Since 2002 our work has been exhibited throughout South Africa, Australia and the UK. We have also made large quilts to commission for Corporations, Unions and the Constitutional Court of South Africa.
- Permanent exhibition of the Myth Tapestries and sound installation, Bethesda Arts Centre, Nieu Bethesda (Opened by Professor Pippa Skotnes)
- Shared Sky, South African National Gallery, Cape Town, 2015 (Joint exhibition with Yamaji Arts Centre, Australia, opened by Naledi Pandor, South African Minister for Arts, Culture and Technology) https://www.skatelescope.org/shared-sky/
- Shared Sky, John Curtin Gallery, Perth, Australia, 2014 (Joint exhibition with Yamaji Arts Centre, Australia, opened by Professor Simon Forest, Elder in Residence, Centre for Aboriginal Studies) http://www.ska.gov.au/sharedsky/Pages/Shared-Sky-artworks.aspx
- Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town, 2010 “Pierneef to Gugulective” (Collective exhibition curated by Riason Naidoo)
- National Arts Festival, Grahamstown, 2010 (Collective exhibition)
- Rabbi Cyril Harris Community Centre, Johannesburg, 2010 (Opened by Hilary Hamburger)
- Bayworld Museum, Port Elizabeth 2010 (Opened by Toetie Dow, leader of /Xam in Eastern Cape)
- Hout Bay Gallery, Hout Bay, 2009 (Opened by Soli Philander and Denis Goldberg)
- Graaff Reinet Museum, Graaff Reinet, 2008
- Decorex , Midrand, Johannesburg, 2008
- A.R.T, Gallery, Cape Town, 2008 (Prints, and launch of Koos Malgas, Sculptor of the Owl House by Julia Malgas and Jeni Couzyn)
- Montebello Design Centre, Cape Town, 2008 (Opened by Tessa Graaff)
- Grahamstown National Festival, Settlers Monument, Grahamstown, 2007 (Joint exhibition with Keiskamma Project) Opened by Jeni Couzyn
- Truman Gallery, London, 2006
- Price Waterhouse Cooper Atrium, London, 2005 (Opened by Justice Albie Sachs and Sir Sydney Kentridge)
- Tricycle Gallery, London 2003 (Opened by Dr Lindiwe Mabuza,
- London High Commissioner for South Africa)
- Tricycle Gallery, London, 2002 (With Gala Performance of Athol Fugard’s Sorrows and Rejoicings)
Commissions of Large Tapestries
- Constitutional Court of South Africa: The Truth Tree; The Freedom Quilt
- Old Mutual: Building a Community; The Web of Love; Light Play
- South African Breweries: Creation of the World ; We Take Care of Each Other; We Dance We Sing
- Unison Trade Union, UK: I and the Other
- Ubuntu Education Fund: Twenty Ten
Review in: SA Jewish report 29.19.2010
Images which ring and rumble with colour and tone
Exhibition: “First People of Nieu Bethesda” (Rabbi Cyril Harris Community Centre, Oaklands, (011)728-8088) Artists: the San people of Nieu Bethesda, at the Bethesda Art Centre REVIEWED BY ROBYN SASSEN
YOU MIGHT think collaboratively-made wall hangings and relief prints from the Karoo and assume so-called primitive art, where concept and perspective is naive because the artists are impoverished and uneducated. Well, this show is certainly no pathos call. Curatorial strengths aside, the magnificence of the individual pieces and the sophistication with which they are constructed, need to be seen. Fabric art made from a variety of cloth-based supports, the nine large wall hangings which headline the show are constructed like drawings; their images are allowed to ring and rumble with colour, tone and line sewn laterally into the work. Here collaborative energies sing, and ideas and concepts like the birth of the sun allow mythological narrative and an unbridled sense of play to coalesce.
In addition to a series of cushion covers, which are more representative than wild, and a series of angels transcendent in their unifor- mity, the exhibition features a dozen framed relief prints,considerably more staid in their outlook than the fabric art, but they vie with expectations fabulously. Consider, for instance, Sandra Sweers’ “Elephant Eye”. It’s an image in which the artist has spent time drawing her subject matter. Translating it to the unforgiving surface of linoleum, she allows the jiggered wrinkles around the elephant’s eye to be abstract patterns which rash over the surface of her plate, seductively. Like many collaborative art proj- ects active in this country at the moment, the work stems from different awarenesses of the world on the part of the artists. While there’s material in which artists draw or embroider what they see in nature around them, there is a tendency to interpret from their myths and religion, but also one to cast a moral finger toward society. The square wall hanging entitled “Shadow of Abuse” tells a lateral tale from within a socio-cultural nexus that is tragic, terrifying and patently legible simultaneously.
The Bethesda Arts Centre, established by Jeni Couzyn 10 years ago, teaches art to people of San origin living in the area. With a mission statement that boasts the centre’s concern with capacity building and the need to draw on the potential of its participants, the centre’s sensitivity toward San roots is clear. The selection of work on show demonstrates how these practitioners bring their own cultural narratives and ways of seeing into and out of a studio that offers them all kinds of possibilities; the work is immensely haveable. The exhibition repertoire of this arts centre is considerable – similar to projects like that promulgated by the Keiskamma Arts Centre, from Hamburg in the Eastern Cape, it has earned an exhibiting charisma countrywide, spurred by its beautiful wares and ubuntu values. Only on until next week, this exhibition is quite simply a must-see.