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THE SOUTH AFRICAN

November 2009 For the full online edition go to: www.artlife.co.za SUBSCRIBE: 1 year’s subscription to your door: R 180 - Incl. SA Art Times and Business Art. E-mail: subs@arttimes.co.za

ARTLIFE Written by Artists for Artists

Life’s great at The Irma

Liza Grobler starts an unexpected trend of 1 day residencies at The Irma Stern Musem, CT. http://dayresidencies.blogspot.com

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ARTLIFE

Cathy Layzell

November 2009

Photo: Clare Louise Thomas

Cathy Layzell captures the dreamy lyrical of the Cape ‘Duende’, a solo exhibition of oil paintings by Cathy Layzell at the UCT Irma Stern Museum. 27th October - 7th November 2009. Cathy Layzell completed her BA Fine Art Degree at Rhodes University in 1994, majoring in Painting. She moved to London in 1995 where she retrained in book design. At the end of 2001 she moved to the remote North Norfolk coast. It was here, in the shadow of some of the giants of English landscape - Seago, Constable and the Norwich School masters Cotman and Chrome - that she began painting full-time. In the summer of 2003 Cathy was an ‘invited resident artist’ at the Painting School of Montmirail in SW France (near Toulouse) where she furthered her study of the great colourists of the Modern period; Bonnard, Cezanne and Matisse. This is Cathy’s first solo show in South Africa since her homecoming in 2008. The exhibition represents the beginnings of her exploration of favourite and familiar Cape Town scenes. She includes still life and flower paintings that resonate with the legacy of Irma Stern.

Cathy works in oil on canvas, and has been dubbed a gifted ‘colourist’. Not afraid of the subfuse tones - the beautiful in-between greys - she demonstrates an impressive ability to orchestrate in a wide range of colour harmonies. Cathy often paints “alla prima”, a technique rooted in Impressionism whereby the painting is completed in one sitting. The canvases retain a freshness that speaks of both an obvious pleasure in the sheer sensuality of paint and a visceral excitement before a living subject. The title of the exhibition ‘Duende’ comes from a rarely-explained concept in Spanish art, particularly flamenco, having to do with emotion, expression and authenticity. Loosely translated it means having soul. It is what gives you chills, makes you smile or cry. Evoking ‘duende’ is an escaping magic and hard to pin down in any formula. It transforms, through the act of painting, personal and deeply felt experience. ‘Duende’ is an exploration of duality; the complimentary

Autumn avenue, Elgin

opposite permutations of hard/soft, open/ closed, full/empty, stillness/movement and the interplay between pain and pleasure, sadness and joy, darkness and light. These timeless celebratory paintings achieve with great subtlety to uplift the spirit. Cathy has lived, travelled and exhibited in London, Norfolk, France and Australia. She currently lives and works in Kalk Bay, Cape Town. See more on: www.cathylayzell.com Biography: Cathy Layzell completed her BA Fine Art Degree at Rhodes University in 1994, majoring in Painting. She moved to London in 1995 where she retrained in book design. At the end of 2001 she moved to the remote North Norfolk coast. It was here, in the shadow of some of the giants of English landscape that she began painting fulltime. In the summer of 2003 Cathy was an ‘invited resident artist’ at the Painting School of Montmirail in SW France (near Toulouse) where she furthered her study of the great

Churchhaven

colourists of the Modern period; Bonnard, Cezanne and Matisse. In 2008, Cathy attended a workshop at Matisse’s former home and studio ‘Villa La Reve’, Vence, France with the British abstract artist Gary Wragg. Cathy works in oil on canvas, and has been dubbed a gifted ‘colourist’. Not afraid of the subfuse tones - the beautiful in-between greys - she demonstrates an impressive ability to orchestrate in a wide range of colour harmonies. Often painted “alla prima”, a technique rooted in Impressionism, the canvases retain a freshness that speaks of both an obvious pleasure in the sheer sensuality of paint and a visceral excitement before a living subject. This is Cathy’s first solo show in South Africa since her homecoming in 2008, and represents the beginnings of her exploration of favourite and familiar Cape Town scenes. She includes still life and flower paintings that resonate with the legacy of Irma Stern.

Shipwreck at Sandy Bay


ARTLIFE

November 2009

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Moon rise, Kalk Bay

Dusk seashore, Cape Point

Kalk Bay harbour view, Boyes drive copy

The red tree

Between the pines, Boye’s Drive

Dahlias in the dusk

The artist’s desk


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ARTLIFE

November 2009

Opening piece “As long as you try”-chant, sung by Monika Voysey, a renowned mezzo soprano, came from a knitted wall piece

VISITOR, visits and collaborations (3-24 Oct 09) UCT Irma Stern Musem, Cape Town The now UCT Irma Stern Museum was formerly the house of artist Irma Stern. In this space she lived, created, and entertained. Visitor by Liza Grobler, responded to her home in a ‘solo’ exhibition with a difference: it acknowledged human interaction as a core ingredient of artistic output. Apart from the random and invited viewers who visited to see Grobler’s work, a number of collaborations were initiated in an attempt to bring the former living space back to life… The Saturday morning opening celebrated Stern’s birthday (2 October) with cake, gin and cucumber sandwiches. This was offset by the “As long as you try”-chant, which came from an oversized knitted wall piece in which Monika Voysey, a renowned mezzo soprano, was stuck. It pretty much set the tone for the following days. On Monday 5 October, the museum was ostensibly closed, but a group of 9 invited artists, partook in a life drawing session in the library. The

event brought together a selection of artists whom Grobler specifically respects for their varied approaches to representing the human figure. Participants were: Johann Louw, Clare Menck, John Murray, Nomthunzi Mashalaba, Wonder Marthinus, Norman O’Flynn, Conrad Botes, Marna Hattingh & Marlise Keith. The event was twofold: it honored Stern’s lifelong interest in the human figure as subject and the active participants became subjects in there own right (they were documented digitally). On Wednesday the one-day residency programme commenced: What a difference a day makes… Participants had the opportunity to occupy the central space within Grobler’s exhibition from 10-5 daily. How each person used the space, was up to them. Lynette Bester arrived straight from an overseas residency and communicated only by writing on pos-its. Lien Botha brought and African Grey par-

Drawing session in Irma Stern’s lounge

rot and stepped out a dado grey scale whilst Barend de Wet and Adrienne van Eeden Wharton co-knitted a long rainbow coloured scarf. Francesca Sanchez posted paper waterfalls from Chili with installation instructions. The organic process allowed for experimentation, contemplation or just coffee drinking sessions with whoever visited the show. Other participants include Katherine Bull, Jaqceus Coetzer, Michael Taylor, Johan Thom, Seth Harper, Ruben Gutierrez, Abrie de Swardt, Sonja Rademeyer and Niklas Zimmer. Visit the blog at www.dayresidencies.blogspot.com .

