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Interview with Matthew Sanna, 3D artist for ZANEWS

What motivated you to become a 3D artist?

Well I first started by doing realistic drawings and paintings and I always wanted the end product to look as realistic and 3D as possible. I wanted my work to have a soft and organic feel instead of hard drawn lines. I found myself exploring 3D images so instead of only using pencils and paint brushes, I would mold the object into a 3D image and capture the same essence using my hands.

Tell us about a few of the highlights of working for ZANEWS?

I’ve been working at ZANEWS just over 2 years now, and one of the main things is to come up with new characters that will make the show funny and enjoyable. So when I’m asked to make a new puppet, I get to work with clay where I can make 3D sculptures. This however is not based on realistic sculpture, but caricature faces of well known celebrities and politicians. I do a lot more than just sculpting. After my sculpt has been approved I make molds of the sculptures out of fiberglass and resin – mold making is also one of my passions, but my favourite part is after the whole process of making a puppet has been completed, when I can airbrush and finish the face to make it come alive.

What is your favourite piece of work to date?

I’ve recently completed a 1m x 80cm painting of my Fiance using oil paints. The reason why I love it is because when you look at the completed painting  even though its been painted on a flat surface and has a high contrast, I can still achieve that 3D effect.

Any tips for aspiring 3D artists wanting to get into the industry?

If you are an artist you have been given the ability to create. Even if you are just starting out or if you’ve been doing it for years, you should always keep practicing to improve on your skill. I believe every art form should create a feeling  – whether you are a realistic, abstract or expressive artist. Always work towards that feeling. And keep doing what you love to do.

What other creative work are you involved in?

Currently I’m not involved in any other creative work. I generally like to work on my own things for myself, but I would love to share my artwork with others whether it sells or not. I would also like to teach others how to do what I know.

Discover the pleasure of drawing!

The Michaelis School of Fine Art and Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts (GIPCA) will be hosting series of evening drawing workshops, open to members of the public, to be presented throughout the month of June. The Drawing Pleasure workshops are aimed at anyone who would like to discover or develop their ability to draw, and experience the pleasure of drawing in a supportive environment. Individual workshops take place over two consecutive evenings (Tuesday and Wednesday), and participants can register for any number of the three available workshops. Each workshop will be facilitated by a tutor with a distinct approach to the drawing process, allowing participants to select the workshops which best represent their interests. All drawing materials, including paper, will be provided.

Workshop 1 (Tuesday 11 June and Wednesday 12 June), will be facilitated Leonard Shapiro, who has extensive experience in facilitating drawing workshops for first-time drawers, as well as for those with previous drawing experience. In this workshop, he will introduce participants to a selection of techniques involved in observational drawing.

Workshop 2 (Tuesday 18 June and Wednesday 19 June) will be facilitated by Karen Stewart, who works for the Cape Craft and Design Institute and has twelve years of experience as a creativity and design facilitator. She will introduce participants to the art of seeing, developing methods to connect perception to the physical act of drawing. Participants will experience different kinds of mark-making and learn how to control a pencil through specifically designed activities.

Workshop 3 (Tuesday 25 June and Wednesday 26 June) will be facilitated by Katherine Bull, a visual artist with over ten years of teaching experience at tertiary level, who also works as an art therapist and runs private creative workshops in a range of media.This workshop will approach the drawing process as a tool for meditation and self-discovery. It will provide an introduction to various techniques that facilitate an awareness of the whole body as a tool for mark-making, exploring both the physical and psychological aspects of the Self through drawing.

The Drawing Pleasure workshops will take place at Hiddingh Hall, UCT Hiddingh Campus, on 11 -12 June, 18-19 June and 25-26 June; all workshop sessions will run from 18:00 – 21:00. Each workshop costs R240.00 , and all drawing materials, including paper, will be provided. Booking is essential and workshops are limited to a maximum of 20 participants; all bookings via www.webtickets.co.za.

For more information, please contact Leonard Shapiro on leonard@craftsouthafrica.co.za or 082 5530 824.

New work: Janet Botes

‘The skyline in this city represents Cape Town, which has been my home for about 3 years. The work forms part of my ‘Home’ series, which I started after we moved to another flat. The series is focused on what ‘home’ means to me, but also explores my feelings around living in a city – dealing with its good and bad qualities and experiences, since I grew up and prefer living in a small town or the country side.’
- Janet Botes

Home: Reborn From Frustration
by Janet Botes
Watercolour and ink on acid free paper
Size: W:12cm x H:17.5cm (unframed)
Available from www.StateoftheART.co.za for R750

Picking up Threads: New solo exhibition by artist Andre van Vuuren

South African artist, Andre van Vuuren will be exhibiting a new collection of work in his first Cape solo exhibition since 1991. The exhibition will be hosted at The Gallery in Riebeek Kasteel where he now lives, from the 15th of March to the 7th of April.

In this exhibition entitled, Picking Up Threads van Vuuren draw on forty-two years of searching, finding and rejecting. This new collection of work is a culmination of thoughts and a collection of souvenirs of a journey embarked on many years ago.

“Throughout my career I have spent years exploring different aspects of the visual arts; years spent observing nature and humanity and the dilemma facing man as he steadily loses his grip on the issues threatening his very existence on this fragile earth,” says Andre van Vuuren.

