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Land artist Strijdom van der Merwe is this year’s festival artists at the Clover Aardklop National Arts Festival, held in Potchefstroom, with themes of landscape and the environment also as the focus in various other exhibitions.

Sculpting the Land includes documented works of Van der Merwe, as well as installations in the gallery and on the Potchefstroom campus of the North-West University. In Weerberig (weather report) Luan Nel, young curator for 2013, will bring together the work of 28 artists with the emphasis on the landscape as a barometer for climate change. 

Visual arts focus on land and the landscape at the Clover Aardklop National Arts Festival 2

For Site-Specific Gordon Froud chose artists that were involved in the Site-Specific International Land Art Events of 2011 and 2013 in Plettenberg Bay to create installations; with Anni Snyman as curator of Relocated – a photo exhibition that documented these land art events.

Using clay as a medium Hennie Meyer’s Deursnit (cross section) places icons of our consumer environment within the rugged, unspoilt sphere of the bigger environment; while Hermann Niebuhr investigates the urban landscape in Stillness.

Visual arts focus on land and the landscape at the Clover Aardklop National Arts Festival 3

Maureen Quinn’s The Hunt consists of bronze sculptures focusing on mankind’s destructive nature within the environment. In Landmeter (land-surveyor) Olaf Bisschoff uses existing book titles to create landscape paintings.

Pierre Doman, Talitha Henderson and Letitia Bezuidenhout will recreate the installation “Quaking”/The Wounded Woman they made for this year’s AfrikaBurn. The Market Theatre Workshop returns to the festival with Show Us Our Land – an exhibition of outdoor photography from all over the country. The Western Cape artists Henk Serfontein, Sandra Hanekom, Luan Nel and Madelein Marincowitz each created a small selection of landscape paintings for Suid (south).

Visual arts focus on land and the landscape at the Clover Aardklop National Arts Festival 4

Other exhibitions that are part of the visual arts programme are: Anthea Delmotte’s Portals – portraits of South African fine artists; Art of Thinking – a selection of works from Rand Merchant Bank’s art collection; Collateral (curated by Ian Marley) – a light-hearted satirical exhibition that comments on the elitism of the art object with artists Gordon Froud, Christiaan van der Westhuizen, Simone le Roux and Stephan Pretorius; Jaco Sieberhagen’s satirical The Carnival (No Dogs Allowed) – an exploration of sociopolitical aspects of a post-apartheid South Africa; Louise Pieterse’s Onderro(c)k – a photo exhibition of rock legends; Robert Hamblin’s Onder konstruk (under construction) – a response on masculinity and patriarchal constructs; printing artist Theo Paul Vorster’s Onwaarskynlik (unlikely) – playful social commentary wherein he places an object in the foreground of an unlikely background; and Warren Editions – printing art work of national and international artist, with Zhané Warren as the curator.

Festivalgoers must hurry up to book for the popular Art Safari on the Monday before the festival and the daily art tours, presented by Theo Kleynhans (this year’s visual arts festival curator).

The Clover Aardklop National Arts Festival in Potchefstroom runs from 24 to 28 September. The programme is available on www.cloveraardklop.co.za and bookings can be made through Computicket.

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