This week Port Elizabeth offers a fistful of art exhibitions at galleries in Central within close proximity and yielding a range of visual treats. They include:
Galerie Noko in Russell Road is hosting the colourful solo exhibition by Johan Bloom, Reflective Identities, which explores the human condition in vivid acrylics which are suggestive of the “dreamtime”.
His recent body of work takes a look at “our place in the universe, time and space. An exploration of our common ancestry. Finding similarities in indigenous art, early human visual expressions and our digitised world as a bridge between past and present”.
From this he creates images that are simultaneously tribal yet modern, with figures and imprints on canvas and steel sculptures resembling early rock art. These are accompanied by modern and ancient symbols as diverse as barcodes, @signs, pixilation and biometric fingerprints.
Reflective Identities is open until March and gallery hours are 10am to 6pm on weekdays and 10am to 4pm on Saturdays. Inquiries: Usen Obot, 073-088-5883 or Nelisa, (041) 582-2090.
ArtEC at 36 Bird Street, Central, hosts The Human Landscape until March 17. This exhibition includes sculptures, paintings and mixed media work, many of which give thought engaging and provoking insights into what it means to be “human”.
Many of the works are portraits such as Brunn Kramer’s thoughtful heads and Aneesa Loonat’s impressionistic collection titled Phantasmatic Simulacra.
Gallery hours are 9am to 4pm on weekdays. Inquiries: Zinzi Mabuso (041) 585-3641.
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum
The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum in Park Drive opens the “Remembering the SS Mendi exhibition today Tuesday, February 21 and it will run until May 18.
This sweeping exhibition of the historical shipwreck features more than 200 sketches culminating in an impressive triptych by Eastern Cape artist Hillary Graham. The artist captures harrowing scenes of the mass drownings in the roiling sea off the coast of Port Elizabeth.
The material hanging is taken from the Art Museum’s permanent collection and is going on display to commemorate the centenary anniversary of the sinking of the SS Mendi in 1907.
NMMAM also opens its Power of Drawing exhibition today, which displays both complete and preparatory drawings by Graham along with other luminaries such as William Kentridge, Penny Siopis and Fred Page.
Gallery hours are 9am to 5pm on weekdays, except Tuesday mornings and public holidays. Inquiries: (041) 506-2000.
GFI Art Gallery
The GFI Art Gallery in Park Drive is hosting a range of artists, with paintings, ceramics, sculpture, etc. among the exhibits.
Artists featured include well-known names such as Duncan Stewart, Prof Greg Kerr and Hennie Odendaal’s wooden sculptures, as well as others less well known.
Gallery hours are Monday to Friday from 10am until 4pm and on Saturday from 10am until 1pm. Inquiries: Robyn Sherwood, (041) 586-3973.
On Friday the NMMU Gallery on 36 Bird Street opens its masters students’ Graduate Exhibition which will include works by Rene Pirie, Jonathan van de Walt and Mellaney Ruiters.
The Graduate Exhibition will be open until March 24. and gallery hours are 9.30am to 3pm on weekdays. Inquiries: Hermolene Stenekamp, (041)504-3256.