A Zeitz MOCAA Centre for Art Education Project
This exhibition of artworks by Grade 12 learners from high school art departments in Cape Town is the culmination of an education project inspired by the Igshaan Adams Atelier residency titled ‘NOT WORKING (WORKING TITLE).’ Igshaan Adams produces large-scale tapestries and sculptures with a team of weavers and studio assistants. The Atelier revealed the collaborative way in which these works are produced.
The Grade 12 project commenced with a four-day intensive workshop at the end of March 2023, designed and facilitated by Zeitz MOCAA Education Manager, Talia Naicker, high school art teacher, Alaric Hobbs, and artist, Zyma Amien. Various creative and interactive workshop activities invited the Grade 12s to engage more deeply with Igshaan Adam’s work, which led to a burgeoning appreciation of the conceptual power of materiality in the artistic practices of Adams’ work, but also other contemporary artists both local and international.
These young artists courageously and enthusiastically responded by making and writing about artworks of their own. The artworks were completed over the ensuing six weeks with the guidance from the facilitators in two all-day crit sessions and several Saturday working sessions.
What you will see in this exhibition, to varying degrees, are young artists who for the first time are working with the notion of materiality as the receptacle for an idea. While some have held to conventional methods of representation to make paintings that reference the significance of material such as cloth or fabric in particular cultural contexts, others have tentatively crossed the boundary to include mixed media elements with figuration. Many embraced seemingly mundane materials and problem solved while holding to the human form as the reference point. Others again courageously chose to allow the material to suggest or infer meaning or chose innovative ways of creating marks that spoke to their concept directly.
The following schools have participated in the project this year: Chris Hani Senior Secondary, Khayelitsha; Alexander Sinton High School, Athlone; Cedar Senior Secondary School, Mitchell’s Plain; South Peninsula High School, Diep River; Livingstone High School, Lansdowne; Wynberg Girls High School, Wynberg; Fairmont High School, Durbanville; Reddam High School, Constantia; Tygerberg Art Centre, Parow.
Previous schools that have participated in the 2022 iteration of the project include: Bishops Diocesan College High School, Rondebosch; Bridgehouse High School, Franschhoek; Curro Century City High School, Century City; Groote Schuur High School and ID Mkhize High School c/o Peter Clarke Art Centre, Vredenhof; Herzlia High School and Rhenish Girls High School c/o PJ Olivier Art Centre, Stellenbosch; Rondebosch Boys High School, Rondebosch; Rustenberg Girls High School, Rosebank; Stellenberg High School, Stellenryk.
The Centre for Art Education is proud to have created the opportunity for this group of Grade 12 learners to find alternative paths to making art and to use this platform to express deeply personal views about their lives, their identities, and a world that they are attempting to make sense of.
Igshaan Adams and his entire studio have been incredibly gracious and generous – sharing their time, knowledge and skills with this Grade 12 group who regarded the Atelier visits as the high point of the project.
We are especially grateful to the City of Cape Town who has generously funded this project, the Western Cape Education Department for their support of the project and the various Zeitz MOCAA departments who have supported this project every step of the way.
Date and time:
Sunday, 11 June – Thursday, 31 August 2023
10 am – 6 pm (last entry at 5.30 pm)
Image Credit: Installation view courtesy of Zeitz MOCAA