The NWU Gallery in collaboration with the research entity ViNCO (Visual Narratives and Creative Outputs) at the North-West University’s Potchefstroom Campus proudly presents the exhibition, Stairways and Ruins, showing in the North-West University Gallery (Potchefstroom Campus) from 17 July until 31 August 2023.

For this exhibition, artists have responded with thematic and conceptual interpretations of the theme of stairways and ruins.

The exhibition features work by 23 artists and established as well as upcoming artists are represented in the show. Most of the Graphic Design and History of Art lecturers at the NWU (the subject groups where ViNCO is situated) also participate in the exhibition.  Works featured in the exhibition include installations, two- and three-dimensional work, and moving images.

ViNCO is honoured to have Andrew Lamprecht, curator of historical paintings and sculpture at Iziko South African National Gallery, as curator for the exhibition.

For the exhibition, artists were asked to produce a visual artwork using the idea of stairways and ruins, developed from the writing of Bessie Head and Sol Plaatje, as prompt. Interested artists were briefed on thematic and conceptual possibilities of this notion, including archival matters, memorialisation, myth, auto-ethnography, and (re-) imagined pasts and futures. Therefore, creative possibilities sparked by the topic of the project relate to stairways that invite notions of dreaming, transporting, transcending, and creating, as well as ruins that suggest a consideration of the past, of destruction and of wreckage.

Danelle Heenop | Nests

This exhibition forms part of a large-scale, three-year collaborative practice-led research project by the same name. The project comprises three phases: a launch together with an open call to artists to participate (in 2022); the exhibition in 2023, and finally, a reflection on the project with peer-reviewed scholarly articles during the following year. Participating artists at academic institutions can also apply for recognition of creative outputs as research in this context.

Stairways and Ruins is organised by ViNCO members, and this is the fourth large-scale, three-year project undertaken by ViNCO (previous projects were Creative Creatures of 2007 to 2009, Transgressions and boundaries of the page that took place during 2009 to 2011, and Reflective Conversations in 2012 to 2014). More information about this project and previous projects can be found at

Annemi Conradie Chetty | Wake

The exhibition features work by these artists:

Armand Aucamp, Sandi Basi, Lindi Cameron, Louisemarié Combrink, Annemi Conradie-Chetty, Marna de Wet, Neo Diseko, Candice Edwards, Héniel Fourie, Nicola Grobler, Franci Greyling, Danelle Heenop, Marina Herbst, Paula Kruger, Jean Lampen, Ricardo Liut, Colette Lotz, Kaylin Moonsamy, Lesego Motsiri, Pieter Odendaal, Juan Steyn, Kiveshan Thumbiran, Joe Turpin, Jan van der Merwe, and Corné Venter


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