The journey begins in the front room with Helen Pfeil’s beautifully rendered impressionist boats and beach cottages, and takes you further afield to Lucia Earl’s paintings of the beautiful and ruggedly built fishing boats around the southern shores of Lake Victoria.
Unique Carved wooden doors and tables from the flood plains of the Zambezi River Valley pay tribute to the Tonga tribe who had to leave behind their ancestral burial grounds and homes in the 50’s when the Kariba Dam was built. The rough texture and painting of these doors contrasts sharply with the astonishingly realistic carving of a laughing dove by local sculptor Mike Stripp.
Moira Jacob’s hand painted Nguni table and mat provide a perfect backdrop for Marion Weymouth’s Nguni pastel “Watchful Eye”. Her talent as a pastel artist is unsurpassed and definitely worth a second look.
The large vibrant oil paintings of Sonnett Olls “Dance of Life” and “Home Life” are energetic and colourful, in contrast with her watercolour roses and the flower watercolours of well known local artist Margie Bolt which adorn the walls of the adjoining room. Margie Bolt’s and Sally Bekker’s land and seascapes show more local talent. Sally Bekker’s “Dripkelders” captures the spirit of our indigenous forest perfectly.
Francis Sibanda’s happy, colourful and tongue in cheek paintings of slices of township life are refreshingly positive alongside the Robben Island Lithographs of Nelson Mandela. “My Robben Island” are images that Nelson Mandela found deeply meaningful during the period of his incarceration on the island. “Today when I look at Robben Island I see it as a celebration of the struggle and a symbol of the finest qualities of the human spirit, rather than as a monument to the brutal tyranny and oppression of apartheid. It is true that Robben Island was once a place of darkness, but out of that darkness has come a wonderful brightness, a light so powerful that it could not be hidden behind prison walls …. I have attempted to colour the island sketches in ways that reflect the positive light in which I view it”
Visit the gallery at 18 Gordon Street, Knysna. The exhibition will run until the end of July 2012.