US WOORDFEES 2017 | Visual Art Programme:
03 – 11 March 2017
All around Stellenbosch
On the probably crisp early autumn morning of Friday, 3 March 2017 the beautiful student town of Stellenbosch will once again wake up with the great expectation of exploring and enjoying a diverse selection of excellent art exhibitions at the Woordfees arts festival. Alex Hamilton, visual art curator for the event, has dubbed this “the Spring or blossoming of South African art”.
With a whopping 13 new solo exhibitions, 7 group exhibitions and a festival artist whose creative output and career has sky-rocketed, especially in the last six months of 2016, this once exclusively literary festival has grown into a complete arts festival and a significant event for contemporary art in South Africa.
Woordfees Visual Art Program presents its audience with a full-bodied, generous and well-balanced group of established, emerging and new artists.
This is no “art fair” but rather a series of carefully curated, focused and independent exhibitions connected by a common theme – “grow”. In a way, it is a visual story told on a massive scale and, with almost 110 artists from around the country taking part in 2017, it promises to be an important and rewarding art happening in the Western Cape.
“It is impossible to pick only a few highlights but we are extremely proud to have Athi-Patra Ruga as our festival artist with his overview exhibition, ‘A Young Retrospective’.” – Hamilton
Ruga is well-known for his social commentary combining unusual mediums like tapestry and dramatic performance art. He recently completed a series of performances in New York and Detroit to enormous acclaim.
Other exhibitions include “The Burning Library” by Christiaan Diedericks – focusing on print and book art; “Pruning” by Collen Maswanganyi, the well-known wood sculptor; and an installation and sculpture exhibition by Haidee Nel. Several painters like Jenny Parsons and Katharine Meeding have been working on their exhibitions for the last 12 months, and alternative materials like tumble-drier felt used in Adele
Potgieter’s exhibition “Renew” creates an exciting and rich contrast and dialogue between exhibitions.
Sandra Hanekom and Banele Khoza have been invited as guest curators, thus expanding the diversity of creative representation and artists. Bosch in Africa (Sandra Hanekom) investigates the interesting parallels between the South African psyche and the surreal Dutch artist Hieronymus Bosch while Grow and reach your prime (Banele Khoza) investigates the intricate relationship between artists and their support of each other.
A complete program of events is available online at www.woordfees.co.za
Image: Adele Potgieter, Dormir, Mixed Media