Dates: 16/03/2023 – 01/05/2023 (16 March 2023 – 1 May 2023)
Venue: Oliewenhuis Art Museum (Annex Gallery)


Oliewenhuis Art Museum is excited to present the annual Art Museum Guide exhibition for 2023. transition • liminality • adaptation was curated by the current 2022/2023 Art Museum Guides at Oliewenhuis Art Museum with artworks sourced from Oliewenhuis Art Museum’s Permanent Collection and The Art Bank of South Africa’s Contemporary Collection.

Nigel Mullins, Hopeful Monsters, 2000, Lithograph on paper, 1 m x 75 cm

The curators, all close to graduating or recent graduates in visual arts, curated the exhibition with the purpose of raising questions within the notions of the art industry. They explain: ‘As ‘young emerging artists’, we often find ourselves questioning what it means to become successful artists, and whether this means limiting our originality and creativity for the purpose of acknowledgement and acceptance in the visual art industry.’ This exhibition explores and challenges the barrier that separates ingenuity and conformity. A variety of artworks, with diverse use of media and conceptual ideas, artistically expressed by both emerging and established artists are juxtaposed with each other.

As a starting point for selecting artworks, the curators envisioned an organic, mixed media installation, titled: The Wall, including sketches and paintings in various media, photos, text, and pre-sketches, that they’ve created over a period of time. The Wall serves as an anchor point for this exhibition, as it seems to be out of place and a bit distorted, but also becoming part of the exhibition and exhibition space – a space that generally serves to only showcase finished, ‘museum quality’ artworks, created by established artists. The curatorial style of the wall is an informal mixture representing both the traditional ‘white cube’ style of display and the studio space, where the process of creating artworks takes place – often a seemingly chaotic space with artworks in various phases of planning and completion. This allows the viewer to identify the themes of adaptation, where the artworks are ‘trying to fit’ into a system but on the other hand, through the distorted, organic installation, attempting to simultaneously transform the artworks into their own authentic piece. As a result of this conflicting position, artists (along with their artworks) place themselves in, they often find themselves in a state of liminality.

Themes such as identity, spirituality, mental health, the macabre, humour and satire can be found on The Wall. Artworks were selected by how they relate to these themes. Viewers are not only made aware of corresponding themes, styles, and mediums between artworks in the exhibition space and of those on The Wall, but also of differences such as the curatorial styles and the unfamiliar artist names. As a result of this, one could become aware of the influence of the visual art industry and the ways in which artists have to compromise between conformity and individuality in order to become successful artists.

Diane Victor, Walking Blind: From A Little History, 2018, Etching on paper, 9.5 x 7 cm

transition • liminality • adaptation’ can be viewed from 16 March 2023 until 1 May 2023 in the Annex Gallery on the first floor of the Main Building at Oliewenhuis Art Museum. The art museum is located at 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein, and is open to the public from Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 17:00, and on Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays between 09:00 and 16:00. Entrance is free and secure parking is available for visitors at a minimal fee. A ramp at the entrance of the main entrance provides access to wheelchairs, while a lift provides access to the Permanent Collection display areas on the first floor.

For more information please contact Oliewenhuis Art Museum at 051 011 0525 (ext 200) or Stay up to date by following Oliewenhuis Art Museum on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for all upcoming exhibitions and events.

A variety of artworks, with a diverse use of media and conceptual ideas, artistically expressed by both emerging and established artists are juxtaposed with each other.

Klas Thibeletsa, Life Story, 2007, Oil on canvas, 97 x 174 cm


Ben Botma, Natura Mortua: Conventus Familiae, 2007, Computer print with oil paint, 83 x 121 cm


Andries Gouws, Bar of Soap, 2003, Oil on canvas, 15 x 15 cm

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!