Vol12 no7&8 2020
In times of crises, we often turn to art in its many forms to find solace and escape. Therefore, it’s quite ironic that artists cannot practice their craft in the way they are used to during the lockdown. But artists are self-starters to the core and masters at finding new ways of doing and new ways of thinking. Heita! asks the frontrunners of the Faculty of Arts & Design for their views on The role the Arts play in shaping society, especially in the time of Covid-19.
PROF NALINI MOODLEY-DIAR
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DR FLIP DU TOIT
Acting Assistant Dean and Head: Interior Design
didn’t paint the war,’ Picasso said after the liberation of France. ‘But there’s no doubt the war was in my pictures.’ Artists are stepping out of the ‘old’ into the ‘new’ without knowing what the ‘new’ will entail. In due time, the birth of profound expression will inescapably emerge in art forms.
Acting Head: Visual Communication
esigners daily influence society – we entertain, inform, explain and persuade, using the tools of our trade! What this pandemic has done is to highlight our failures. We have failed to be the change that was needed to address the fractures between our communities. It will be in our hands to actively engage with the task at hand – to design a better world for all, after Covid-19.
PROF RUNETTE KRUGER
Head: Fine & Studio Arts
he Arts have a very important role to play in humanising both the artist and the viewer of the art. This humanisation is the outcome of the process of trying to understand one’s experience of and impact on the world, and finding ways in which to convey this understanding of one’s experience to other people, who might, in turn, come to a richer understanding of their own experience of the world. Covid-19 is the most unknown experience the world population currently has, collectively. We do not know what is coming. Every step of the way is uncertain. We are still not even sure exactly what happened, or what it will mean for us in years to come. Creating and experiencing art is an excellent way of navigating this time of collective crisis, as art creates meaning out of chaos, and charts a way forward.
PROF JANINE LEWIS
Head: Performing Arts
rts, as with creativity, cannot be contained for very long – they both need space to explore, time to express, and passion to overcome. This global pandemic has hit the Performing Arts industries hardest. Theatres, concert halls, and all public spaces have been dark and will possibly continue to be for a long time to come. But artists are digging deep, finding new ways to be creative. All performance-makers are scrambling to (re)imagine their expression in times of the pandemic, and envisage a future, post-pandemic. We have been here before. It is in the very nature of theatre and performance to adapt and mutate to the times. We should continue to do so and return with new, creative ways to make magic.
PROF ANNE MASON
Head: Design Studies
he art of creating stylish face masks promote fashion aesthetics and, yet, is a warning against the Coronavirus, and an alert to the importance of preventative measures.
Acting Section Head: Design Studies
he path of human development has always been documented visually. Historians lend context and chronology to events, but it has always been the artist who records the actual event from a human perspective. Without these visual records, humanity will have no legacy. Art will convey the despair, frustrations, empathy, and hope experienced in this time.
DR ROSTISLAVA PASHKEVITCH
Acting Section Head: Performing Arts
What a scary word to hear
We live in fear
We count the days, the minutes, the moments, we’re still here . . .
The Arts is silent, but in silence is power!
We are here!
DR OWEN SEDA
Acting Section Head: Performing Arts
e do not define what we go through, rather it is what we go through, that defines us.
LAURA VAN DER MERWE
Acting Section Head: Visual Communication
reative artists are the ground-breaking, brave people who dare to talk, sing, dance, paint, or film the uncomfortable, taboo, or feared subjects, essentially to lighten the burden of the other harsh realities. We, the Faculty of Arts & Design staff and students, should grasp our bravery with both hands and throw our reflective light far and wide to highlight this ever-changing pandemic journey.
Fine Arts students are fiery and certainly not idling around during the lockdown, as is evident in these artworks they’ve produced while being home bound.
Fine & Studio Arts
“The work displays a scared old lady, wearing a mask while thinking of the Coronavirus.”
NHLAMULO OB HOBYANE
African woman with a proud Afro – Sabali (Patience in Mali)
“In this artwork I wanted to see how much I've learned since my art journey began.”
“This work is all about gender-based violence, portraying how many women can't find peace and love. They are in between life and death.”
“During the lockdown, I focused all my anxiety into these colourful, hand-painted wooden earrings.”
THABO JAFTER MODILLANE
Life of waste pickers during lockdown
“The movements and livelihoods of waste pickers have been halted during the lockdown. They also have a place in society. They help municipalities to spend less money on waste collection. In this time, things have not been good for them. A single day of not working, affects their income.”
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Dilapidation – being old in age is to fall into a state of disrepair.
Fine & Studio Arts
KAMOGELO CARTRIDGE MASHIBOKO
Commission, charcoal on paper
MALESELA JACK MAJA
Oil on canvas
“Albert Einstein, inspired by the idea of the lockdown as a renewal of thoughts.”
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Fine & Studio Arts
THABO ABEL SEGOTO
Daenerys Targaryen, a character in Game of Thrones
“The dragons regard her as their mother, providing her with a tactical advantage and prestige.”