The Gift - a lace making performance by Grobler and Pierre Fouché was an appropriate closing event that coincided with a picnic in Stern’s garden… Life has a knack for weaving random events into a delicate web of human networks. Photo credits: Adrienne van Eeden-Wharton

Drawing session in Irma Stern’s lounge


ARTLIFE

November 2009

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Works by Liza Grobler

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African Grey parrot advises Lien Botha

Adrienne van Eeden Wharton with Barend de Wet, knitting

The gift, crocque, with Pierre Fouche and Liza Grobler

Post-it with Lynette Bester


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ARTLIFE

November 2009

After Manet

Reshada Crouse - Portraiture Firstly, there are works from the Museum Africa collection – including portraits of historical figures such as Thomas Pringle, Paul Kruger and Lord Kitchener, as well as a host of nineteenth and early-twentieth century socialites and once-important people who have since been forgotten.

Self Portrait

The selection includes a number of significant local artists, but two paintings that stand out are George Pemba’s self-portrait and his portrayal of Es’kia Mphahlele. These are exceptional because, to put it bluntly, their subjects are black. Crouse acknowledges that portraiture has typically been seen as a ‘European’ art form, but denies that there is anything inherently ‘alien’ about it.

By Chris Thurman The art in portrait painting, Reshada Crouse reflects, is neither to flatter nor to insult: “I try to find a synergy between my subjects’ visions of themselves and what I see in them”. This perhaps explains why Crouse’s collection of portraits is so eclectic – each subject demands a different approach. A range of materials and styles (not to mention poses and settings) is evident in her work, making it difficult to characterise. She could be classified as a ‘portraitist’, yet Crouse resists such categories because they can limit the way in which an artist is viewed: “Calling a painting ‘a portrait’ has a favourable effect on the way the sitter is perceived (we have ‘portraits’ of important people, ‘pictures’ of ordinary citizens). But it can demean the artist. Frida Kahlo, Lucien Freud ... although there are many renowned painters whose output consists almost entirely of portraits and selfportraits, you wouldn’t label an exhibition of their work ‘portraiture’.” If portrait-painting is a somewhat neglected genre in contemporary art circles, and if this is particularly acute in a country like South Africa, Crouse has attempted to address that neglect through an exhibition entitled “History Recorded Through Portraiture”. As curator, she has elucidated the exhibition’s subtitle (“Past and Present, Public and Personal”) by dividing it into three parts.

In fact, she argues, the acts of commissioning, sitting for and creating a portrait can be seen collectively as a kind of ancestor worship that resonates with ‘African’ cultural practices. More than just venerating one’s dead forebears in retrospect, portraiture insists on human connections between the living and anticipates a future in which ties of kinship and friendship will be remembered. Insofar as the first part of the exhibition is largely in the realm of the “past” and “public”, Crouse’s own work – which constitutes the second part – straddles “past” and “present”, “public” and “personal”. Over the years, she has been commissioned to paint prominent businesspeople and educators; she has produced a number of private family portraits, including images of her son at various ages, a striking nude of her mother and a handful of self-portraits; and she has painted a number of well-known South Africans. Her “Famous People” series dates back to the 1980s. Crouse had been in the United Kingdom, studying at St Martin’s School of Art in London, and was intrigued by celebrity culture in Britain. “When I came home I thought, ‘What about our own icons?’” Some of the subjects she chose were willing to sit for her, while others were not; as a result, the series (as with her oeuvre more generally) is marked by both a photo-realist style and the more ephemeral, perhaps even organic, representation of individuals painted from life.

One of those who did not want to be painted was Helen Suzman, so her youthful image appears as if in a black-and-white photograph. What seems like a newspaper clipping (about Queen Elizabeth recognising Suzman’s contribution – a playful reminder that Suzman and Elizabeth looked remarkably similar as younger women) is ‘taped’ onto the ‘mounted’ picture, but on closer inspection it’s clear that clipping, tape and mounting have all been painted. This tromp l’oeil effect is common in Crouse’s paintings; it’s her way, she says, of “reminding the viewer that the painting surface is flat” and that the skill required to create a threedimensional likeness on a two-dimensional canvas should not be taken for granted. On the wall opposite Suzman in the current exhibition is another reluctant subject, former apartheid Defence Force general and subsequently Freedom Front leader, Constant Viljoen. He appears in both these guises: as a younger man in uniform, a rifle that he designed for South Africa’s ‘bush wars’ in the foreground; and as a civilian politician, the gun replaced by a microphone. In the background is Viljoen’s cattle farm. Some viewers might see this juxtaposition as an ironic comment on the part of the portraitist; but Crouse (echoing her credo of fair representation) insists that she is “not in the business of playing god, of striking out with a judgement stick”. This deliberate avoidance of sarcasm or mockery is sustained in Crouse’s portraits of fashion designer Marianne Fassler and beauty queen Anneline Kriel. Fassler sits regally amidst peacock feathers, animal skins and other Afro-rococo flourishes – a setting that some viewers might scorn – but Crouse is quick to point out that this is not kitsch because “kitsch implies a lack of self-awareness”. Likewise, the embroidered kussingtjie that accompanies Kriel’s sensuous pose in a scene that mimics Ingre’s “Odalisque” (a portrait of a concubine) reminds the viewer of, but does not poke fun at, the former Miss World’s Afrikaans background. The allusion to Ingre represents another common strain in Crouse’s portraits: the appropriation of paintings by famous precursors into her own work. Thus, a combined depiction

