SOME of the best local and international artwork is on show at the East London Ann Bryant Art Gallery.
The two exhibitions that opened on Thursday May 25 should have East London art lovers making frequent visits to the gallery. In the Coach House, the East London Art Society's Anything but Painting exhibition brings together some of the city's top artists.
Gallery Curator Leon du Preez says the "theme of the exhibition encourages young artists to try and extend their boundaries in the creative process of making artworks".
Image shown: Barry Kurten's 'From the Deep', a sculpture in Driftwood
Because painting was forbidden, these artists used materials such as clay, textile, metal, wood and pencil, pastel as well as various printing processes. To add a touch of class to the exhibition, renowned poet Dr Amitabh Mitra has written poetry to inspire art lovers.
The artworks are for sale and, according to Du Preez, are very affordable.
In the Main House, award-winning artist Jeanette Unite is exhibiting some of the best work in the gallery. Unite's exhibition, titled Earthscars, explores the relationship between man and earth and the impact of mining and industrialisation on the landscape. The project is a response to the 40-year-old diamond prospecting pits that scar the South African West Coast.
Her method of art production, in which the earth's minerals become the artist's materials, reinforces the mining theme expressively. Panels incorporate particles of Kimberlite from the Big Hole, coloured by earth pigments, to create pieces that refer to the rich geology and minerals that are integral to the economy and the colonial history of South Africa.
"This is a very unusual but brilliant exhibition by one of the country's best artists. Glassworks of molten sands, recycled mineral from the Johannesburg mining dumps are fused between glass at high temperatures… and the end result is some of the best works I've seen in years," says Du Preez.
Unite has also bought some artists from the United Kingdom and some of their work focuses on the abolition of slavery. Others give a vivid picture of the pain, fear and loneliness caused by slavery.
The East London Art Society's exhibition will end at the end of June and the International and Unite's Exhibition ends at the end of July.
More about the The Ann Bryant art gallery
The gallery is in an Edwardian building and features a mix of Cape Dutch and Victorian artworks. The collection is representative of South African art from 1880 onwards. Temporary exhibitions are held regularly.
The gallery is in St Marks Road. Telephone: (043) 722-4044 It is open from 9.30am to 5pm on Monday to Friday and from 9.30am to noon on Saturdays. Admission is free.