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Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Join Dylan Lewis for the Launch of Dylan Lewis: An Untamed Force at Ebony Franschhoek

Book Launch: Dylan Lewis

Dylan Lewis: An Untamed ForceFernwood Press would like to invite you to the launch of Dylan Lewis: An Untamed Force.

The world-renowned sculptor will present his book at Ebony Franschhoek on Saturday, 28 March at 11 AM.

Dylan Lewis: An Untamed Force contains Lewis’ most ambitious and successful works in a series of dramatic photographs. Come and meet the artist and have your copy of his book signed.

Don’t miss it!

Event Details

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Join Dylan Lewis and Jenny Crwys-Williams for the Launch of An Untamed Force at CIRCA

Book Launch: Dylan Lewis

Dylan Lewis: An Untamed Force: An Untamed ForceFernwood Press, an imprint of Struik Lifestyle, and Jenny Crwys-Williams would like to invite you to the launch of Dylan Lewis: An Untamed Force by Dylan Lewis and Ian McCallum.

The event will take place at CIRCA on Jellicoe in Rosebank on Thursday, 19 March, and starts at 6:30 for 7 PM.

The world-renowned sculptor will speak about his new book – a culmination of his life’s work and artistic development that includes preliminary sketches and working methods.

Drinks and canapés will be served. See you there!

Event Details

  • Date: Thursday, 19 March 2015
  • Time: 6:30 for 7 PM
  • Venue: CIRCA on Jellicoe
    2 Jellicoe Avenue
    Johannesburg | Map
  • Refreshments: Drinks and canapés
  • RSVP: Amanda,, 011 788 4805

Book Details

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Dylan Lewis Launches An Untamed Force at Cape Town’s Everard Read

Dylan Lewis

Unlike his substantial and weighty bronzes, Dylan Lewis’ most recent accomplishment is made not from clay and metal but from paper, although one one could not call it lightweight. The item that drew so large a crowd to the The Everard Read Gallery in Cape Town recently was his new book, Dylan Lewis: An Untamed Force.

Dylan LewisDylan LewisCo-authored with poet, psychiatrist and nature guide Ian McCullum, this gorgeous coffee table book was recently published by Struik Lifestyle’s art book imprint, Fernwood Press.

Steve Connolly welcomed the enormous crowd to the event, and predicted that Dylan Lewis: An Untamed Force would be the South African art book of the year. He expressed his enormous delight at the images, design and production that so enhanced the book. In particular, he lauded Gerda Genis’ gorgeous photography, which brought to life the artist at work in the creation of his masterpieces.

Some 200 hundred art lovers packed into the upper room of the gallery to watch a slide presentation that accompanied Lewis’ discussion about the source of his inspiration. Recalling the experience with his family going to game farms and national parks, he pondered over whether the wilderness was perhaps an ancient familiar place stored in his genetic memory.

He spoke of how his connection with nature leaves him feeling grounded and enables his reconnection with his timeless inner self, his original being. He shifted his gaze to the internal struggle humans experience between the comfort and safety of the modern lifestyle and the risky freedom inherent in the incredible beauty of the wilderness. He believes that humankind suppresses its wild self in order to fit more snugly into the modern world of so-called civilisation.

“We are straying from our roots, becoming unmindful, and this is why so many people begin to feel a sense of loss … yet they don’t know what they are grieving for. They crave meaning but their connection with nature, and so too their inner life, is compromised. They are disconnected from their truth,” he said.

Lewis shared images of the skulls he collects and spoke of the symbolic meaning they held for him as he wrestles the images of life, death and wild things into his art. “To define ourselves as human we cut out the part of ourselves that was wild,” he said. “It doesn’t work that way. You can’t just have kidneys one day and then be like ‘Eh … they make me look fat’ and cut them out and go on living like nothing ever happened.”

The sculptor mentioned the compromises wrought by industrialisation, urbanisation and technology and how this is affecting nature because humans don’t make decisions with nature in mind. “The bond we had with nature – the inner connection between our bodies and the world around us – is wilting, we are less protective over the planet and it is suffering because of this,” he said.

