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Category: Visual Art

Universal soldiers, Egyptian mummies

ANIMAL FARM. TWO words which conjure up a quirky engagement with political horror, as they refer to one of the more important tracts of contemporary literature. Peter Mammes, in his current exhibition, It’s Already Too Late Once the Soldiers Have Arrived, touches on the kind of wisdom and […]

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Sad paintings that say so much

A SUBURBAN VERANDAH IN Johannesburg in the 1960s. The chairs are of a circular wire design, with criss-cross patterns on the seats, the table top, fashionable at the time. The space is harsh, defined by the Highveld light. The furniture stands without occupants. Waiting. The narrative that this […]

Ode to the life of a barn owl

IN 1970, AN extraordinary poem by South African poet Douglas Livingstone saw light of day. Gentling a Wildcat is a profound contemplation of the meaning of life as observed through a feast, conducted with frenzy by insects on the body of an animal. It’s about death viewed through […]

Stolen beauty that gives back

MEDITATIVE ENERGIES CAN be found in the most unexpected of places and often one needs just to still one’s inner noises and there it is, before you. There’s just one day left of Tamlin Blake’s extraordinary current solo exhibition, but it’s certainly worth changing your plans for. A […]

Two giants talking

THERE ARE ONLY a few days left in the season of arguably one of this city’s most important and best curated exhibitions. On Common Ground, put together by seasoned photographer Paul Weinberg, aligns and contrasts selected works of two of South Africa’s photographic giants – David Goldblatt and […]

Taking liberties with Lady Phillips

SHE WAS NOBODY. That is, until she met and married mining magnate Sir Lionel Phillips, and gave life to the possibility of the Johannesburg Art Gallery – amongst other things – which became central to much of her life’s ambition. Lady Florence Phillips is an icon in historical […]