of F.W. and Marike De Klerk sets the former president and his late wife against one of Pierneef’s landscapes. A small Ndebele motif decorates the words “Oranje, Blanje, Blou”; Crouse explains that, whatever Pierneef’s politics might have been, the geometries of his work suggest the influence of ‘indigenous’ art forms (what she doesn’t say, but may be implying, is that it would be equally simplistic to dismiss De Klerk as an unredeemed Nationalist who simply facilitated the inevitable). Sections of Chagall’s “White Crucifixion” are recreated to provide a symbolic framework for a portrait of Justice Richard Goldstone. Similarly, the judge’s tie has been modified to include the emblem of the United Nations and the flags of countries such as Rwanda and Yugoslavia – indicating Goldstone’s role in the UN’s International War Crimes tribunals.

In later portraits, Crouse moved away from offering such interpretive frameworks or commentaries and towards “other ways of seeing”; her recent subjects are placed in more neutral settings. But she has always been dubious about the place of ideology in painting. Instead, she considers technique paramount. The skill of representation is often ignored in conceptual or abstract art; many artists seek “short cuts”, she notes, whereas her portraits typically take hundreds of hours. After studying at three different schools of fine art (each of them antagonistic to realism), Crouse realised that no-one had actually taught her how to paint.

She feels that painting as an art form has been “mystified” and, as a qualified teacher, wishes to expose this fallacy: “It took me ten years to get a grip on the techniques of painting, and portraiture in particular, but that doesn’t have to be the case for everyone.”

To prove this, the third part of her exhibition is dedicated to work produced by her students – none of whom, until a few years ago, had experience in drawing or painting. And, given the quality of the work on show, the idea that ‘art is for everyone’ does not seem too far-fetched. View online here: http://christhurman.net This article first appeared in THE WEEKENDER


ARTLIFE

November 2009

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Gabriel reading

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’ Madonna and Child mourning

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Thelma Constance Andrew Sinclair Shepherd Crouse Weideman

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Priscilla Ntokozo Dnlovu

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ARTLIFE

November 2009

The life and times of Helen Anne Petrie: Fact vs.

May Gillard, who was a librarian at the Fish Hoek Library for 36 years, remembers Petrie fondly as a person who painted a Bertie the Bookworm character for her to use in story time with children. The earliest record of her artistic involvement comes from the Fish Hoek Art society.

Petrie’s paintings were not always titled, she painted them on Fish Hoek Art Society outings. Staff Writer Who exactly was Helen Anne Petrie? That’s the question raised by the recent controversy over the sale of three of the late South African’s works by London auctioneers Bonhams for £28,000, as reported by The Times UK in August. The newspaper also reported that the Queen’s art collection had accepted two of Petrie’s paintings in their collection. The problem arose when it began to emerge that the facts in a glittering internet biography about her life didn’t add up and had allegedly been fabricated to enhance the value of the work. Described as the “true matriarch of South African female artists”, she was said to have spent time in 1961 with Gillian Ayres, now a Royal Academician, but in The Times article Ayres denied knowing her. In 1954, she was said to have met artist Jan Vermeiren. But again, as the Times pointed out, he would only have been six at the time. Trying to discover who Helen Anne Petrie (1932 –2006) was requires a visit to the coastal town of Fish Hoek about 30 kilometres from Cape Town. It is described in the online listings for Petrie as the equivalent of the exclusive US seaside resort of The Hamptons, but this is a wild exaggeration.

“She did not have a very happy life – living with a brother with that illness was incredibly stressful,” said a friend who knew Petrie from the 1950s through to her death. Although her internet biography lists her work in esteemed private collections and as having been exhibited in Europe and the US between 1960 and 1994, none of those interviewed recall Petrie ever having travelled or exhibited internationally during this time, or having spoken of these achievements. Petrie first shows up on the Fish Hoek scene in the 1950s. A friend still living in Fish Hoek said she had met Petrie when they worked at the Fish Hoek municipality together between 1956 and 1959. At that time Petrie was doing secretarial work for the municipality, but the friend said she had studied art at the Johannesburg Technical College before moving to Cape Town.

Petrie’s “Summer House” in Fish Hook hardly the same to “(The “Hamptons” equivalent in USA)” as quoted in Strutt’s CV

Even in the 1950s, when the first signs of Petrie show up in Fish Hoek society, it was a commuter town, housing people that travelled to Cape Town on the train or who worked in the docks in nearby Simon’s Town. There were a number of holiday cottages and hotels, but it was not a resort exclusively for the very rich. These days it is a sprawling commuter and retirement suburb wedged into a valley fronted by a beautiful beach and a not-so beautiful strip of shops with their backs turned to the sea. This was Petrie’s home from the 1950s through to her death in 2006. The dramatic coastline of the area provided inspiration for her seascapes and the people for her portraits. It was also where she experienced great sadness and hardship, according to interviews with former colleagues, friends and neighbours who collectively knew her over a period of more than 50 years. They tell the story of a woman who lived a lonely life in the shadow of a mentally ill brother whom she was burdened with once their parents, believed to be of Scottish descent, died.Into the 1980s and for over two subsequent decades she slipped into isolation to the extent that friends battled to make contact with her.

“She was a conscientious worker and we became quite close friends.” She remembers Petrie as “highly-strung”, but “gentle and quiet”, a good friend, but one who did not have many friends. “We had a lot of fun, in fact she taught me to drive,” she said. Another person who worked with Petrie at that time, Ethel

Current president Val Parry said from the records of the society she appeared to have been a founder member in 1954 and possibly taught weekly art workshops from 1966. Petrie appears to have painted well into the 1970s. She is recorded as exhibiting in the first exhibition of the society in 1960. In 1972, society records hold a report from the Fish Hoek Echo, the local community newspaper, noting that “her composition and technique” set her apart. Again in 1976, another comment from the Fish Hoek Echo said it was “good to see Anne Petrie was still painting”. But after this she vanishes from the records of the society. “I have no record of her after 1976. None at all,” said Parry. “Clearly she wasn’t a party animal.”

