The Nyanga Arts Development Centre in Kugalo Avenue was abuzz with activity on Sunday May 7, as artists from Southern Africa came to exchange ideas and learn new techniques.
They were part of a two-week workshop hosted by the Thupelo Cape Town Trust to provide artists from diverse cultural, national and social backgrounds a rare opportunity to work with fellow artists in an intense yet supportive environment.
The invited artists met at the centre for the first time on Tuesday May 2.
The workshop was supported by the Greatmore Studios in Woodstock and the Department of Arts and Culture and was led by Thupelo founder members, Jill Trappler and Velile Scha.
The organisers said the creative process used in the workshop was designed to facilitate personal artistic growth through the sharing of ideas, experiences, techniques and disciplines.
Ms Trappler said they had been planning the workshop for some time and it was different from others as it had no theme.
“We have been working to link with Nyanga Arts Development Centre. We felt there must be people responding to the call. We then selected 18 artists from here and four from outside Cape Town including Zimbabwe.” she said.
Ms Trappler said the aim was to bring together a diverse group of artists with experience who were positive about the future.
“People started nervously because there was no theme. It was tense when they started, but now they are all having fun. We have painters, sculptors, fine artists, designers and many others. But they need to learn from each other. What I like is the fact that they are surrounded by good people,” she said.
She defined it as a privilege to have such a gathering of people in the heart of Nyanga.
Workshop co-ordinator Zipho Dayile said the sharing of ideas often happens among people, and artists produced work depending on the spaces they found themselves in.
“Once you put them in an unpopular environment, they become more creative and come up with excellent work,” she said.
Artist Tendai Mupita from Zimbabwe spoke highly of the workshop.
“I cannot say I am this kind of artist though I am more into drawing. I am currently learning more here. It is good to be here. On a daily basis I steal ideas and techniques. I am now busy doing something with envelopes. I saw some using tins, others dead wood. It is a great experience to be here,” he said.
* On Saturday May 13, the artists will display their work from noon to 3pm at the Nyanga Arts Development Centre.