Jannie van Heerden: Msinga Landscapes

An exhibition of oil paintings by Jannie van Heerden and wood sculptures by Zolani
Mpente will be opened by Daryl Houghton, at the African Art Centre on Wednesday, 12
May 2010.
The paintings on exhibition focus on the landscape of Msinga, a largely rural area
located in the deep gorges of the Tugela and Buffalo Rivers in KwaZulu Natal. Using a
deliberate expressionistic style, van Heerden manipulates medium and brush to capture
the rugged beauty of the landscape. “The Karoo has for many years been my source of
inspiration as it is unspoilt and primordial. For the present exhibition I have used the
Msinga area of KZN as my subject matter as it contains the same strong shapes and
distorted landscape ravaged by drought and further destroyed by overgrazing; trees and
plants become metaphors for life. They are set off against weathered and fantastical
rock forms” says van Heerden
Jannie is no stranger to the African Art Centre. Since 1990.he has worked tirelessly in
the promotion and development of art and craft in KwaZulu Natal. He has curated
numerous exhibitions and is co-author of Amagugu KwaZulu – Zulu Treasures
catalogue. In 2009, he published Zulu Basketry a definitive guide to contemporary
basket weaving from the Hlabisa area of KwaZulu Natal.
Jannie hold a Masters degree in Fine Art and a Diploma in Education. Until recently, he
was Deputy Chief Education Specialist-Visual Arts/Design, KZN Education Department,
were he headed Art and Crafts education in schools. He has participated in numerous
group exhibitions and had his first solo exhibition in Cape Town in 1973. His paintings
are represented in numerous private and corporate collections.
Zolani Mpente is a full time artist who resides near Port St Johns in the deep rural
Dedeni area. He started carving whilst still at school and very soon developed a
passion for the medium of wood. As a youngster he started carving sculptures of
domestic animals. When Zolani was completing Grade eleven his father passed away
and he had to find a way of making money to support his younger siblings. He very
soon mastered the technique of wood carving and started producing, scenes of rural
stock farming, Nguni Cattle and milking sets.
Zolani was greatly inspired and mentored by his brother in law, the late Julius Mfethe.
His preferred medium is Umgubhe, Umsimbithi, Umthunzi and Masethole wood which
he combines to achieve various textures and tones in wood.
Zolani hopes that his alliance with the African Art Centre will assist him in improving his
capacity as an artist in order for him to incur a sustainable income to support his family
and eventually build a studio from which he can work. .
The exhibition is sponsored by the National Lotteries Distribution Trust Fund and the W
K Kellogg Foundation.
The exhibition closes on 28 March 2010. For additional information contact the
Director, Sharon Crampton at 031-312 3805 or africanartcentre@afri-art.co.za