Abstract artist and Fish Hoek resident Betty Salmon, 85, who counts herself as the longest living member of the society, remembered Petrie as an “extremely shy” person. “I always liked her work. I rated her as good,” said Salmon, who said she had no knowledge of Petrie exhibiting outside of Fish Hoek. Why Petrie never showed up in the records of the Fish Hoek Art Society after 1976 might have had something to do with the death of her parents. It’s not clear from interviews when they died, but by the time domestic worker Anne Watson, now 76, began working for the Petrie’s once a week on a Thursday in the late 70s, she said the parents were already dead. Watson remembers Petrie’s painting because three of her daughters posed for her and were given the resulting portraits. Initially, she remembers friends visiting and although she cannot remember the year, says Petrie stopped painting when her brother refused to allow people to come around to the house. “She had a very difficult time with her brother,” said Watson. Before Watson retired in 1993, she said Petrie had helped the family buy their council house in Ocean View, a nearby suburb that arose from forced removals under the apartheid Group Areas Act. And when Watson retired in 1993, she said she had been given R10,000 by Petrie. “She was a very kind person, a sweet person. She never rejected people that came to the door looking for food,” she said. As the brother’s behaviour became more erratic, he got


ARTLIFE

November 2009

rid of their car, then the telephone and other electrical appliances. A friend said it was nearly impossible to make contact. After 1990, neighbours report seeing the brother and sister walking to the shops to buy groceries, making for a strange couple. He would always walk in front of her and she would follow behind in a subservient manner. Although everyone agrees that the family had at least some means, neighbours say they were spendthrift. “They lived like paupers, as frugally as they could,” said a neighbour. By all accounts, Petrie’s own mental state also deteriorated. Neighbours recall her throwing rocks on their roof and claiming to have seen Chinese acrobats on her roof. “In retrospect maybe it was a call for help,” said a neighbour. Her brother died in 2002 and she continued to live in the house by herself. It was only when she fell ill in 2003, however, that neighbours managed to get to know her. The Christie family had lived next door since 1990 and had gotten used to their unusual neighbours. When Petrie fell ill in 2003, Una Christie had visited her in hospital. It was at this stage that the Christie’s discovered her artwork. Her house was being painted in preparation for her return, and they noticed a few unframed paintings lying outside. As it was raining, they took them for safekeeping and kept them in their laundry. When Petrie returned home, Una took her shopping and arranged a cellphone and a television for her. The Christies also installed burglar bars to prevent vagrants from breaking in. The Christies believe that during this period, for the few years up until her death in 2006, Petrie gained a measure of happiness. “I wanted to get her painting again,” said Una, “but she did not get around to it.” Several of Petrie’s paintings given to the Christie’s are now hanging in their house, some seascapes hanging on the wall, others stored behind bookcases. Art experts have scotched the quality of Petrie’s work and the whole saga has raised questions about the value of references versus artistic merit. But for Glen Christie, the value lies in the fact that they came to know and like Petrie. “I’ve always thought she was talented but amateurish,” he said. In the end, it’s certain that Petrie existed and was an unknown artist in Fish Hoek. But unlike other artists who become famous after their deaths once their artistic brilliance is recognised, she has gained the limelight for all the wrong reasons as the subject of an inflated biography that fooled Bonhams and the Queen’s art collection. In that sense, she remains a victim in death as she was in life.

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Fiction

The SA Art Times in an ongoing investigation into the behaviour of Greg Strutt whereby Strutt uploads inflated material (such as the highly inflated CV of Petrie) onto countless social and news websites. Strutt who bought the artists estate through a Mill’s auction for what appears for peanuts, is trying to sell the individual paintings for hundreds of thousands of Rands based on an exaggerated life story and CV. We would like to set the record straight and say that yes Helen was an average artist, in terms of talent and her paintings might have had fetched a few thousand Rands, however, what we would like to point out is that due to Strutt’s reckless behaviour , the name and art of Helen Anne Petrie has been tarnished by Strutt’s greed. Google “Helen Anne Petrie” and find the same CV and Lifestyle scam. ANNE (HELEN) PETRIE 1933 – 2006

