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Author Archives

Robyn Sassen

A freelance arts writer since 1998, I fell in love with the theatre as a toddler, proved rubbish as a ballerina: my starring role was as Mrs Pussy in Noddy as a seven-year-old, and earned my stripes as an academic in Fine Arts and Art History, in subsequent years. I write for a range of online and print publications, including the Sunday Times, the Mail & Guardian and artslink.co.za and was formerly the arts editor of the SA Jewish Report, a weekly newspaper with which I was associated for 16 years. This blog promises you new stories every week, be they reviews, profiles, news stories or features.

Gold and its discontents: a portrait of Johannesburg with failures

EVEN BEFORE YOU enter the space of Toni-Ann Ballenden’s show City of Gold: Cash for Scrap, in Gallery 2, you’re beset with a sense of playfulness that underpins an earnest idea of a plotted cityscape. There is an installation called Folly in the gallery’s window that speaks of […]

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Drawings for the birds

In 1943, a curious little book of stories about animals was published. Little Veld Folk was penned by one Cecil J. Shirley, it was aimed at a child readership, but its intense pen and ink drawings, particularly one about a bird who was vain, offers an edgy glance […]

A cacophony of thoughts on Africa

THE ARCHITECTURAL DRAMA of the ramp and the entrance point to Circa gallery sets the tone for In/Dependence, a solo exhibition by Robert Slingsby, and the energy and force is carried through in a dramatic, intense installation, but there are elements of excess in the presentation and articulated […]

Dr Seuss, drowned out

PLEASE BE WARNED: STROBE LIGHTS ARE USED IN THIS PRODUCTION! TAKE A LOOK at the world around you. Every inch of everything you glance at is striving for your attention, be it in the form of social media or marketing or beggars in the street, touting their misery. […]

For the love of Fanny Brice

WHEN THE UNIVERSE presents a possibility in your life that is unequivocally wrong, but still, it’s there, what do you do? A chance encounter with a literary letter when she was down and out and had no where to turn, represented an important turning point for American writer, […]

How to dance up a storm

WHAT ARE THE basic parameters that inform a festival of contemporary dance? Should there be a gatekeeper who assesses wannabe shows on the gig and plays god, in his or her ability to give a hopeful group of applicants the ‘yay’ or ‘nay’? And who is that gatekeeper? […]