24 November 2010

Museums coming alive - at night

By: Zongezile Matshoba

It is with great interest to note that museums are doing great efforts to accommodate everyone, even at night. Firstly it was Cathy Lambley of Albany Museum’s the Education Department that did not want to miss such opportunity and fun, influenced by the movie, Night of the Museum 1, 2 and 3, by Shawn Levy. Lambley called her monthly programme Bedtime Stories. Children, armed with torches kindly donated by Pick n Pay’s John Campbell, sit around her listening to lovely museum related stories before exploring the dark galleries (lights are deliberately switched off).

Seemingly, another Eastern Cape museum, East London Museum has followed suite. Its programme which last about an hour-and-a-half starts with supper at 6pm, followed by the night tour at 7pm.

Friends of the museums, visitors, students, clubs, NGOs, CBOs, businesses, and government departments really need to come to the party and support ventures of this kind. Museums use this profit to sustain themselves.

Source: Daily Dispatch - Museum’s exhibits to ‘come to life’ at night

Report back on Sterkstroom Museum-Ithongo exhibition opening

On the 19th of November 2010-Albany Museum(Anthropology dept)went to attend Ithongo exhibition opening hosted by Sterkstroom Museum.The invite came as part of the colaboration made by DSRAC- Queenstown District office led by Mr Zuko Baninzi.

The exhibition focus was to redefine Diviners/Amagqirha's status in our new democratic dispensation to be respected and acknowledged consultants who like their western counterparts should practice their job in daylight.Previously these traditional consultants were somewhat ignored or defined as whitch doctors,something that highlights part of their job not necesarily focussing most on that.Yet that also affected their status in the communities they serve and to the people they offer service to.In other words they were looked down upon their calling and practice.Something that our current Government has revised inorder to give them space to practice even in state hospitals once they prove to be doing what they claim.

So we went there to support our collegues in promoting Divinity at a higher level.As well as their effort to strike balance since they also have loaned our Anthropological banners to be used for the exhibition.During the opening credit was given to Mr Mpho Molapisi who is the the initiator of the project and through which we later extended to know more about the diviners training process prior their declaration as fully fledged traditional consultants.

Coming to the programme,it was well publicised and supported by the community of Sterkstroom and surroundings.Not to mention the backing they have received from the Provincial dept of Sports,Recreation ,Arts and Culture under Museums and Heritage section.When it comes to the attendence the local municipality was represented,The Police sector,Local schools,Church community,Museum board ,Amagqirha/Diviners as well as other invited guests.We were fortunate to share the platform with the Museum and Heritage directorate to further market Albany Museum as champions of Outreach and educational programmes.We had a chance to open the minds of people about the vital role that our living cultural heritage does in our daily lives and so forth and also to install pride and dignity towards practioners themselves to support and work with museums.They must know that it is their place to visit and share their knowledge to those in need and for future referencing.Indeed this a very successful event.

Here are some of the photos taken on that day as follows:

09 November 2010

Deputy President recognises Museums

By: Zongezile Matshoba

It is with great interest to note that museums and their contribution to society are being recognised in the highest level of our government.

Deputy President of South Africa, Kgalema Motlanthe, delivering his keynote address at the launch of Ray Alexander-Simons Museum and Heritage Square, Gugulethu, Cape Town, said:

Establishing a museum and heritage square in Ray Alexander-Simons’ name will reflect history back to our people, especially the up and coming generation.

It is a positive step and should serve as a precedent for countless other comrades who are fading into historical amnesia after their selfless contribution to our freedom, often at a great cost to themselves.

The contents of this museum will bring our past back into life to remind the present and future generations that the present did not appear from nowhere.

The present is the outcome of the past and therefore the incubator of the future.
Often the clutter of the moment blinds us to these historical realities, of which comrade Ray was part of the agency that generated them.

As such this museum will be exhorting us to value the treasure inherent in a lived state of democracy without the tempting complacency to view it as a natural entitlement.

Interestingly, the 2011 theme for the International Museum Day under the banner of ICOM is Museum and Memory. Accordingto ICOM's website, the IMD 2011 will focus on the African continent whose cultural contribution to the world is often unknown and deserves to be promoted.

Albany Museum in Grahamstown, Eastern Cape Province, has been at the forefront in celebrating IMD by taking the museum to the people.

The Presidency
ICOM - IMD 2011

02 November 2010


Rhodes Fine Arts Graduate Student Exhibitions 2010

Following on the success of last year’s graduate student show ‘walkabout’, the Rhodes Fine Arts Department is pleased to present the graduate students for 2010.

This year’s exhibition event will take place on 3 November and will commence at the Art School Gallery in Somerset Street at 5pm and then move on to visit exhibition venues nearby.

The decision to showcase the graduate submissions in their entirety as opposed to an edited selection of work in the Art School Gallery was first initiated last year. In exhibiting all works in their various venues the integrity of the original submissions is maintained and the public is invited to view this in a number of exhibition sites and exciting installation spaces.

The graduate exhibitions represent the culmination of four years of focused study in the visual arts and reflect the art student’s growth of individual vision and often rigorous self-reflexive interrogation. Students have sought and found appropriate contemporary creative means to express diverse concepts and ideas, often in a strong and unique personal vocabulary.

This year’s submissions encompass a wide variety of media including, photography, performance, video, painting, drawing, sculpture, installation and print making.

Some of the shows in brief are Willem Venter’s ‘Lylekkerland’, a series of large scale drawings that examine the innate violence in the act of laughing; Jessica Foli’s reinvention of the classic fairy tale through sculpture in her ‘Happily Ever After?’; Cassandra Wilmot presents ‘Scan’ a three part interrelated series of print works inspired by issues around privacy and access, personal security and policing and Amirah Tajdin’s collection of photographs ‘The Garish Melancholy of Everywhere and Nowhere,’ took the artist on a quest through nine cities across America, the Middle East and South Africa in search of evocations of familiarity in characters and spaces.

The graduate students for 2010 are (in the order in which their work will be viewed): Whitney Turner, Ruth Nussbaum, Martin Lund, Rebekah Spyker, Willem Venter, Jessica Foli, Amirah M. Tajdin, Nicole Robinson, Jarrett Erasmus, Mary Hensman, Amie Tarr, Cassandra Wilmot, Lynne Avis, Daniel Hewson, Nyaniso Lindi, Mathias Chirombo, Krystal Kruger, Candice Cruse, Jo Higgins, Pips Heydenrych, Siphesihle Biyela, Warren Kernickm, Xanthé Jackson, Ivy Kulundu and Emalie Bingham.

A map to the various venues will be available at opening at the Art School Gallery along with an accompanying catalogue.
More information can be obtained by mailing Rat Western n.western@ru.ac.za

SOURCE: www.ru.ac.za .

Some of the Student Exhibitions can be viewed at the Albany History Museum and Natural Science Museum. Open on Mondays to Fridays ( 08h00 - 17h00).