Rhodes University Fine Art Student Exhibition
Organised by the Rhodes University Department of Fine Art and curated by the Fine Art Practice staff; this exhibition presents recent MFA and selected undergraduate student work.
The undergraduate exhibition embodies various undergraduate projects exploring themes such as the alter ego, time, space, chaos & order through the technical facilities of printmaking, digital art, photography, painting & sculpture. The post-graduate exhibition shows selected work from recent MFA solo exhibitions.
In My Craft: Building True Worlds In Reality, Tayla Mackintosh explores how the worlds of computer gaming and fine art intersect, employing DIY feminism to reflect on the gendered world of gaming and the links between simulation, reality, and fantasy within the game of Minecraft. Mackintosh argues for a feminine craft (crochet) to challenge masculine gaming oppressions and the lack of representation, acceptance, and visibility for women in gaming culture.
N’lamwai Chithambo’s It’s an African Proverb are biomythographic painterly comic panels which portray the peculiarity and experiences of mental health through an unpacking of his own mental health struggle and African oral traditions.
Wil-Merie Greyling, a sculptor from Namibia, transported 1.8 tons of salt material from salt pans in her home country to Makhanda for her MFA exhibition, Out of the Ruins, Out from the Wreckage. She explores the metaphoric qualities of this medium and its seemingly contradictory physicality and fragility as a material to reflect on the relationships between personal grief and spiritual growth, and to articulate the inseparable bond between physical and spiritual landscapes.
Viwe Madinda’s performative photography Vuleka Mhlaba Ndingene contemplates the relationship between the self and community by analysing the proverbs “it takes a village to raise a child” and umntu ngumntu ngabantu. In considering cultural and social issues and the legacy of racial segregation that have informed her experiences growing up in Makhanda, she reflects on the possibilities of finding perfection in the faults of both the self and community.
Julia Arbuckle’s Looking After uses her personal familial archives to question how we look after the past and how it can function in the future. She explores this by placing objects relating to her family within cloth envelopes as a collection to both conceal them and ask for them to be revealed through exploration by the audience.
In A Second Skin, Juanito Featherstone uses layered print media strategies to present his interest in style and fashion and his experiences with mixed heritage within diverse local communities. He interrogates a relationship between the clothed human figure and the fusion with more abstract depictions of an internal struggle with the perception of cultural identity and physical emotions.
Yvette Ellis’s online work The Private Collection consists of two parts. The first is a website which presents 8 characters, caricatures of stereotypes in the art world, available for sale as collectable trump cards. The second is a series of sites which present these characters in their own universe as real-world artists and collectors. Whilst the illustration for the trump cards is Ellis’s own design, she has utilised AI prompts to generate the fictional work made by her characters. She asks her audience to consider the nature of originality and how value is created within the commercial art world given that many trends in making are generatable using technological means.
Tasmin Randall’s interactive online game draws inspiration from her childhood and daily interactions growing up in Makhanda. She portrays four fictional characters and their different, yet overlapping experiences tackling everyday cultural experiences and biases through humour to tell Twee Kante van ‘n Storie.