The artist observed that many crave a return to nature, experiencing this as a deep and urgent need to be out in the open. He perceives that humanity’s inner self is begging for the freedom of expression that only a profound reconnection with the wilderness enables. “We can’t just cut it out, it is us,” he said.

Concluding the evening, gallery owner Charles Shields took the microphone. He reflected on the historical nature of sculpture in Africa and offered another unique perspective on the artist and his work, saying Lewis’ focus on the process of his creations has substantially influenced the region in a way that very few artists ever achieve.

“Because of the form in which he works, Dylan developed a foundry in his own back yard. Bronze, which is so central to his work, is one of the earliest manifestations of human art that has endured, because of the nature of metal and its capacity to withstand the elements. Some African sculptures date back 4 000 years. He trained many people who went on to develop their own foundries.

“This has put the Western Cape firmly on the map as the centre of fine art in South Africa. Most of those who trained with Dylan Lewis now form the backbone of a multi-million rand industry. Frankly, the success of Dylan as a sculptor has kept them busy almost single-handedly,” said Shields.

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Liesl Jobson (@LieslJobson) tweeted live from the event using the hashtag #livebooks:


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Get Your Copy of South African Artists at Home Signed by Paul Duncan at the Cape Town Art Fair

Paul Duncan signing

South African Artists at HomePaul Duncan, author of South African Artists at Home, will be signing copies of his book this weekend.

Duncan will be signing books on Saturday, 28 February, from 11 AM to 12 PM at Clarke’s Bookshop at the Cape Town Art Fair, which is taking place at the V & A Waterfront.

Don’t miss it!

Event Details

  • Date: Saturday, 28 February 2015
  • Time: 11 AM to 12 PM
  • Venue: Clarke’s Bookshop at Cape Town Art Fair
    The Avenue
    Dock Road
    V & A Waterfront
    Cape Town | Map

Book Details

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Presenting a Sculptor’s Life and Work in Dylan Lewis: An Untamed Force

Dylan Lewis: An Untamed ForceFernwood Press, an imprint of Random House Struik, is proud to present Dylan Lewis: An Untamed Force.

The towering sculptures of Dylan Lewis are becoming well-known landmarks in South Africa, where they grace botanical gardens, golf courses, grand hotel foyers and the halls of discerning collectors. Increasingly, they are being snapped up by galleries and institutions abroad.

This publication builds on an earlier book, bringing the photographic record of Lewis’ work up to date. The brief introductory text reveals how the sculptor’s boyhood in a happily bohemian, nature-loving and creative family inspired him, and traces his artistic development from what have come to be known as ‘the cat years’ to his current, more esoteric and mythical approach.

This beautifully presented book showcases some of Lewis’ most ambitious and successful works in a series of dramatic photographs, and includes images of preliminary sketches and working methods.

Dylan Lewis: An Untamed Force is co-written with Ian McCallum and contains images of Lewis’ preliminary sketches and working methods.

About the authors

Born in Johannesburg in 1964, Dylan Lewis grew up in a family that valued and explored the natural environment, and his parents were both accomplished and practising artists. Lewis has pulled together these twin influences of his childhood and evolved into one of the country’s foremost sculptors, with growing influence abroad. He has exhibited widely, including in North America and the UK.

Ian McCallum is a medical doctor, author, Jungian psychologist, wilderness guide, and founder of the Wilderness Leadership School in the Cape.

Launch details

Fernwood Press invites you to the launch of Dylan Lewis: An Untamed Force, during which the world-renowned sculptor will present a photographic record of his life’s work at the Everard Read Gallery on Thursday, 19 February.

The event will start at 6:30 for 7 PM and Lewis will sign copies of his book afterwards.

Don’t miss it!

Book Details

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Don’t Miss the Annual Ardmore Ceramic Art Exhibition at Cellars-Hohenort in Cape Town

Ardmore: We Are Because of OthersArdmore Ceramic Art is holding its annual exhibition at Cellars-Hohenort in Cape Town.