For more information visit: www.andrevanvuuren.co.za or www.galleryriebeek.co.za

Beautiful new freehand drawings by Cheryl Malone

Artist Cheryl Malone is best known for her ceramic vessels, hand-painted with intricate detail to create a stunning visual effect.

She recently showed us her versatility as an artist with the following three freehand ink drawings on paper. As you can see, a good synergy exists between the ceramic vessels and the drawings, but they easily stand alone as well.

These works form part of a series of approximately 45 drawings, which was started by Cheryl last year.

The first series of similar drawings was shown at Everard Read Gallery a while back and we look forward to the exhibition of this new series.

You can view more work from the wonderfully talented Cheryl Malone here:

GIPCA and Michaelis Galleries present 10 years ON

GIPCA and Michaelis Galleries present 10 years ON, a group show of members of the Michaelis School of Fine Art, class of 2001.

It is curated by Andrew Lamprecht, with co-curator Jessa Mockridge. It opens on 2 March at the Michaelis Main Gallery, and is presented in association with the Gordon Institute of Performing Arts (GIPCA).

An unusually large proportion of the students who graduated from the Michaelis School of Fine Art in the year 2001 went on to become noted, at times even notorious, artists in the South African and international art scene.

The exhibition 10 years ON celebrates these graduates of 2001 and the impact that they have had on the South African art world in the decade since their graduation. In showing recent work by some of these former students, now professional practitioners, curator Andrew Lamprecht also considers the influences on, and reasons for, these artists’ prominence.

Lamprecht himself has taken a front-row seat in the South African art world, with numerous noteworthy projects, conference papers and publications to his name. He, like many of the artists who will be represented in 10 years ON, is associated with an off-beat, challenging, and cutting–edge approach to art.

This exhibition was inspired by a project that Michaelis student Jessa Mockridge produced as part of her studies in 2010, and Mockridge also acts as co-curator on the exhibition.

10 years ON will be on at the Michaelis Main Gallery from 2 – 29 March, and is presented by the Michaelis Gallery in partnership with GIPCA.

Superb, innovative design at CCDI’s 2011 Handmade Collection, Design Indaba

What do finely crocheted thread earrings, a protea constructed from the pages of a magazine, and a mosaic inspired by a sangoma all have in common?

These are some of the 47 objects that make up the Cape Craft & Design Institute’s annual Handmade Exhibition Collection. The Collection, selected from 215 entries, was unveiled to the public at the Design Indaba Expo, which ran from 25 to 27 February at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.

The Handmade Collection, now in its third year, is the premier showcase of the Cape Craft and Design Institute (CCDI), which is a Section 21 company set up ten years ago by the Province and the Cape Peninsula University of Technology to promote and grow the craft and design sector.

The selection panel was made up of individuals from various arts, culture and media institutions, who looked for superb design, excellent craftsmanship and a high degree of innovation,  said the CCDI’s Communications manager Marjorie Naidoo.

“The focus is on only the very best handmade objects and we are confident that this outstanding collection will prove the relevance, creativity and collectability of handmade products. As this exhibition encourages producers and designer makers to push their creative boundaries, new marketable products often flow from this event.”

This year’s collection includes works by many established craft producers and designer makers  such as ceramicist Hennie Meyer and fabric designer Jane Solomon, who submitted a seat upholstered in a new fabric inspired by indigenous birds.

Jane Solomon: Indigenous birds upholstered seat. Image by Eric Miller

There were also newcomers such as City Varsity student Amy Rusch who made a crown of wire, cotton thread and recycled magazine paper – “a playful object made for the fun of stitching.”

Amy Rusch: wire, cotton thread and recycled magazine paper crown. Image by Eric Miller

‘Up-cycling’ and ‘repurposing’ is  a common theme,  with winning entries including  a large bottle cap and wire basket by Phanny Mangwiro,  and a cupboard made from antique wooden printers’ trays by Kate Thompson of Recreate.

Recreate: cupboard made from antique wooden printers’ trays. Image by Eric Miller

There is even an evening suit embroidered in African designs and decorated with appliquéd images, recycled buttons and plastic. The suit was inspired by traditional Cockney pearly kings and queens, whose clothes are decorated with thousands of pearl buttons.  This was designed by Monique Fagan, produced by Lizzie Ngwenya of the Leechar Homes craft collective in Heideveld, with skills training funded by the Kommetjie Environmental Awareness Group (KEAG).

Some of the more unusual items include a mechanical head made from stoneware clay “showing the cogs expressing the inner workings of the mind”, according to its creator Alessandro Pappada, and colourful skulls embroidered on felt by Nicola de Jager of Calavera.

Lifestyle and homeware items include finely wrought jewellery, lighting, a merino wool and mohair handbag (Bridget Henderson of cowgirlblues), ceramics, exquisite hand-blown vases (Elizabeth Lacey of Red Hot Glass), a large wirework chair by Willard Musarurwa and maple and rosewood candlesticks by Bert Parker.

Red Hot Glass: hand-blown vases. Image by Eric Miller

Orders can be placed with the craft producers directly, or through the CCDI.

The Cape Craft and Design Institute (CCDI)
75 Harrington Street, East City, Cape Town

Phone: +27 21 461 1488 – Fax: +27 21 461 1228 www.capecraftanddesign.org.za