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HENK SERFONTEIN

HANDSKRIF


HENK SERFONTEIN

HANDSKRIF

14.09 - 30.10 2018 Breytenbach Sentrum / Centre, Wellington


Henk Serfontein is vanjaar die feeskunstenaar tydens die jaarlikse Tuin van Digters 2018 by die Breytenbach Sentrum, Wellington, die geboortehuis van die bekroonde digter en skilder Breyten Breytenbach, wat nou as multikulturele kultuursentrum dien. Henk Serfontein se loopbaan strek oor 25jaar. HANDSKRIF is sy tiende solo-tentoonstelling wat op sy bekroonde uitstalling WINTERSLAAP volg waarin hy portrette van die slapende digter Wilma Stockenström geskep het. Die uitstalling is met ’n Wordtrofee bekroon as beste visuele kunsaanbieding by die US Woordfees 2017 en ook met ’n KykNET Fiësta as beste visuele kunsuitstalling op ’n kunstefees gedurende 2017. In die uitstalling HANDSKRIF verleng Serfontein sy samewerking met sewe bekroonde Afrikaanse vrouedigters en word visuele en konseptuele gesprekke met Antjie Krog, Lina Spies, Diana Ferrus, Melanie Grobler, Joan Hambidge, Wilma Stockenström en Jeanne Goosen voortgesit. HANDSKRIF bestaan uit ’n reeks houtskool en gemengde mediatekeninge van die sewe digters. Benewens ’n portret

van elk is daar ook ’n uitbeelding van elkeen se handpalm met ’n versreël daarop. Die versreël is deur die digters self gekies en onthul op byna onthutsende manier iets persoonlik van elke digter. Die gekose versreëls wissel van bespiegelings oor die aard van digkuns, die feilbaarheid van die woord en tot diepe bepeinsing. Een van die eerste verwysings na die palm van ’n hand in Westerse kunsgeskiedenis is die Italiaanse skilder Caravaggio se Fortuinverteller wat in 1594 – 95 geskilder is. In die skildery maak die ingenome skilder Mario Minniti oogkontak met ’n sigeuner wat sy palm lees. Sy masseer liefderyk sy handpalm met haar regterhand terwyl haar linker voorvinger op die palm van sy hand rus. Met nadere ondersoek besef die kyker dat sy eintlik besig is om sy ring te steel. Miskien is dit Caravaggio se kommentaar dat palmlees ’n pseudo-wetenskap is. Serfontein vind steeds die veronderstelling dat daar verskuilde inligting in die palm van die hand lê, interessant. Net soos die digter verskuilde wêrelde deur woorde kan


blootlê, kan ’n studie van ’n hand en die handskrif van ’n persoon verskuilde poëtiese inligting wat in die palm van ’n hand opgesluit is, aan die kyker openbaar. Met tyd verdiep en vermeerder die lyne op die palm van ’n hand soos die jaarringe van ’n boom. Dit word die getuigskrif van ’n geleefde lewe. Die lyn naaste aan die duim word dikwels na verwys as die Hartslyn (Heart Line) en onthul volgens handlesery die sake van die hart. Wanneer daar op die palm van die hand deur ’n digter in haar eie handskrif geskryf word, word daar ’n tweede konseptuele laag bygevoeg. Die versreëls op die digters se hande word persoonlike notas en kan selfs as gevolg van die plasing in die middel van die hand, herlei word na die stigmata-idee van die kruisiging. So word die palmnotas woorde wat ontstig en wond. Caravaggio Fortuinverteller / The Fortune Teller

In die portrette van die digters word onbewaakte, intieme oomblikke van elke


digter vasgevang waarin vooropgestelde persepsies subtiel ondermyn word. Die vroue is tegelyk weerloos en kragtig. Die herhaling van die leitmotiv, die hand, skep ’n ritme deur die werk waarin gesprekke tussen digters aangewakker en hul gedeelde menslikheid ontbloot word.

Serfontein het ook ’n gemeenskapsprojek geïnisieer wat hy in samewerking met die kliniese sielkundige Billy Erasmus en danser, choreograaf en dansfasiliteerder Hannah Loewenthal op 22 Oktober in die galery sal aanbied. Hulle gaan ’n teken- en bewegingswerkswinkel aanbied vir 10 kinders in die Wellington omgewing wat aan fetale

HANDSKRIF is Serfontein se tiende solo-aanbieding. Twee van sy solo-uitstallings is internasionaal aangebied in onderskeidelik Parys en Barcelona. Hy het al deelgeneem aan meer as 100 groepuitstallings en sy werk is in verskeie private kunsversamelings in Suid-Afrika en internasionaal opgeneem. Sy werk is ook ingesluit in die versamelings van ABSA, GENCOR, SASOL, Rand Merchant Bank, Pretoria Kunsmuseum, Tshwane University Collection, British American Tobacco, Nando’s Art Collection, Hollard en SPIER.

alkoholsindroom ly. Hulle hoop om hiermee bewusmaking rondom die uitdagings te verhoog en kuns as kragtige medium tot selfrealisasie te demonstreer.

Die uitstalling HANDSKRIF word op 14 September om 18:00 deur die gerespekteerde digter en kunsjoernalis Johan Myburgh, by die Breytenbach Galery geopen. Die uitstalling sal te sien wees tot en met 30 Oktober en val saam met die jaarlikse Tuin van Digters op 14 en 15 September.