Ardmore Ceramic Art was founded by Fée Halsted, who is also the author of Ardmore: We Are Because of Others, and has met with international acclaim. The theme of this year’s exhibition is “Animal Botanical”.

The event will start on Thursday, 19 February, and will be open to the public from Friday, 20 February, until Sunday, 22 February. The exhibition will be open between 9 AM and 5 PM, and there will be presentations and opportunities to interact with sculptors and painters throughout the day.

Don’t miss it!

Event Details

  • Date: Thursday, 19 February to Sunday, 22 February 2015
  • Time: 9 AM to 5 PM
  • Venue: Cellars-Hohenort
    The Plettenberg Hotel
    93 Brommersvlei Road
    Constantia Heights | Map

Book Details

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Struik Leefstyl se skrywers by die Woordfees 2015

Die jaarlikse Woordfees 2015 is om die draai en vanjaar se tema is “Sestien Onse”. Leandie du Randt, Samantha Linsell en Mari-Louis Guy verteenwoordig hierdie jaar vir Struik Leefstyl op die program wat plaasvind vanaf 6 tot 15 Maart.

Du Randt is die skrywer van Gemaklik in jou eie lyf: Wees die beste jy en die Engelse weergawe, Comfortable in Your Own Skin: A guide to loving yourself. Die bekende aktrise en skrywer verskyn in twee flieks wat tydens die KykNET Silwerskerm-filmfees gewys gaan word op Saterdag, 7 Maart.

Samantha Linsell gaan haar nuwe resepteboek, Sweet, op Woensdag, 11 Maart bekendstel en op Saterdag, 14 Maart hoor ons by Koekedoor-beoordelaar Mari-Louis Guy hoe jou koek van jou ‘n ster kan maak. Guy is die medeskrywer van Koeke ter viering van liefde en lewe wat in Engels beskikbaar is as Cakes to Celebrate Love and Life.

Meer besonderhede oor Struik Leefstyl se skrywers wat by die Woordfees gaan optree:

Gemaklik in jou eie lyfComfortable in Your Own SkinKoeke ter viering van liefde en leweCakes to Celebrate Love and Life

Vuil Wasgoed
Datum: Saterdag, 7 Maart
Tyd: 17:00
Plek: Boektent
Koste: Gratis
Met o.a. Bouwer Bosch, Bennie Fourie, Tim Theron, Simone Nortmann, Leandie du Randt en Hannes Muller
Wim en Kevin werk in ‘n wassery en kikker hul vervelige lewens op deur saans hul kliënte se klere aan te trek en partytjies te crash. By een van die vele partytjies ontdek hulle ‘n koue afgekapte vinger in die sak van een van die baadjies. Kevin en Wim skarrel terug wassery toe, net om te ontdek dat ‘n misterieuse man hulle inwag… met ‘n snoeiskêr…

Die Windpomp
Datum: Saterdag, 7 Maart
Tyd: 20:00
Plek: Boektent
Koste: Gratis
Met o.a. Armand Greyling, Leandie du Randt, Marga van Rooy, Marko van der Colff, Ian Robert en Grethe Fox
Die Windpomp is ‘n humoristiese en prettige liefdesverhaal wat wentel om 17-jarige Henri, wat op die drumpel van ‘n eienaardige aftree-oord beland. Tydens ‘n skelm laatnag sigaret volg hy vyf silhoeëtte in ‘n bos en vind meer as wat hy verwag het in die uitgestrekte water. Maar in Henri se nuwe wêreld is alles nie soos dit blyk te wees nie.

Samantha Linsell: Sweet (a demonstration of decadence)
Datum: Woensdag, 11 Maart
Tyd: 10:00
Plek: Die Khaya
Koste: R50
Sweet, oftewel dan Soet, ‘n kombuiswoord wat dekadensie, onweerstaanbare lekkernye, en eenvoudige tevredenheid optower. Hierdie boek het ‘n kuur vir elke hartseer, en ‘n lekkerny vir elke lekkerte. Samantha Linsell nooi jou uit om hierdie soetighede met haar te kom deel.

