of the exhibition is the message of respect - respect for the maker and their work regardless of discipline or audience. So often, works that are considered craft are relegated to the status of curios. Reference is not made to their original and emotionally expressive design, and the maker’s identity is overlooked with work that does not bear their name.
Fine art is a well-recognized visual art term, worthy of commercial investment, critical acclaim and academic doctrine.
Two separate creative economies have been established, one where the crafter is undervalued and the artist is valued.
This exhibition aims to blur distinctions between craft and fine art and present the public with a viewing that critically levels the field, with crafters and artists recognized equally as the masters they are. In Europe there is a tradition of guilds where makers progress from apprentice to craftsman, then journeyman and eventually to recognized master. In South Africa, and particularly in KwaZulu-Natal, many of the crafters operating today would have Master status using this model. The exhibition calls on audiences to revaluate perceptions - to venerate, respect and celebrate work that is created with emotion, integrity and expertise.
Curated by Grace Kotze
The exhibition is accompanied by a public educational programme – details to follow