LEPITSI THETO LESHABA
“I created this artwork to make people see the importance of wearing a mask, even though it is hard to breathe when you are wearing it.”
Lockdown, mixed media
LUCAS P LEBOPO
Enjoy every moment
“Whatever crisis we are facing, always be positive and know that it is going to fade away as time goes by.”
A year ago, we would never have imagined that now halve of our faces would be covered in masks, which have since entered the fashion lexicon. Four Fashion Design students show us their masks and give us their take on this latest fashion accessory.
“A mask is not a fashion accessory because it is essential for your health, especially during this pandemic. However, it can be a fashion accessory because it completes an outfit, as in my case and as in that seen in Queen Elizabeth’s dressing style.”
“I consider face masks as a fashion accessory because it has been worn way before Covid-19, among others by well-known hip hop artist, Future, who performed a song in 2016, titled Mask off. The picture (left) shows him wearing a fashionable mask matching his outfit.”
A mask is both a fashion accessory and a protective piece.
“A mask is a fashion accessory because, in this Corona era, it is a necessary tool to protect yourself from the virus. Thus, it has become an essential part of daily streetwear.”
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Students of the Jewellery and Manufacture programme show off pieces they’ve made during the lockdown.
Hein Grové, lecturer at the Department of Visual Communication’s M Tech study, titled Photographing a city as liminal space, is very relevant during the time of Covid-19. “During April 2020, more than halve the world’s population found themselves in a state of liminality with the pandemic. The pandemic and subsequent lockdown rendered people equal in the fight against Covid-19. The photographs, some taken during Level 4 lockdown, may offer insight into how people perceived normal activities, engagements and gatherings, and affect future planning. The interpretation of the empty city may offer opportunities to effect positive change in the urban environment,” says Hein.
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I hope to create more interactive solutions to boost awareness among kids and young adults who are interactive individuals. When they grow up, they are more likely to remember a game that taught them prevention measures during
It took Visual Communication lecturer, ARNAUD MUKENGE, only one day to develop an interactive awareness Web gameApp, called CoronaClean. The game has two levels: Level one focuses on Washing your hands: You need to kill the virus by clicking on them before they reach your hands, while washing them. The emphasis on this level is to illustrate that washing hands clean and kill germs. To motivate the player, there is a reward of saving a life for each germ you kill.
The second level is about Social Distancing: This level illustrates what it means to keep your distance. We are social beings, so in the game there are people interested to braai together, but you have to drag them away from each other to keep the minimum distance required. If they get closer to each other, there is a bar indicating that people are getting infected. If you keep them apart, you end up saving lives. The game also encourages you to learn about how to be a hero, by learning more about careers that have to do with saving lives. There is a button that takes you to career guidance provider, Gradesmatch.
To access the game,
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MULTI-TALENTED! Visual Communication (Multimedia) student, TSHEPO NDLOVU shares with us his work. To view, click the video below.
FRED MALEKA, a first-year Visual Communication (Photography) student, found inspiration in the African Photography module (a new module this year for Photography first-years) and during the lockdown decided to experiment with artificial light, even before it has been touched on in the curriculum. “I am inspired by an African photographer from the 1900’s, Seyduo Keita, who used Western fashion and set designs to make Africans look dignified, sending a positive message about Africa. Now, we as young stars, living in the modern world, also like modern, Western fashion and are hugely influenced by technology. I use photography to send a message to the youth that we should remember where we come from and how beautiful Africans are.”
To watch a behind-the-scenes video of his photoshoot, CLICK HERE. The photo left forms part of work he has done in this time.
Many of us binged watched films as a form of escape the last couple of months. Film student, Fiola Seruba, won the Audience's Choice award at the TUT Film Awards, and says she hopes her winning film will cheer up people during this pandemic.
Uphi Umama is a nine-minute short drama film in Xhosa and Zulu. It follows a tragic story of an honourable, but impulsive young girl who runs around Tembisa and Johannesburg central trying to find her mother. She has to make tough choices that could change her life for the worst, faces several challenges and try to overcome them. She eventually finds her mother, but what is supposed to be a happy moment turns out to be both bad and sad. “Films cheer me up and ease my anxiety during this time,” Fiola (left) says. Watch the film below.
Tembisa born tenor saxophonist OFENTSE SEBOLA turned 21 in September. JazzItOut writes that despite his young age, the third-year Music student has already made a name for himself as a brilliant, focused and ambitious musician. He describes himself as a “curious and optimistic young man, chasing a dream.” From Grade 8, he earned himself the nickname “Saxo.” He would bring his saxophone to school and the teachers asked him to play it while his classmates watched in admiration. To listen to him play, check out the video above.
MBALI MOTHA, a first-year Theatre Art & Design student, is part of a five-piece Acapella group, called Sweet Symphony. The group covered this song, Not Yet Uhuru, by Letta Mbulu, especially for Youth Day. Mbali, who is spending the lockdown at home in Soweto, is the lead singer (white T-shirt and white jeans) in the video that was shot at Alberts Farm in Northcliff, Johannesburg. The talented artist says music keeps her sane during these times.