Jou koek kan van jou ‘n ster maak
Datum: Saterdag, 14 Maart
Tyd: 12:00
Plek: Die Khaya
Koste: R50
Mari-Louis Guy (Koekedoor beoordelaar) is internasionaal bekend as kos-stilis, koekontwerper- en skrywer. Sy en haar broer Callie besit die toonaangewende Cakebread in Kaapstad en is die skrywers van oa Markdag en Koeke ter viering van liefde en lewe. Tydens hierdie demonstrasie deel hulle die nuutste tendense in bak en bespreek hoe jou koek van jou ‘n ster kan maak.


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Listening to Distant Thunder: The Art of Peter Clarke Launched at David Krut (Report and Photos)

Listening to Distant ThundernullListening to Distant Thunder: The Art of Peter Clarke by art historians Elizabeth Rankin and Philippa Hobbs was launched at David Krut Bookstore in Johannesburg recently.

Listening to Distant Thunder is the first book about the life and work of the legendary Peter Clarke, whose remarkable career extended over six decades.

The launch was attended by Hobbs and Mohamed Raffee, who sponsored the reprint of the book. Hobbs said Listening to Distant Thunder is a chronicle of Clarke’s work, which reflected South African society.

Read the article (plus photos):

“Listening to Distant Thunder: The Art of Peter Clarke recounts an artist’s life in the context of the social history of South Africa from the 1940s onwards. His images reflect the social disruption of the Cape Flats, and the trauma of his community’s forced removal from Simons Town to the bleak apartheid township of Ocean View. Yet Clarke’s images have avoided bitterness, and his work is a perceptive scrutiny and celebration of life in all its aspects.”

Book details

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Listening to Distant Thunder: The Art of Peter Clarke Celebrates Both the Man and His Outlook

Listening to Distant ThunderListening to Distant Thunder: The Art of Peter Clarke by Elizabeth Rankin and Philippa Hobbs is a book that tells the story of the community trauma brought about by forced removals in the Cape, as seen in the art of Peter Clarke.

Although Clarke personally felt the social disruption of forced removal, his art remained optimistic and perceptive.

The book was launched at the David Krut Bookstore in Johannesburg recently. A number of Clarke’s friends and family were in attendance, reminiscing about the belated artist’s humility and exuberant life.

Racine Edwards wrote an article for City Buzz about the launch and how the book came about.

Read the article:

“It was a horror to know that he was gone, but even more of a horror to think that everything would have to be turned into past tense,” [Hobbs] joked, explaining her feelings about the time of Peter’s passing. She continued to explain that the hardest part of writing about someone’s life, while they’re alive, is that you never know where to end and that was especially true for Peter. “He kept us scrambling and towards the end he became even more exuberant!”

Book details

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Peter Clarke Celebrated at the Launch of Listening to Distant Thunder by Elizabeth Rankin and Philippa Hobbs

Elizabeth Rankin and Philippa Hobbs

A remarkable book deserves a remarkable party, especially when the book is a re-issue by Fernwood Press of an earlier publication with a fascinating tale in its own right. Iziko’s Rust en Vreugd museum was the perfect spot for the launch of Listening to Distant Thunder: The Art of Peter Clarke by Elizabeth Rankin and Philippa Hobbs.

Originally published by Standard Bank, the 500 copies printed in support of a curated exhibition in May 2011 soon sold out. Art lovers eager to know more about the late Peter Clarke, one of South Africa’s foremost artists, clamoured to buy the book at the exhibition, although it was never available through book shops to a wider audience, until now.

Friends and family of Peter ClarkeListening to Distant ThunderSteve Connolly welcomed a terrific turnout comprising Clarke’s friends and family, the photographer George Hallett and poet James Matthews, as well as local art lovers and book lovers. He said it was a celebration of a great South African artist, poet, writer and teacher, who was also a gentle, sensitive man.

