Katrina Vivian participating in Tulipamwe 2015
Katrina Vivian, Kyoori-Ossati, 2008.
Following a rigorous fundraising campaign by South Australian artist Katrina Vivian, the Port Augusta Cultural Centre – Yarta Purtli and Art South-South, Katrina will participate in the Namibian Tulipamwe International Artist Workshop during August 2015. The artist workshop will be hosted by the National Arts Gallery of Namibia at the Gobabeb Training and Research Centre in the Namib Desert.
Katrina completed her Masters in Fine Art at the University of Derby’s School of Art, Design and Technology in the United Kingdom during 2012 and she confesses that the thought process of art, concepts and ideas fascinate her. Hence conceptualism and a desire to translate a vision or thought into physical form motivated her applying to attend the Tulipamwe International Artist Workshop in Namibia.
‘With this workshop being such an international based environment, I would explore the possibilities of creating work which brings forth language in a visual form, or what I refer to as the colour of language. What interests me is exploring the idea that language is and can be artistic and visual, not just verbal or aural, and the possibilities of combining colour, language and aural experiences through the use of speakers, ink and paper. I want to look at the use and function of non-Newtonian fluids combined with colour and the kinetics of sound. I will be living in the local community for the period of the workshop, together with fifteen Namibian and nine international artists, sharing knowledge and visual art techniques with local artists of the community, with some artwork being donated to the community as a contribution to its cultural enrichment.’
During this workshop period the participants will present ‘art talks’ to discuss their work, which will be followed by critical review sessions. After the workshop participants will present their work to the public and media with an exhibition at the National Art Gallery of Namibia, opening early in September 2015. Individuals and organisations are able to support Katrina’s participation in the Tulipamwe International Artist Workshop through her crowd funding site. Read more about the artist and her project, and make a donation, here.
Review by Katrina Vivian and Melanie Sarantou. Photography by Benjamin Sephton-Smith.
Back and Forth
Namibian artist Kirsten Wechslberger and South Australian artist Meg Wilson participated in an artist residency at Nexus Arts in Adelaide during April and May 2015. The artists met briefly in 2014, but their knowledge of each other and how they work grew through email conversations. Hence the exhibition concept was also developed through email conversations prior to their residency. The title of their multi-media exhibition, which was hosted at Nexus Gallery from 7 – 30 May 2015, reflects the challenging approach, of bringing two artists from different cultures and countries together in a residency, which was initiated by Nexus Director Louise Dunn in 2013.
Back and Forth comments on both artists’ past and present experiences about how they negotiate personal boundaries. Meg’s work is about working through her childhood memories and dislike of oranges, especially the distasteful smells of rotten orange peels Meg experienced as a child while travelling on school buses in regional South Australia. A large handcrafted macrame bag filled with oranges was displayed in the gallery, holding Meg who forced herself to eat oranges during the opening night’s performance.
Kirsten’s video installations illustrated her processes of self healing during her journey of coming to terms with present and past identities and fears of abandonment. Themes related to personal growth and endeavors to push her personal boundaries are suggested by an installation of a swing, hopscotch and shoes in various sizes, showing her progress from a child to adulthood.
Review and photography by Melanie Sarantou.
A Community Focus
During the 2015 Namibian artist residency in South Australia Kirsten Wechslberger, Namibian installation and media artist, offered eight community art workshops in Port Augusta, Whyalla, Port Lincoln and Kapunda. The artist worked with school and art groups and the workshops focused on conceptual and performance art and ‘bioplastic’ sculpturing during the month of May. ‘Bioplastic’ is a mixture that is made from household materials such as corn starch, water, vinegar and glycerin. The mixture is boiled and turns into a substance that resembles play dough which can be shaped, sculpted, casted and left to dry.
Participants were able to learn about Kirsten’s art, her style of work and making while they experimented with the materials she likes to work with, including ‘bioplastic’, which is biodegradable and safe for makers and the environment. In the image students from Port Lincoln High School cast a leaf in ‘bioplastic’.
Review and photography by Melanie Sarantou.
Australian artist’s ‘Eyes on Africa’
“a journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step” (Lao Tsu, Tao te Ching)
Dutch-born South Australian artist, traveller and teacher, ineke van den Hout (the artist prefers her name to be written in lower case lettering), exhibits her visual diary of her adventures, experiences, dreams and impressions that were collected during her journey through Africa over a period of six months. Her collection titled ‘Eyes on Africa’ includes sketches and paintings of her journey and will be exhibited at the Omba Gallery from March 3 to 29, 2015.
Remember always by ineke van den Hout, 2015.
ineke owns the Red Heart Art Studio in Port Augusta, South Australia. She creates to make sense of the world around her she believes that her creative processes are always more important than her end products. ‘It is through the process of being creative I come to understand my experiences with different cultures, countries and customs. I don’t profess to “understand” or “know” Africa at all. As a traveller I am aware. I only see the surface of places and people. The people I meet are the subjects and objects of my exhibition’, says ineke. Her attitude towards her making processes served her well as the artist lost a significant body of work she produced during her journey.
ineke started her journey on July, 4, 2014, from Adelaide, South Australia via Hong Kong to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In Ethiopia she attended the University graduation of her (adopted) grandson, whereafter she travelled through the Omo Valley, Harar, as well as spending time with her grandson’s family in Lalibella.
After Ethiopia ineke travelled to Kenya where she spent four weeks travelling the Mara where she lived in a mud hut for two weeks and spent time viewing wild life in the Mara Reserve. After the rain transformed her accommodation back to mud she travelled to Tanzania and Zanzibar where she was deeply touched by the stone statues of the slaves in Stone Town. These experiences profoundly influenced her ‘Eyes on Africa’ visual art collection.
Says ineke: ‘Tanzania was the most productive country for my art as I managed to attend several art workshops from overseas art critiques and artists. I met and made friends with lots of artists in the art scene of Dar es Salaam where I ended up painting at the artist collective, Nafasi Art Space. The paintings I made there were lost when I hitched a ride for the first time! In Malawi I did very little except recover from a nasty fall (I thought I had broken my hip at first!) and I spent four weeks resting and taking painkillers.’
ineke’s journey continued from Malawi to Zambia where she spent much of her time viewing the rich wild life of the South Lilongwe National Park. A severely injured lion cub on the artist’s path, two fighting hippos in the camp she visited and a huge elephant bull in her way to the camp’s restaurant were all remarkable yet intimate wildlife impressions she collected. ‘This exhibition is my travel story. I am inviting you to follow my trails through my trials and tribulations’, says ineke.
In Botswana she visited friends and travelled the Okavango Delta where she painted an impressive mural on a backpacker lodge’s wall and exactly six months later on January, 4, 2015, she arrived in Namibia. While her journey was wholly self-funded, ineke will attend an artist residency during her stay in Windhoek as part of the Namibia Australia Artists Exchange Programme. This programme was initiated in 2013 by the Namibian Art South-South Trust with the support of the National Arts Council of Namibia and the South Australian Port Augusta Cultural Centre – Yarta Purtli, and Nexus Multicultural Arts Centre. ineke’s residency is supported by the Art South-South Trust, Yarta Purtli and private Namibian donors.
Photography by ineke van den Hout and review by Melanie Sarantou.