Gallery draws on great cre­ators

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - YAZEED KAMALDIEN

WHILE the newly opened Norval Foun­da­tion gallery in Steen­berg is bold ar­chi­tec­turally, its strength is not in its phys­i­cal­ity, but its di­verse cu­ra­to­rial team.

Norval’s per­for­mance artist mul­ti­dis­ci­plinary team com­prises mu­si­cian Kyle Shep­herd along­side per­for­mance artist Khany­isile Mbongwa, who last year was part of the cu­ra­to­rial team for public arts fes­ti­val In­fect­ing the City.

Also part of the team are aca­demics Karel Nel, an as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor at the Wits Univer­sity arts school and Por­tia Malatjie, a for­mer gallery direc­tor of the As­so­ci­a­tion for Vis­ual Arts.

Norval’s ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor, Elana Brun­dyn, also has a solid track record in the arts fra­ter­nity, adding to its cred­i­bil­ity as an in­sti­tu­tion. She was founder of the com­mer­cial Brun­dyn Gallery and spent the past two decades work­ing in the arts.

Dur­ing a walk­a­bout through Norval’s gallery rooms, restau­rant, sculp­tures and other fea­tures, Brun­dyn elab­o­rated on the plans.

The non-profit gallery space has been op­er­at­ing for only two weeks and its de­but shows in­di­cate an ap­petite for va­ri­ety.

“We have lo­cal, African and be­yond, any­thing that we find our com­mu­ni­ties will re­late to,” said Brun­dyn.

“It helps a lot that our cu­ra­to­rial team is di­verse. Every­body has a strong voice. It’s not one voice. Cu­ra­to­rial meet­ings have every­body com­ing with ideas. That’s where the in­ter­est­ing con­ver­sa­tions are.”

The cu­ra­to­rial team’s in­ten- tion to in­ter­vene with provo­ca­tions and elicit con­ver­sa­tions is mean­while ev­i­dent.

“We are in an art-lov­ing city. We want to put up great ex­hi­bi­tions and be a plat­form where our artists are proud to ex­hibit,” she said.

PIC­TURE: YAZEED KAMALDIEN

The newly opened Steen­berg-based gallery also fea­tures a restau­rant named af­ter lo­cal artist Ce­cil Skotnes.

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