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crocheting oil spills and living our art

Submitted by sproutscout on Wed, 2011-07-13 09:29

Masibambane Place MatMasibambane Place Mat

Grahamstown National Arts Festival is a time for late nights, soaking up all the Glühwein and all that’s cultural, and being generally frivolous and indulgent. For some, however, this is also a time of reflection. The artists’ imaginings of the world are reflected back to us and we catch a glimpse of what is, and what can be. For many artists Festival is a time for celebration of the arts, but also a time for introspection, for a re-evaluation of their art and its space in society. They are given a platform to display and delight, and through this help the audiences and themselves contemplate the place of art, to contemplate the flux of its dynamic form.

For Bronwen Salton, a Fine Art Masters student at Rhodes University, Festival offered up just such a place. It was a platform for her to explore a novel medium: plastic crochet. It was a space to negotiate how the techniques she employs can be transferred to the Grahamstown community. It was a time in which she could re-examine (and in so doing help us to re-examine) the notions of what ‘fine-art’ is, to whom it is applicable, and how it can recognize and respond to the problems the world faces.

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explore the oceans at the national arts fest

Submitted by sproutscout on Thu, 2011-07-07 19:13

Curtain of Crocheted CoralCurtain of Crocheted Coral

Slip into a small room in the corner of the Rhodes ELRC to find a momentary escape from the chatter and buzz of national arts fest, and explore the coral reef and ‘marine life’ you find yourself surrounded by. This exhibition, Reflection Synthetic, a collaboration between Simon Max Bannister and Woodstock Art Reef Project (WARP) explores the beauty of coral reefs, and craftily demonstrates the threats that reefs face.

a green guide to grahamstown festival

Submitted by sproutscout on Tue, 2011-06-28 18:15


It's that time of year again to bundle up, brave the cold, and devour the cultural feast South Africa has to offer at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival. This year it seems that environmental consciousness has seeped into some of the performances and workshops, creating an interesting place to explore the arts and the environment. What is collectively on our minds and in our hearts looks to be reflected on stage in some of the festival spaces.

A particularly interesting space you should explore is the Re-imaginings Forum, at the Environmental Learning Research Centre (ELRC) on Rhodes Campus. The space is set up to enable us to

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a buzz about recycling

Submitted by sproutscout on Fri, 2011-06-10 10:52

Coffee Cup Swarm (Photo care of Such Initiative)Coffee Cup Swarm (Photo care of Such Initiative)

If you happen to look up in the courtyard at the RMB building in the Sandton CBD this week you'll see a swarm of bees a-buzzing around your head, swirling up to the highest floors. These bees won’t sting or hover around your sweet drinks, but gently sway above your head in the breeze.

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eco design competition 2011 calls for "no kak" in design

Submitted by turbosprout on Wed, 2011-06-08 09:42

Eco Design Competition 2011Eco Design Competition 2011As the organisers put it: "Nokak is a beautifully South African way of expressing one's intolerance of nonsense!" And design can be full of, erm nonsense, to put it politely. The "Nokak" approach means removing waste, pollution and other harmful effects from the process and products being designed and produced.

The theme for Eco Design Inititive's 2011 competition is HOME. Because Home is where the heart is, it can be understood in any number of ways:

"The interpretation of HOME is relevant to each individual, based on our unique experiences, backgrounds and life situations; however, we do have one common HOME we all share – our Planet.

Designers are called to submit sustainable and innovative concepts for HOME. All creatives and innovators are invited to design to improve life and make a real difference!"

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the arts for a change of heart

Submitted by sproutscout on Tue, 2011-05-24 10:25

Well Worn Theatre Co.Well Worn Theatre Co.

Have you ever truly thought, if human actions remain unchanged, as the process of climate change sweeps the earth, how the mountains and deserts and landscapes known and loved by your eyes would transform? Have you ever truly thought how your life would be transformed? What would the specifics of gathering food, water and medicine be in such a changing world? Would you ever be able to use, other, taken for granted items, like showers and clean socks, and (dare I mention it) feminine hygiene products? More importantly, how would you be able to make (and keep) friends? Would you ever be able to shake hands? Would you still be able to love?

beautiful hand-made jewellery from frangipanni

Submitted by sproutingforth on Thu, 2011-05-05 11:29

Frangipanni is a community upliftment project, formed to help rural women to provide an income for their families by working at home on beautiful items, which require fine attention and uplife the soul.

If you want to make an order for some of these and others, contact Megan Braithwaite on 033 5070053 or Visit for other products.

i art sa - where community and art meet

Submitted by sproutingforth on Wed, 2011-03-23 10:23

I love stories like this one. Just last week, on a couple of walls in Woodstock, Cape Town, a small group of selected young artists with names like Pavement Special, Black Koki and Fuzzy Slippers (well, some of them, the others have more normal sounding names like Xanelle, Jonx Pillemer and Dathina Mzayiya) were busy painting a series of mural art.

It's a way of celebrating local artists, mural art and the original culture within the communities in which the art is shaped.

Street art is funky. It flies in the face of the idea of a gallery as the place in which art can function. And it acts as a 'bridge'; a connection between the community in which the art functions and the rest of the world that sees the art as a reflection of the community.

And in SA that's important, as the majority of people never see the inside of a gallery, nevermind local art.

green roofs

Submitted by sproutingforth on Tue, 2011-03-22 10:12

Love this pic. It's one of a series of such pictures on - well worth a look-see. It appears that Norwegians, at any rate, have been planting greenery on their roofs for years...

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design indaba showcases designers of social change - part 2

Submitted by sprout group hug on Tue, 2011-03-01 15:01

Pedro ReyesPedro Reyes
Pedro Reyes, who happens to be married to Carla, is one of the most inspiring (and prolific) designers/artists we've come across. He's initiated many cool projects, a lot of which have a social message, but the one that really got our attention was "Palas Por Pistolas", literally shovels for guns. The influx of cheap weapons from the US is a huge problem: over 2000 firearms come across the border daily. There is extreme gun availability in parts of

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