• 19 January 2012
  • Exhibition Opening

This year’s theme was ‘RED’. An estimated 500 guests were greeted by competitive body builders Dean, Bronwyn, Michelle and Catherine all with their buff physiques scantily clad in red ‘Blingkinis’ created especially for the occasion by local fashion designer Kathrine Fleur. Configured by the Gallery curator, the models stood tall on sculpture boxes in the poses of well know historical art works graffit’ed with the word RED in some of our 11 official languages. The response was electric. (Other responses jump to mind, but this is a family show.) 

There was bling, there were over 150 artworks, the breyani was hot (the people too…it’s January in Durbs) and the array of art was dazzling. With a total of 160 entries, this is the largest Members’ Exhibitions held at the Gallery in recent years. The exhibition awarded R20 000 prize money. Marianne Meijer noted in her Mercury column ‘Art Notes’ that “This sponsorship of a floating trophy and prize money has greatly lifted the standard of the show.” The trophy and prizes are supported by the Emanuel family in memory of artist Joan Emanuel, who was involved in the Durban art community for many years. A huge thank you to them from the KZNSA Gallery and, I am sure, the artists and the Durban public. 

This year’s guest judges were Andrew Verster, Maria Soares (Tamasa Gallery) and Richard Hart (newly incumbent chair of the KZNSA Exhibition Committee) and they debated tirelessly to arrive at a consensus of what turned out to be popular choices.

A merit prize of R1 000 went to Kirsten Tait for a meticulously rendered painting of a ‘Japanese woman calling her lover’. Third prize of R2 500 went to Louise Metcalfe for an interesting mixed media work titled ‘Debt Crisis’. The runner up was Andries Gouws for a characteristically exquisitely painted study of tomatoes, for which he won R5 000. Gouws lived in Holland for 16 years after studying art in Cape Town (at Michaelis), Italy, Düsseldorf and finally Amsterdam. His acclaimed solo exhibition Pedestrian Paintings (2006-2011) is currently travelling the country and opens at the KZNSA Main Gallery on March 6.


     Claire Lewis & Kirsten Tait

      Claire Lewis & Louise Metcalfe

   Claire Lewis & Andries Gouws

Starting the year with the R10 000 first prize was Annchen Naude for a large-scale charcoal and chalk drawing titled ‘Battery Low’, a portrait that allured in the artists statement to ‘seeing RED!’ Despite the absence of the colour in this monochromatic piece, it wowed the judges (and the public). Unbeknown to the panel Annchen is a final year Fine Art student at Rhodes University in Grahamstown. Hailing from Durban, we look forward to seeing more of her work.  The first, second and third prizes included a R250 voucher for the purchase of stretched canvases courtesy of Classic Canvases.


  Claire Lewis & Annchen Naude

The RED exhibition runs till Saturday 4th February and is presented in all three Galleries. It offers a vibrant, passionate, defiantly red viewing experience. A huge range of mediums and techniques has been employed in the making of the work on show, and the results are gorgeous and at prices that are affordable to boot.

Bren Brophy, KZNSA Gallery Curator.

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