Whether Dance, Music, Entertainment Technology, Drama, Vocal Art or Musical Theatre, the show goes on for resilient individuals studying and working in these disciplines, albeit online this time round.
Performing Arts Technology student, NTANDO MATHEBULA, made this wristband during the lockdown. “It symbolises the South African June 16 commemoration. I’m inspired by the rainbow nation and will use it as a reminder of the Covid19 pandemic.”
Not Yet Uhuru
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WRISTBAND REMINDS HIM
OF THE RAINBOW NATION
Dance student, ZIYABUKWA MANKABANE, created this video in response to the Luthando Arts Academy Dance challenge #Umnikelo during the Covid-19 pandemic. “iDance ngumNikelo wam (Dance is my offering), my safe haven, where I can truly be me." The voice-over is by former Drama student, Zusakhe Ngqame.
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A motley group of Performing Arts students portray their varied reflections of Covid-19 and life under the lockdown. The students did individual recordings from their homes in different places before putting it all together as one video file. Their names by appearance are: SABELO LOBESA, LUZUKO GQIBU, MOSELE MAKHALE, ZUSAKHE NGQAME, OBAKENG SELEHO, SOLOMON NKUNA AND LARISSA JORDAAN.
DANCE IS HER SAFE HAVEN
Master’s student (and Drama alumnus), CALVIN RATLADI, has been selected as artist to represent SA and the Centre for the Less Good Idea in Spain. The Centre for the Less Good Idea and The Teatre Lliure de Barcelona announced Calvin’s selection for the Creative Exchange Residency Programme to take place in the course of 2021. Calvin is an interdisciplinary artist working as a director, writer, actor/performer, choreographer, dramaturg, and curator. This is the first collaborative exchange with The Teatre Lliure and The Centre For The Less Good Idea’s newly launched, SO | the academy for the Less Good Idea. CLICK HERE
MUSO! REMOABETSWE MPOIFANG, a Performing Arts student from Temba, Hammanskraal, is also an up-and-coming musician, who shares with us one of his songs. To watch it CLICK HERE
AKA CATASTROPHY! HLONGWANE TSHEPISO JAN, a Performing Arts student from Ga-Mmotla, is alo known as “Catastrophy.” He says he gave himself the name because when he gets on stage, he creates havoc. He believes in ploughing back in his community and has involved youth from his area in films he has written and produced in conjunction with Next Door Media. The movies are titled Teenage World and Nka ke Ngwana Morago. To view the trailers, CLICK HERE
NTOMBIZODWA KEKANA from Mshongoville (an informal settlement based in Pretoria-West) is an aspiring model and actress. To check out her Youtube channel, CLICK HERE
COMMUNITY FIRST! Hammanskraal’s MPUMELELO MTHIMUNYE dreams of becoming an actress, singer and to build an Arts school in her neighbourhood, which she intends naming after her late grandfather, who was also passionate about the Arts. “During these tough times, I decided not to rest on my laurels, and raise awareness to stop gender-based violence by writing and shooting a monologue. “Where I come from, doesn't define and determine my destination. Whatever you want to achieve, is up to you. You just have to put your heart and mind to it,” she says.
NATIONAL PRAISE FOR FILM! NKULULEKO EZRA SELULU, a Performing Arts Technology student and artist at heart, is the creative mind behind a short film series called EOAH a Noah and Edgar. The film is a love story and features his fellow students, Khathide Vilakazi and Nasiphi Nkumbesi, who play Noah and Edgar, respectively. The film series was entered for the virtual National Arts Festival (Fringe) and bagged a Standard Bank Ovation Award. To view more, CLICK HERE and HERE.
This is actually a corner of my room, as I've been shifting my bed and everything around and decided to add a couch. I use that corner mostly when I'm studying, and I have a window that frames a beautiful view of Arcadia.
Months of lockdown, spending most of the time indoors, has surely made us look afresh at and appreciate the places where we feel safe and warm. Four Interior Design students share with us pictures of themselves in the environments where they are spending this time.
Our interiors help us cope with staying indoors, depending on the space. Furniture can be moved around to provide a different scenery to avoid being bored by the same scene every day. It also helps us to stay comfortable in these uncomfortable times.
FANISA SARAH MASALANE
SIFISO ZULU in a pensive mood at home in Nellmapius.
Major world events have always had an impact on the way we live, thus contributing to changes in our living environments – the look, feel and function of our homes. Our interiors help us survive the Covid-19 pandemic because it is a safe zone, a place of comfort and relaxation during times of uncertainty. It makes sense that some objects, during this time, would stir up memories of people, events and places that hold great significance to you. This is also an opportunity to be more creative with our spaces and make them more aesthetically pleasing and comfortable. There is also a growing realisation that outdoor spaces are essential, so people can step out and breathe fresh air and feel the sun on their faces. I’m spending this time at home in Kempton Park.
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