WALTER Sisulu University (WSU) Fine Arts students’s artworks are set to bring a new exciting feel to the about an exciting new look at the Grahamstown National Art Festival this weekend.
Fine Arts lecturer, Sonwabiso Ngcai said this year would be the seventh consecutive year that students would be showcasing academic work at the festival.
“This year we are intending to bring about significant change with strict focus on the quality of work being selected for the festival. The change seeks to impact on the entire look of the exhibition – to have a look of more professionally curated exhibition,” he said.
“The preparations have gone well, though not as smooth as we would have wished. The labour-related impasse which has lasted three weeks has immensely affected this year’s preparations, especially on issues of administrations and procurements,’ said Ngcai.
Third year fine arts student, Lumanyani Gosana, who will be exhibiting his work for the second time at the festival, said he was grateful for the opportunity to showcase his work to a much bigger audience. to be selected as one of the students to showcase his artworks at a much bigger audience.
“It is a pleasure to showcase my work and my talent to different people from across the world. The preparations happened a bit faster this year, since our lecturers were involved in a strike that took almost a month. There was even a possibility of us not going to the festival. So we only started preparing our artworks this week.” We are on a rush as time is against us,” he said.
Gosana said he will be showcasing his artworks under three different themes.
“My first piece is a woodcut printmaking artwork titled Fading of Xhosa Culture. The second piece is also a woodcut printmaking titled Pillar of Strength – it’s about the hardships and sufferings faced by a woman. Then I have three thin marquet sculptures titled Home of Legends.
I looked at the Eastern Cape and noticed it’s still an underdeveloped province, although it has produced legends like Nelson Mandela. People in the province are still in chains of poverty,” he said.
Ngcai said the artworks selected are a body of work from last year’s academic calendar interspersed with some later works this year. fresh works which students have produced this year.
“The exhibition team, which includes my colleague Mziwoxolo Makalima; two Btech students, Wongalethu Maxiniva and Khanyisa Kalane; and two third-year students, Lumanyano Gosani and Natalie De Morney- Maharaj, are very keen on the direction the exhibition is going to take going forward. These four students will take turns in curating the exhibition as part of their academic experience,” Ngcai said..