Introduction Biographical Overview Born to a privileged Kensington, Johannesburg family of Scottish descent, (Helen) Anne Petrie and her elder brother appeared set to growing up into a very promising life ahead. Apart from their main home in Johannesburg, her parents kept their rather comfortable “Summer House” in Fish Hook (The “Hamptons” equivalent in USA) and were socialites of the day (the family had made fortune out of gold and diamonds mining), regular guests at Admiralty House when in the Cape or attending luncheons with Count Labia. Simon’s town, the neighbouring village was the Naval Headquarters for the British Navy and at that time South Africa was a jewel colony of The British Empire. In 1938 a relative, who noted the great potential Anne had shown already at a tender age of 5, cut out an article from the Huisgenoot, a local magazine, dated 18 August, entitled” Hoekom ek skilder” (”Why I Paint”) by the then renowned artist Maggie Loubser, on a particularly hot summer’s day while on holiday from Boarding School. This article was translated from Afrikaans into English for Anne by her multilingual nanny. A diary entry records Anne was truly mesmerised at the contents, and thus her eventual admiration for Maggie and passion to paint was unknowingly set. Anne had a privileged education and completed High School with excellent results, merits and awards; and went on to study further. During this tertiary period, Anne made 2 trips to Europe touring the leading galleries. She was so eager to learn about Art, that at the end of her visits she had taken down some 2,300 pages of handwritten notes. Florence was her favourite city, then Rome, she noted. Returning to South Africa she began painting her first oils, and with tuition soon began to lay the foundation of what was to mature into her own, distinctive. Anne felt that at the time, the taste of small art-public was extremely backward and that there were too few discerning collectors and buyers, particularly in South Africa which was at that point still a British colony. In 1954 she spent a short period of time sitting in on lectures at the Kunstakedemie van Mechelen, Sint Niklaas and Antwerp, where she met artist Jan Vermeiren who assisted her in mastering her least favourite mediums: acrylic and pastels. During her many foreign (mainly European) travels, especially during the early years of her life after finishing school; many important people of the day sat for portraits for which she was well paid. She largely used those funds for further visits to galleries and the odd art-class at the Byam Shaw Goldsmith’s School of Art in London and under Sickert’s (Royal Academy School) own school in Camden Town. Here she struck up a friendship with Cecil Higgs. At the same time Anne met Mary (May) Ellen Hillhouse, who like Anne had Scottish heritage (and acquaintance to her parents). Together they consulted on what they both declared was “soul-destroying commercial work” also resulting in Anne becoming (like May) an illustrator for various local and foreign companies, excelling in her graphic design for pottery, pattern design for Garlicks and Greatermans and Butterick Dress patterns, to name just a few of the then very popular highstreet brands. At the same time she made (thanks to her father’s intervention) occasional visits to the “Platteland” farm of Maggie Loubser’s father in t Klipheuwel, near Malmesbury. Anne spent many hours brooding over the vision Maggie had acquired during her trip to London, so just like Maggie, Anne spent time in Germany where she experienced the works of Marc and Nolde. The bud of interest, observing and consulting had slowly germinated and soon blossomed, quite spectacularly. In 1955 upon meeting Marjorie Wallace and husband Jan Rabie, they ended up in a heated debate on politics and thus was cemented her lifelong interest in Humanitarian causes in South Africa. Anne could be very opinionated and outspoken. In 1960 Anne was infuriated by the countrywide protests, demonstrations and strikes against the so-called Pass Laws and Police brutality in response to the antiPass Laws campaign (Apartheid period) that she wished to return to Scotland, her ancestral home indefinitely. This phase eventually passed. South African Union In 1961 Anne spent a few weeks in private tuition with Gillian Ayres at the Bath Academy of Art, Corsham and again at St. Martin’s School of Art in London. In Anne’s few surviving works of that period, one can clearly note that she did not look to the raw expressionism of the New York School but to the school of Paris with its painterly cuisine and basic figuration. A year later, Anne wrote to Gillian indicating that in her opinion there was still a continent left to explore in the direction of colour when it came to painting and that “although proportion and balance are essential aspects to remember, both artist and viewer have to experience it”. For Anne it appeared that in general amongst her British contemporaries the size of their canvas was increasing, the paint was fattening and forms were becoming more and more abstract. One often notices however in Anne’s work of this period, disciplined, serene, contemplative work in hard-edge idioms. Her artistic experimentation work is very much concerned with balance, harmony, tension, pleasure, movement, beauty and mental fragility. In 1965 at Stellenbosch University while attending a lesson on graphic design at the department of Creative Art, she briefly met Jogen Bergen and took hand-written notes where she described him in her diary as a man with “limited talents”. In 1967 Mr. Albert Wert (Then Curator of the Pretoria Art Museum) together with Matthys Bokhorst (Director of the South African National Gallery) enquired as to whether Anne would be willing to participate in the SANLAM Art Collection Exhibition, which at that point contained in excess of 166 works of art. She declined to participate as the collection “did not possess that degree of inner unity it would have had if the collection had from the beginning been built up for the purpose of exhibition”. She further suspected that the main intention of the SANLAM Collection was to build up a mere collection of attractive South African paintings and sketches to be left hanging in the offices of directors and staff alike. The public would only have access to subsequent prints to feature on SANLAM’S calendars. Further diary entries indicate that she also declined an offer from Rembrandt Van Rijn Art Foundation to purchase her works privately. Already at this stage, her strong opinions, insecurities, inability to interact with strangers, deep-rooted distrust of people in general and her ever more frequent bipolar phases were quite obvious. Anne did however exhibit in South Africa twice in 1967, the most important exhibition being from 30th October till 11th November at the South African Association of Artists Annual Exhibition at 63 Burg Street, Cape Town. A leading Art Critic of the day, Johan van Rooyen stated her 3 works entitled respectively Indian Girl, Bantu Boy and Late Afternoon, Kommetjie “should be hailed as proving the standard that is expected at an exhibition of this calibre”, which included works by fellow artists

