Friday, May 11, 2012

The art of politics

Barred from about 2004 from writing anything political for the Herald in Port Elizabeth, where I had worked since 1988, first as a reporter and then as a sub, I still managed to get the odd letter published in the Sunday Times. This posting also includes my art reviews over a six-month period in late 2006 and early 2007. (To read these articles, hold down shift and left click and they come up larger. Click again on the image and it gets larger still.)

I got the 'second lead' on the letters page in the  Sunday Times on October 1, 2006. The page was devoted to responses to two articles the previous week by Times editor Mondli Makhanya and columnist Justice Malala. Mondli, who I have not yet met, writes one of the best and most readable columns around. He is now editor-in-chief of the Avusa publications

It is possible to get two letters in the Sunday Times on one day. This appeared in the Times's award-winning Lifestyle supplement

This review of works by Enna Gauthier Dyckman appeared in the Herald on October 11, 2006

This, of an exhibition by Peter Midlane, appeared on October 12, 2006

The Cuyler Street gallery kept me on my toes. This appeared on October 25, 2006

I delighted in promoting up-and-coming black South African artists - but only when their work merited praise. This appeared on November 22, 2006

Mara Sapere, Linda Opperman and Louisa Pasques bore my scrutiny on November 23, 2006

And then a bit more politics. This letter appeared in the Sunday Times on November 11, 2006, at a time when the Mbeki regime was still in denial over the Aids and Zimbabwe crises

Productive. My detractors, as noted in the previous posting, delighted in hammering my reviews when I wrote something negative about shows they staged, but not a word when I praised them. The annual Exhibition of the EP Society of Arts and Crafts is still held, but since they have renamed it artEC, or suchlike, it loses its historic significance. My bet is that in time it will revert to its original name, having already survived one name change - to the EP Society of Fine Art. My reviews of both the Annual and a show by Wehrner Lemmer and Ryno Sauerman appeared on December 7, 2006

My review of Francis Sibanda's exhibition appeared on December 8, 2006

On February 2, 2007, I again had two reviews in the Herald. This group show included works by, among others, Rentia Ferns and Analie van der Merwe.  

Also from February 2 is this review of graphic artists, including Alan Grobler and James Malinga

Esme Goosen's art has always appealed to me, because she works in a style so different to my own. This appeared on March 12, 2007

This review appeared on March 13, 2007

On March 22, I again had two reviews in the Herald. One was of a controversial show dominated by Alison Williams. The other featured Rick Becker and Duncan Stewart

I think you'll agree I put in a considerable amount of work to bring art to the Herald's readers. This output excludes the many previews of exhibitions I had published. Given that I also worked a normal eight-hour shift - often longer - as a paginator and sub on the Herald, you'll understand that my days were often pretty full. In a way, I am quite glad to have been relieved of the art responsibility in late 2010. It has freed me up to return to painting, and to work on things like this blog.

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