Art and Design

The Creative Showcase by 10and5 - May 7 2014

Staff Reporter

A weekly round-up of South Africa's creative community and projects by Between 10and5.

A sculpture from the new body of work 'Alter-Native' by Modisa Tim Motsomi.

Fine artist Modisa Tim Motsomi presents new sculptural work Alter-Native
KwaZulu-Natal-based fine artist Modisa Tim Motsomi, who relocated to South Africa from Botswana, creates work that emphasises his strong passion for materiality and the liminal space within a range of human truths and polarities. 

His work has featured in numerous exhibitions in countries including Kenya, China and the United Kingdom. Motsomi’s most recent body of work, Alter-Native, draws from his experience as a foreigner in South Africa and explores how a newcomer might appropriate aspects of local cultures, integrating them into their own identity to assimilate. He describes the concept as the notion of being looked at as “other” and negotiating a sense of self in a foreign context.

The man behind daring design magazine Ijusi 
In 1995 graphic designer Garth Walker published the first issue of the  experimental design magazine Ijusi, a passion project that aims to encourage and promote a visual design language rooted in our South African experience. The awarded publication has a widespread following and plans for the 30th issue are under way. 

Walker first starting work as a professional graphic designer in 1976, putting himself through art school at Technikon Natal. After 16 years working as a designer at a small family-owned printer in Durban, he went solo and started design firm Orange Juice. It was around this time, with no clients and lots of time on his hands, that he founded Ijusi with the idea of celebrating indigenous South African design and craft. 

Each issue of the magazine is themed and contributions are submitted from designers, artists and cartoonists countrywide to suit titles such as Afrika Typographika, the Language Issue or the latest, the Mandela Issue. This year Ijusi is 20 years old, and 30 issues old. The 30th issue will be released as a book. 

Read more about Garth Walker in the Friday section of this week’s Mail & Guardian.

Shield and Spear: A film about art, music and freedom in South Africa
Shield and Spear is a documentary directed by Petter Ringbom about what it’s like to live and work as an artist in South Africa’s post-apartheid democracy. With a focus on the intersections between art and politics, Shield and Spear weaves together a constellation of stories about art, music, identity, race and freedom of expression in South Africa – 20 years into democracy. 

The film features a range of contemporary South African artists, musicians and journalists who have been influential in these spheres. Included in the line-up is the infamous Brett Murray, “the dark prince of South African pop art”; Zanele Muholi, photographer, activist and 2013 recipient of the Index Award for freedom of expression; and Roger Ballen, one of South Africa’s most acclaimed photographers, who has been depicting people living on the margins of society through his work. 

The documentary will be screened as part of the Hot Docs festival in Toronto, Canada, and at the 2014 Durban International Film Festival later this year.

Escape into the photography and films of Lyall Coburn
Imagine Larry Clark’s Kids was set on the beach (substituting skateboarding for surfing) and you’ll have a pretty good idea of the environment in which Lyall Coburn grew up. To date, the director and photographer has collaborated with the likes of Maison Kitsuné, American Apparel and Adidas. Now, after many years of travelling, he has settled in Cape Town. 

Coburn’s photographs could easily pass as souvenirs from a 1970s road trip while his films, though beautiful to look at, tend to have a dark undercurrent. Possessing a certain aversion to how visually uninteresting the world has become with the advent of technology, Coburn’s work hints at a parallel world that he’d prefer to inhabit.

A music video for Shangaan Electro pioneer Nozinja’s Tsekeleke
South African producer and pioneer of Shangaan Electro, Nozinja, has a new music video out for his track Tsekeleke

Directed in Johannesburg by Chris Saunders, the video features some crazy good dancing, set in environments that meld together the electronic and the real. It’s as bizarre as it is cool, and we’re just about to watch it again.

For more local creativity, go to Between 10and5.

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