I.Roworth, S.Butler, V.Volschenk and L. Mears. In 1971 Anne once again, declined an invitation this time from Gunther van der Reis to participate in the “1971 Republic Festival Exhibition” which was organised by the S.A.Association of Artists. She decided to exhibit in Tel-Aviv that year instead. Anne’s works were exhibited in the late 60’s early 70’s at various galleries in SA, where she obtained critical acclaim (often relenting and allowing a portrait or landscape to be exhibited without a credit being published on the Programme). Yet shy, introvert, emotionally imbalanced and disillusioned at the politics which clearly favoured predominantly male, Afrikaans artists as opposed to Englishspeaking females like herself, she stopped exhibiting at most major galleries and vehemently declined many invitations to sell her Art after that. Anne noted in her personal diary in 1972 that 2 major schools of thought were apparent in the South African art world. One where artists identified with various aspects of their social, political, geographical and environmental conditions; the other with very close ties with international trends, often be related to Colonialism and the Empire. This duality appeared to be the natural result of a “Nation” shaping and divorcing itself from its’ old rural and colonial character. Anne felt that Nations and Art alike, were becoming more and more involved, interactive and demanded greater effort from the viewer. During the 1970’s 80’s and 1990’s Anne never tried to idealise her subjects. She always strove for the accurate representation of everyday, apparently casual or overlooked subjects. Still Nature – Jug, Apples and Eggs Or the “invisible people of South Africa” as she called them. The many millions of non-Europeans and vast, underprivileged majority, which in real fact made the very fabric of the working nation: Bantu Woman Servant Her devotion to her art, especially during her latter years was so great that she also infected her fellow artists, resulting in anti-art people being able to view art with greater respect and admiration. In the Transvaal and in the Western Cape she discovered the destruction caused by the introduction of the Group Areas Act that stimulated her imagination. In Europe; mainly Italy and Scotland she sought the dream-world for which she deeply yearned. Finally, there was her own private inner world, to which very few were ever admitted, but, from which derived all her wonderful creative and inspired powers. Anne felt most at home in the Cape. Not only because she found relief there for her bodily ills, but in the Autumns and Winters there, she re-discovered her homeland and thus her identity. At the end of her life, Anne had amongst her closest friends and fellow artists, mainly local Cape Coloured and Malay inhabitants. These were the people with whom Anne felt she could really be herself: a plain, genuine woman who seldom made preparatory cause of her impulsive nature. In her final years, Anne was mentally and emotionally split in many worlds. Her bipolar condition, combined with the trauma of emotional, physical and sexual abuse by her brother, the loss of her parents from which she never fully recovered, meant Anne would have been better off in an institution. She did however not allow anyone taking her away from her beloved Fish-Hoek “Summer House” and ended her days alone, with grey, messed up, wiry hair, wandering and talking to herself, shifting between worlds only she knew, known to the locals as “The Fish-Hoek Old Witch”. This was Anne Petrie, the woman, the benefactor, the pacifist, the friend… The TRUE Matriarch of South African Female Artists Anne’s works exhibited in the following Solo and Group Exhibitions Anne Bryant Gallery, East London (1958) Lidchi Gallery, Durban (1962) Martin Melck Gallery, Cape Town (1963) Belgium, Paris and Scotland (1965) Gallery 21, Johannesburg, (1966) Belgium and Paris(1969) Israel (1971) Athens (1974) London and Paris (1976) Frenchmen, West Germany (1978) Seoul (1984) Athens (1987) Norway (1989) New York (1994) Private Collectors / Patrons include (d) Estate Wallace Simpson Estate P.W. Botha Estate John F. Kennedy Estate David Botha Estate Frank Sinatra Estate Dr.Christiaan Barnard Estate Maria Callas Bill Clinton Madonna Mike Myers David & Victoria Beckham Mariah Carey Carmen Elektra James Brown Vanessa Redgrave… to name just a few. Various European Royal Courts owning works by Anne in their Private Collections Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II & H.R.H. Phillip, the Prince Consort of The United Kingdom H.M. King Juan Carlos I & Queen Sofia of Spain H.M. Kong Harald & H.M. Dronning Sonja of Norway H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf & H.M. Queen Silvia of Sweden Her Majesty Queen Anne-Marie & H.R.H. Henrik, the Prince Consort of Denmark Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands H.R.H King Constantine & H.M. Queen Anne-Marie of Greece H.R.H Charles, Prince of Wales & Duchess of Cornwall Represented in the following Public National / International Collections National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo TATE Modern, London National Gallery, Denmark National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo The Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC Singapore Art Museum, Singapore National Gallery, Finland The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam The Guggenheim, Bilbao The Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna National Portrait Gallery, London Dr. Shirley Sherwood Collection


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ARTLIFE

November 2009

103rd Annual Exhibition of the SASA at Kirstenbosch The Annual Exhibition opening is fast becoming one of the highlights on the local arts social calendar with hundreds of art enthusiasts taking the opportunity to meet with old friends, other artists and to view the work on display. Said Lynn Brown President of SASA: “The place buzzed with excitement and chatter, and there was no space to manoeuvre the works being sold as they walked out of the door. Due to the society’s ongoing efforts to recruit new members, with a fresh outlook, the recent increase in our membership has driven the entire group to reassess our own individual practise and to rise to the challenge of the ‘advancement of art’, the society’s motto. It is truly one of the best and most varied exhibitions we have ever held, which accounts for the very positive response we have received, and our success in sales for the artists this year”. Over 240 carefully artworks were selected from a total of 591 works Six experts in their various fields selected and scored each work according to the Royal Academy system of judging, for the society’s recent prestigious showcase exhibition of the year held in the Sanlam Hall at the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens in Cape Town.The works on display included mixed media, acrylics, printmedia, drawings, scraperboard, sculptures, oils, watercolours, enamels, pastels, bronzes and collage mixed media.

Tania Milner , Deer Park Landscape

The exhibition was opened by art journalist Amanda Botha who purchased a sculpture before she left, and also commented on the very high standard of the work on exhibition. The six judges were: Ryno Swart, an artist, philosopher and teacher; Estelle Jacobs, former Gallery Director of the Association for Visual Arts ( AVA ); Hans Fransen, art and architectural historian, author, conservationist and accredited Heritage Consultant; Mary-Ann Border, artist and teacher, specialising in watercolour; Ashley Ogilvy, trained in graphic design, artist and visual arts teacher at Diocesan College (Bishops); and Virginia MacKenny, artist, writer, curator and Senior Painting Lecturer at the Michaelis School of Fine Art, UCT 5 Trophies and certificates were awarded to: Best Oil: Heather Garisch, Best Acrylic: Bill Brown, Best Watercolour: Ray Potter, Best Pastel: Carol Penny, Best Mixed Media: Marion Cross. Also 8 certificates “Highly Commended” works and 23 works were “Commended”. Guest exhibiting sculptor, Michael Sithato sold several of his works which were on display. Restone Maambo, a previous SASA outreach prize-winner from the Ruth Prowse School of Art determinedly participated, arms holding down his works on the roof of a car driven from Somerset West for selection day. “The standard for entries was particularly high this year and the selection committee had a hard time of it deciding who would be able to hang their works for judging” said society president Lynn Brown SASA is the oldest art society in South Africa and held its centenary exhibition in the Cape Town Drill Hall in 2002, its founding date being September 1902 It was the first organisation established in South Africa to cater specifically for the practising artist. It’s Cape based founders were an active, enthusiastic group of prominent artists and SASA grew into a significant body, influential in the artistic life of South Africa at the time.

