"Tshayile!" 29 artists show how to break away
Tjaila…one of those idiomatic South African expressions that float across our many cultural borders.
Found as -tshayile in Xhosa and -shayile in Zulu, the original meaning of tjaila is "to hit an object so that a sound is heard". The sound of banging on a ploughshare signals the start and the end of a farm labourer's workday. "Tusschen opstaan-klok, werk-klok, papschep-klok en tjaila-klok..." says a 1913 farmer's notebook.
Tshayile speaks of the circular rhythms of work and play in a human life. Workers down tools as the factory siren goes, heading for taxis and trains with empty lunch boxes under their arms. Domestic workers congregate to sit and gossip on street corners after the day's dishes have been washed and the last ironing packed away. Commuters creep home through rush hour traffic in the insular space of car interiors and personal plans for the evening ahead.
There is a sense of winding down and the prospect of free time, home time, own time. This is time that becomes truly meaningful when there is a conscious decision to deviate from the familiar and the known, to embrace a new experience, greet new faces, find the perspective and rejuvenation that comes with distance from the usual and expected … with taking a break with a resolute return in mind.
Hot on the heels of their highly successful "Between storms" collaborative exhibition at Kievits Kroon in August, Pretoria art galleries Front Room Art and Platform on 18th have teamed up again to showcase the work of 29 Gauteng artists in a lightning exhibition from 22 to 25 November at Studio Vertel in Rietondale Pretoria.
According to Christo Harvey of Platform on 18th, participating artists have been invited to explore the theme not only in terms of subject matter but also by breaking away from their own habitual media, models and ways of approaching their work. This promises to make for a particularly exciting show, with some surprises expected from the artists whose work is already familiar to the public.
Jennifer Snyman of Front Room Art adds that in putting together this show, the emphasis has been on variety. Not only painters, but illustrators, sculptors and even a glass artist (Bongani Mcondzisi Dlamini) from both Pretoria and Johannesburg have been invited to participate, and works by award-winning established artists will be shown alongside a number of exciting new talents.
Participating painter Helena Hugo was the KKNK Festival Artist in 2011 and is one of four recipients of this year's Bettie Cilliers-Barnard Award. Illustrators Nicolene Louw and Daniël du Plessis have both won the Scenario prize at the Fumeto International Comics Festival in Luzerne Switzerland – Louw in 2008 and 2012 and Du Plessis in 2010. Noko Mello received a merit award at the PPC Young Concrete Sculpture Awards in 2011.
Art viewers can also look forward to work by emerging artists on the fast track to success such as Malose Pete, Maaike Bakker, Laurel Holmes and controversial Mamelodi artist Vusi Beauchamp.
The exhibition will be opened by Calvyn du Toit at 19h00 on Thursday 22 November and runs until Sunday 25 November. The venue is Studio Vertel, 167 Lys Street Rietondale Pretoria. Viewing: Friday 23 Nov 09h00-16h00, Sat 24 Nov and Sun 25 Nov 09h00-13h00. For more information, see www.platformon18th.co.za or www.frontroomart.co.za.
- NOVEMBER 2012
Tshayile! Exhibition invitation