Connolly recalled returning to South Africa with his wife in 2011, after a stint of living in the UK. When he saw Clarke’s exhibition at the Iziko South African National Gallery (it appeared later at the Standard Bank Gallery in Johannesburg) he was greatly moved by the work. Publishing this book was a labour of love and a series of happy coincidences. He praised the authors for their fascinating text and the selection and layout of Clarke’s beautiful images.

“Our whole approach with this project is that we want Peter Clarke to be a secret no longer, his name known only in the Cape Peninsula, in small informed artistic elite. We hope that by bringing this book back to life we can increase his profile, bringing his stature and reputation into its rightful place in the broader community,” Connolly said.

The first item on the programme was a poetry performance by Clarke’s niece, Michelle October. She had composed “Still Life with Artificial Eye” in memory of her uncle. This somewhat irreverent take on the more personal details of his life was much enjoyed by those in the audience who knew and loved Clarke. Her second poem, “Population Explosion”, explored the harsher realities of his life, told with a keenly observed eye.

Rankin, who flew in from New Zealand to celebrate the launch, recalled the origins of her experience of the artist’s enormous talent. As a co-curator of an exhibition entitled “Printmaking in the Transforming South Africa”, which took place in 1997 for the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, she came into contact with some of the lesser known printmakers working in the country – in particular black artists who had fallen below the radar.

Elizabeth Rankin, George Hallett and Philippa Hobbs“At that time we uncovered the consummate artistry of Clarke as we did the early research for the exhibition’s brochure. It was just amazing to find a man who had ploughed the furrow all on his own and produced such amazing work,” Ranking said. This was what led to the awareness that they really needed an artist’s biography dedicated to his life and work.

Rankin spoke of the heartbreaking news of Clarke’s death, which was mercifully peaceful. It posed a substantial challenge to them as writers. She reflected on the need to rewrite the book: “Changing the narrative from the present to the past tense was a most painful process,” she said.

Hobbs shared her recollections of working with the artist, and in particular the acrylic painting, “Anxiety”, that started her own research and writing process. “I was so drawn to a work done in 1966, that I decided to start there. It was done when he was still living in Simon’s Town, in the era just before forced removals. We’re looking at 1963 to 1970, that encapsulates the mood of the time. Peter said that people knew there was a distant rumble of disaster and trauma on the horizon. There was a lot of contestation and argument with authorities and people were horrified at the prospect of forced removals from Simon’s Town. Peter said there was a listlessness and passivity about the people,” she said.

Hobbs spent many hours in the Simon’s Town Museum, trying to work out the history of this traumatic era. She said that Clarke had depicted the time with irony and humour. “Those who knew him remember him as a man who reflected deeply on the time. He was also a man to see the human side, even the comical side. When he spoke of the trauma, he also told funny stories. He remembered a policeman, Tarzan Jacobs, who had a lot of henchmen. When they got hold of Peter, he knew he was a ‘gonner’ as the police van screeched to a halt.

“Tarzan started to rough Peter up. They picked through his pockets and saw his address book. He saw so many names he recognised, famous artists. He asked Peter about it and Tarzan then explained that he was also an artist. They started talking about art. In that moment, they were able to meet as artists. This was the power of Peter Clarke’s life and work. He humanised the people he met.”

Following the engaging talk by both the authors, Clarke’s lifelong friend George Hallett took the microphone. He recalled their invitation to the home of Jan Rabie and Marjorie Wallace which was interrupted by a visit from the police. Wallace hid them under the bed as one of her friends removed her clothes, except for her knickers. “We saw the boots from under the bed and the policeman suddenly departed saying, ‘O jammer‘ at the sight of a half-naked lady.”

Hallett, recalling the ambience in which they were brought up, said Clarke’s house in Sondersteen was our Harlem Renaissance. We listened to Abdullah Ibrahim and Beethoven. One of our friends picked up Mozart’s flute concerto. Peter said, ‘Be careful! That’s my entire record collection!’ He paid tribute to his friend in glowing terms, as did poet, James Matthews with a performance of his own poetry.

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Liesl Jobson tweeted live from the event using the hashtag #livebooks:


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