Roses

Eclipse day Clovelly

Carol Penny

Di Ackerrman , The Bluegum Tree

Zewenwacht : Mike Fortender

AIn 1902 and 1903, SASA combined with the S A Drawing Club to mount its first exhibition in the Drill Hall on Darling Street. The 1903 exhibition was opened by Sir Walter HelyHutchinson, the then Governor of the Cape Colony, who processed into the Hall with an entourage on the firing of the noon gun on Signal Hill.’ The society’s subsequent exhibitions were highlights on the social calendar, equivalent in local terms to the private viewings at London’s Royal Academy. Many well known South African artists such as Tinus de Jongh, Moses Kottler, Maggie Laubser, Hugo Naude, Frans Oerder, Jacob Pierneef, Ethel Ruth Prowse, Ivanonia Roworth Keet, Irma Stern, Moses Tladi, Anton van Wouw, Jan Volschenck, Pieter Wenning and Gregoire Boonzaier, Nerine Desmond, Robert Gwelo Goodman, Ivan Mitford Barberton, Desiree Picton Seymor, Edward Roworth, Nita Spilhaus, to name but a few, were members of SASA. Today, the Society enjoys a membership of 500 members, mostly professional as well as a few amateur artists. Many have been members for 20, 30 40 years and longer and are still painting and exhibiting. SASA’s longest serving member, Ivanonia Keets, has been a member for 73 years and is continuing to paint and sell today. Monthly meetings are held hosting various art-related lectures, demos and talks, and several competitions are held annually, in addition to the three exhibitions where all works on display are for sale, at Kirstenbosch. See more at www.sasa-artists.co.za

The Time For Tea

Men at Work Shelly Banfield

Hibiscus Blossoms

Ann Mungay


ARTLIFE

November 2009

Page 11

Tania Milner

Ray Potter - Water Colour award winner, with Amanda Botha

Di Ackerrman

Helen Estcourt

Ray Potter - Water Colour award winner

Liz Jones

Geoff Price

Restone Maambo - I Have Been Followed

Restone Maambo Commended Prize from Amanda Botha

Marjorie Pienaar


Page 12

ARTLIFE

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ARTLIFE

November 2009

Page 13

Sandra Hanekom,, Alberts window

Sandra Hanekom, playing the feminine

Jan du Toit, - The interior as Self Portrait: The self portrait as Interior, Untitled II (2009)

Michele Davidson, Sugar coaed reality, Favour

Clare Menck: Woman painting women

Matthew Hindley: Blackout- Life death, and Giants.

XI - Eleven Solo Exhibitions Until 4 November XI – Eleven Solo Exhibitions is exactly that: eleven bodies of work by eleven different artists, all shown in one gallery simultaneously. 71 Loop Street, Cape Town, 8001. www.iart.co.za

Colbert Mashile, Waiting for the moon (2009)


Gauteng Johannesburg Carol Lee Fine Art 7-15 November, ORIGIN, group exhibition with works by Guy du Toit, Eugenie Marais, M.J. Lourens, Eric Duplan, Jenny Parsons, Kobus Walker, Karin Preller, Wilma Cruise, Ronel Kellerman, Judy Woodborne, Mary Visser, Sarah Ballam, Christa Myburgh, Marili de Weerdt and Rossouw van der Walt. Upstairs@Bamboo, cnr 9th Street & Rustenburg Road, Melville, Johannesburg T. 011 486 0526 Manor Gallery 6 Nov-7 Dec, annual sale. Norscot Manor Centre, Penguin Drive T. 011 465 7934 Email: gallery@wssa.org.za www.wssa.org.za Rabbi Cyril Harris Community Centre RCHCC 18 Oct-15 Nov, ‘Works by Men’, with works by Sidney Abramowitch, Sidney Goldblatt, Monty Sack, Pascual Tarazona and Anton Uys. Cnr Glenhove Road & 4th Street, Houghton, East of the M1 T. 011 728 8088/8378 or T. 011 728 8378, Email: hazelc@ greatpark.co.za/renes@greatpark.co.za The Art Place, Gallery & Art Centre 8-28 Nov, CATastrophy, Moira MacMurray’s 23rd solo exhibition. Categorically cataloguing cataclysmic colourful cats to purrfection. 144 Milner Ave, Roosevelt Park, T 011 888 9120 Wim Rautenbach Showroom 13-15 Nov, Eastern Freestate landscape paintings by Wim Rautenbach. Oil on canvas, visually challenging the art lover. 220 Surrey Ave, Ferndale, Randburg T. 072 375 5571 Email: contact@wimrautenbach. co.za www.wimrautenbach.co.za 12 Nov, Night of 1000 Drawings, a one-night-only art exhibition showcasing the vast and varied creative talents of the city. Venue yet to be announced. Get involved by drawing anything. Every donation goes on display. For Doodle sessions and information visit: www.1000drawings.co.za

Pretoria

Cameo Framers and Trent Gallery 24 Oct-6 Nov, Op Straat; a collection of memories of my daily walks, photographs by Erica Fraser. 20-24 Nov, recent works by Jan-Henri Booyens. 25 Nov22 Dec, ‘PRÊT À PORTER: ready to wear’, a group show with a variety of interesting artists. 198 Long Street, Pretoria T. 012 460 5497 Michael Heyns Gallery 7 Oct- 15 Nov, works by Michael Heyns. 351 Lynnwood Road, Menlo Park, Pretoria T. 082 451 5584 www.michaelheyns.co.za Tessa Teixeira Fine Art Studio Until 9 Nov, “Should I go or should I stay?” an installation with metal and oil on canvas. 2 Escombe Avenue, Parktown West, Johannesburg C. 082 339 4848 www.tessateixeira.com Email: info@tessateixeira.com Tina Skukan Gallery 11 Oct-5 Nov, Our World Unfiltered, works by Angela Banks and Craig Müller. 8 Nov-5 Dec,

ARTLIFE ‘Glass, Cement, Clay’, works by Tineke Meijer and Henriette Ngako. Plot 6, Koedoeberg Road, Faerie Glen T. 012 991 1733 www.tinaskukangallery.co.za