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Alle kunswerke is houtskool en gemengde medium op Hahnemühle argief papier 90 x 90 cm


Henk Serfontein is the festival artist of this year’s Garden

The poets chose their own strophe, and it reveals in a

of Poets 2018, at the Breytenbach Centre, Wellington,

somewhat disconcerting way something personal about

which is the birth place of the acclaimed poet and

each poet. The chosen strophes vary from reflections about

artist Breyten Breytenbach, and which now serves as a

the nature of poetry and the fallibility of the word to deep

multicultural centre.

meditation.

Serfontein’s career stretches over 25 years. HANDSKRIF is

One of the first references to the palm of a hand in the

his latest solo exhibition, which follows his acclaimed show

Western history of art is The Fortune Teller (1594 – 95) by

WINTERSLAAP, in which he created portraits of the sleeping

the Italian artist Caravaggio. The painting (pictured left)

poet Wilma Stockenström. The display was awarded with

shows the artist Mario Minniti looking pleased as he gazes

a Wordtrofee as the best visual art presentation at the

into a gypsy’s eyes while she reads his palm. With her

Woordfees 2017 in Stellenbosch and also with a KykNET

right hand she lovingly massages his palm while her left

Fiësta as the best visual art exhibition at an art festival

forefinger rests on the palm of his hand. Close inspection

during 2017.

of the painting reveals that she is actually removing his ring. Maybe it is Caravaggio’s comment that palm reading

In the exhibition HANDSKRIF, Serfontein extends his

is pseudo-science.

collaboration with seven acclaimed Afrikaans women poets, and continues visual and conceptual conversations with Antjie Krog, Lina Spies, Diana Ferrus, Melanie Grobler, Joan Hambidge, Wilma Stockenström and Jeanne Goosen.

However, Serfontein still finds it an interesting presumption that hidden information lies in the palm of the hand. Just as a poet can expose hidden worlds with words, so can the study of a hand and the handwriting of a person reveal to

HANDSKRIF consists of a series of charcoal and mixed

the viewer hidden poetic information locked in the palm of

media drawings of the poets. In addition to a portrait of

a hand. As time passes, the lines on the palm of a hand

each, there also is a portrayal of their palms with a strophe

deepen and increase like the annual rings of a tree. It

written on it.

becomes the reference of a life lived. The line nearest to the


thumb is often referred to as the Heart Line and reveals, according to chiromancy, matters of the heart.

Museum, Tshwane University Collection, British American Tobacco, Nando’s Art Collection, Hollard and Spier.

When a poet writes on the palm of her hand in her own handwriting, a second conceptual layer is added. The strophes on the hands of the seven poets become personal notes and could even, as a result of the placement in the middle of the hand, be redirected to the stigmata idea of the crucifixion. Thus the palm notes become words that offend and wound.

The exhibition HANDSKRIF will be opened on 14 th September at 18:00 by the respected poet and art journalist Johan Myburgh, at the Breytenbach Gallery.

In the portraits of the poets, unguarded intimate moments of each poet are captured, in which preconceived perceptions are subtly subverted. The women are simultaneously vulnerable and strong. The repetition of the leitmotif, the hand, creates a rhythm in which conversations between poets are aroused and their shared humanity revealed. HANDSKRIF is Serfontein’s tenth solo exhibition. Two of his solo exhibitions were presented internationally in Paris and Barcelona. He has participated in more than 100 group exhibitions, and his work is incorporated in several private art collections in South Africa and internationally. Serfontein’s work is also included in the collections of ABSA, GENCOR, SASOL, Rand Merchant Bank, Pretoria Art

The exhibition will be on display up to and including 30 th October, and coincides with the annual Garden of Poets Festival on 14 th and 15 th September. Serfontein also initiated a community project which he will present, in co-operation with the clinical psychologist Billy Erasmus and dancer, choreographer and dance facilitator Hannah Loewenthal, on 22 nd October in the gallery. They are going to present a drawing and movement workshop for 10 children from the Wellington area who suffer from foetal alcohol syndrome. Thus, they hope to raise awareness surrounding the challenges and to demonstrate art as a strong medium for self-realisation.

All artworks are charcoal & mixed media on archival Hahnemühle paper 90 x 90 cm


Jeanne Goosen: Wat sag is vergaan I & II


Lina Spies: Onthou is die dag wat breek I & II


Diana Ferrus: Hoe koud het dit nie geword toe jy jou sonkamer sluit I & II


Wilma Stockenstrรถm: Ek wantrou woorde I & II


Antjie Krog: Ek sien jou staan trillende keelvel van my alfabet


Melanie Grobler: Wees ongehoor I & II


Joan Hambidge: ’n Gedig word voltrek in stille toeval I & II


Werke word te koop aangebied. Rig navrae aan die galery of kurator Anne-Ghrett Erasmus by: galery@@@breytenbachsentrum.co.za 021 864 2988 www.breytenbachsentrum.co.za Burgerstraat 14, Wellington

The exhibition works are offered for sale. Direct enquiries to the gallery or curator Anne-Ghrett Erasmus at: galery@@@breytenbachsentrum.co.za 021 864 2988 www.breytenbachsentrum.co.za 14 Burger Street, Wellington

Handskrif catalogue  

A digital catalogue to accompany Henk Serfontein's solo exhibition 'Handskrif' at the Breytenbach Gallery. Design by Lena Sulik

Handskrif catalogue  

A digital catalogue to accompany Henk Serfontein's solo exhibition 'Handskrif' at the Breytenbach Gallery. Design by Lena Sulik

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