University of Stellenbosch present final year exhibition

VISUAL ARTS GRADUATES BREAK WITH CONVENTION AND CELEBRATE INDEPENDENCE

SAVE THE DATE: The 2010 Gradex exhibition will open at 19h00 on 30
November 2010, at the Visual Arts building, Victoria Street, Stellenbosch. The
exhibition will be open to the public until 12 December, 2010.

Transfer illustration by Staurt Cairns

This exhibition is a
student-led initiative, featuring a selection of works by Jewellery Design,
Fine Arts and Visual Communication Design graduates. With the support of
teaching staff, final year students take full responsibility for fundraising,
event planning, exhibition design and catalogue production. The final
exhibition is a testament to an enormous amount of energy and commitment that
represents the culmination of four years of creative research within art and
design.

Over the last four years,
Gradex has built a solid reputation based on the quality of work on show, which
demonstrates the unique nature of the teaching programme. As a school with
three parallel teaching streams in Fine Arts, Jewellery Design and Visual
Communication Design, the Gradex exhibition presents a wide range of work
showcasing contemporary, critical interdisciplinary thinking by the next
generation of artists and designers. Works include animation, communication and
product design, contemporary jewellery design and manufacture, installation,
painting, photography, sculpture and video. Approaches range from concerns with
aesthetics and form to experimental work in ecological and sustainable creative
practice. The broad range of artistic positions incorporates a commitment to community
interaction, ranging from professional industry to local NGO initiatives.

Sterling silver necklace by Anna Pennazza

Encouraged to participate in
external exhibition platforms, Stellenbosch students have excelled in a number
of national art and design initiatives this year, including the ABSA L’Atelier
(two Top 5 awards), Sasol New Signatures, Design Indaba, Jewell’ex, Sappi Ideas
That Matter, and the SABS Design Achievers Awards. An exhibition of jewellery
produced by students and staff in the department is currently travelling the
USA, and the fine arts division is working with the Laingsburg municipality on
a series of public art initiatives around the 30th anniversary of the 1981
flood disaster. Visual Communication Design students are collaborating with
Write On Africa, an initiative that mobilizes creativity for social change
amongst local communities through visual storytelling.

Illustration from her book, Super Sarel, by Mieke van der Merwe

A must-attend event on the
annual Western Cape arts calendar, the opening event will feature a performance
by As Is (Niklas Zimmer, Brendon
Bussy, Roderick Sauls, Manfred Zylla and Garth Erasmus), an
experimental-improvisational ensemble boasting several members who have been
involved in the departmental teaching and Visiting Artist programme over the
past few years. Writer and previous editor of Art South Africa Sean O’Toole will offer a few opening words.