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Thursday, 29 March 2007 11:54

Face and POTART I

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{pp}FACE - Downstairs at 34 Long, 3 April to 5 May 2007. Portraiture is an ancient art form, twenty seven thousand years at least, as confirmed by a drawing of a face discovered on a cave wall in rural France last year.

Yet it remains one of the most contemporary of expressions, infinitely malleable, universally understood or misinterpreted, public yet intimate.
Making no attempt to explain the mystique of portraiture, FACE presents a random selection of portraits by a variety of artists. The exhibition offers no answers, indeed asks no questions, except one: is a face a necessary aspect of portraiture?

Artists whose work is included on the show include Matthew Hindley, Peter Eastman, Marlene Dumas, Norman Catherine and others.

POTART I - (Ceremonial Zulu and contemporary vessels) A collection of superb Zulu pots will be on display in the upstairs gallery at 34 Long from 3 April to 5 May 2007.

Clay pots are an integral part of traditional Zulu life; they are used for ceremonies honouring the ancestors, for storing food and for beer. The highly valued skills of fashioning pots from local clay, decorating them in classical Zulu designs and firing them in open grass-fuelled fires are transmitted from mothers to daughters. It is a time-honoured practice requiring not only traditional knowledge, but also patience and physical strength.

Clay deposits are sometimes far from family homes; the clay has to be dug by hand, sieved, dried and matured, then wedged and rolled before being coiled into pots of varying sizes and shapes. Surfaces are smoothed and burnished with whatever utensils come to hand, like a piece of calabash, an old spoon or smooth pebbles. Raised decorations are painstakingly affixed before firing takes place. These decorations may be pure embellishment, or, more often, they include clan symbols or tell mythical stories of village life.

The starkly elegant shapes, beautiful surfaces and high esteem in which clay pots are held in Zulu culture have, with justification, attracted the attention of collectors world-wide.

The exhibition includes only pots that were originally used in domestic contexts. Among them are revered ceremonial vessels and some exciting contemporary examples.

Contact Details:
34 Long Street
Cape Town, South Africa
Tel: +27 82 354 1500
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Gallery hours Tuesday - Friday 9h00-17h00 Saturday 10h-14h00
or by appointment tel. +27 21 426 4594
www.34long.com

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