Free State Clarens Johan Smith Art Gallery A fine selection of paintings, ceramics, glass, bronze and other works of art. Windmill Centre Main Street Clarens T. 058 256 1620 www.johansmith.co.za Blou Donki Art Gallery Contemporary Art, Steel Sculptures, Functional Art, Photography, Ceramics. Windmill Centre Main Street Clarens T. 058 256 1757 www.bloudonki.co.za

Mpumalanga White River The Loop Art Foundry & Sculpture Gallery Casterbridge Complex Corner R40 and Numbi Roads White River T. 013 751 2435 www. tlafoundry.co.za

Western Cape

Cape Town

3RD i Gallery 1 Oct-6 Nov, Heart, mixed media artwork by Tina Nel and Lisa T von Brandis. 95 Waterkant Street, De Waterkant. T. 021 425 2266 Carmel Art Dealers in Fine art, exclusive distributers of Pieter van der Westhuizen etchings. 66 Vineyard Road, corner Cavendish St, Claremont T.021 671 6601 Constantia Village Shopping Centre, Main Road, Constantia T. 021 794 6262 David Porter Antiques Buyers and sellers of South African art T. 021 6830580/083 452 5862 david@davidporterantiques. com G2 Art G2 provides a diverse range of original contemporary art by South African artists to discerning buyers. The work includes painting, sculpture, ceramics, photography and mixed media. Exhibitions are held during the year and information is available on the website or the Facebook Group. 61 Shortmarket St. between Loop Street and Bree Street T. 021 424 7169 Email: di@g2art. co.za www.g2art.co.za Gill Allderman Gallery For November, works on paper by Dathini Mzayiya, Donovan Ward and various artists. 278 Main Road, Kenilworth, Cape Town T. 083 556 2540 Email: gallery@new.co.za www.alldermangallery.co.za Infin Art Gallery A gallery of work by local artists. Wolfe Street Chelsea Wynberg T. 021 761 2816 and Buitengracht St Cape Town T. 021 423 2090 www.infinart.co.za Jeannette Unite Studio 20 Sep-3 Nov, Innovative Women, an exhibition curated

by Bongi Bengu featuring 10 Contemporary Black Woman Artists; Dineo Bopabe, Zanele Muholi, Nandipha Mntambo, Ernestine White, Ingrid Masando, Nonobeko Ntombela, Usha Seejarim, Senzeni Marasela and Lerato Shadi. 151 Buitenkant Street, Cape Town T. 082 925 1834 www.unite.co.za Lindy van Niekerk Art Gallery Exhibition of SA’s leading artists. 31 Kommandeur Road, Welgemoed, Belville T. 021 913 7204/5 www.artpro.co.za Raw Vision Gallery 8 Oct-19 Nov, ‘Imago’, SharMatthews new body of work explores idealized images of a person, but usually a parent, formed in childhood that can often persist unconsciously into adulthood. Also exhibiting is Cecil Byrnes’ ‘Power of men’s clothing’, which explores how men’s clothing is a mighty tool to indicate image, position, status or power. 89 Sir Lowry Road, Woodstock Email: fishermike@mac.com

www.ridley.co.za

Hermanus The Old Harbour Gallery An exhibition of art and sculpture. No.4 Warrington Place, Harbour Road, Hermanus T. 028 313 2751 / 0822595515 www.oldharbourgallery.co.za

Agulhas Red Corridor Gallery Sculpture by Rudi Neuland, paintings by Leszek Skurski and textile objects by Joanna Skurska. 4 Main Road, L’Agulhas 7287 T. 028 435 7503 Email: info@ capeagulhas-arthouse.com www.capeagulhas-arthouse. com www.redcorridor-RSA.com

Simonstown Community Hall 18-29 Nov, Just add Water, photographic and art exhibition by Donald Barnett. C. 082 455 5806 Email: bagend@iafrica.co.za www.donaldsart.co.za VEO Gallery From 3-10 Nov, Hope in Motion: Everyday Heroes, The Chaeli Campaign Charity Art Auction & Exhibition. Able-bodied and differently-abled artists will be invited to submit work to be selected for exhibition, as well as to donate work to be auctioned, to benefit The Chaeli Campaign. Auction will take place at 7:15pm on the opening night. For more information visit www.chaelicampaign. co.za 28 Jarvis Road, De Waterkant, Green Point, Cape Town. T. 021 421 3278 www.veo.co.za

Esoteric Love, Jonel Scholtz, Alice Art, www.aliceart.co.za (Top right) Sharle Matthews , The Wreath, Raw Vision Art Gallery, Cape Town

(Below) Richard Rennie, Gum Trees Clarens

Kitty, as shown at the Epsac Art Gallery

Woodstock Industrial Centre 5 Nov, Night of 1000 Drawings, a one-night-only art exhibition showcasing the vast and varied creative talents of the city. Get involved by drawing anything. Every donation goes on display. For Doodle sessions email: capetown@1000drawings. co.za or visit www.1000drawings.co.za

Philadelphia Lifeart From 28 Nov, exhibition at Die Meul, paintings by Leonie Brown. C. 082 449 8475 Email:leonie@ lifeart.co.za www.lifeart.co.za

Stellenbosch Art on 5 Permanent exhibition of paintings and ceramics by Maryna de Witt, Pera Schillings, and Karen Kieviet. 7b Andringa Street, Stellenbosch T. 021 887 7234 Stellenbosch Art Gallery 19 Nov-9 Jan 2010, paintings by Pauline Gutter. 34 Ryneveld Street, Stellenbosch T. 021-8878343 www.stellenboschartgallery. co.za

Elgin Oudebrug Gallery 30 Oct-15 Nov, paintings and sculptures by Sheena Ridley, Prof. Pierre Volschenk, Xhanti Mpakama, Susan Mitchenson, Paul Andrew and Niel Jonker. Grabouw, Elgin T. 021 859 2595

Molly Townsend in her studio, Fish Hoek Photo: David Robinson

Page 15 November 2009


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The South African Print Gallery presents:

Katherine Bull’s Holiday in Cape Town Series (1999)

Saturday 07 - 28 November 09

107 Sir Lowry Road, Woostock, Cape Town. www.printgallery.co.za


South African Art Life