P.J.Simelane Secondary School project by
David Andrew and Marcus Neustetter
at the Sandton Civic Gallery
on the 24 October 2007, 18:00
as part of Art Bank Joburg’s annual exhibition: Paper cut
also featuring the Phumani Paper project with works by
Bronwen Finlay, Flora More, Maja Marx, Mamothusi Harvey, Mary Wafer and Nirupa Singh
Exhibition closes: 7 November 2007
Over the last 4 months David Andrew and Marcus Neustetter have been experimenting with creative interventions in collaboration with learners from the PJ Simelane Secondary School in Dobsonville, Soweto.
Interventions in the school started with the art classroom, tackling surfaces such as the walls, ceiling, floor, notice boards and windows with creative outcomes in the form of painting, masking, pinning-up, measuring, mapping, and layering through an interactive process of participation and then spread to different sites in the school with temporary and permanent experiments.
From the simple act of arranging bricks or folding paper to site research, mapping ideas and asking questions of often taken for granted spaces, the processes have been a dialogue of facilitated expression and simply applying creative activities to the structural and social surfaces of the school.
With the support of Art Bank Joburg (committing to buy resulting work from the project), buy-in by approximately 40 learners, the art teacher Lucas Matjila, the principal of the school, Vera Makhubela, and the assistance of Swedish exchange students, Tova Björkquist, Sofie Lind, Emma Ekelund and Elisabet Jonsved, the project has been able to visualize different sites of the school and make an impact on 5 of these sites. While most of the interventions are temporary and seemingly momentary experiences, the dialogue, response, creative confidence and enthusiasm and resulting personal growth of the participants has been noticeable.
While it has become evident that this is an ongoing process, the artists have aimed to complete their first process of interventions by mid October 2007. The result: temporary and permanent traces of their activities at the school culminating in an Open Day event (5th October) and resulting documentation in the form of photographs and drawings of their activities and a reinterpretation of the experience for the Paper Cut exhibition hosted by Art Bank Joburg at the Sandton Civic Gallery (24 October).
A number of artist’s in schools projects have taken place in the Eastern Cape, Gauteng and the Free State provinces over the last few years and the P.J.Simelane Secondary initiative seeks to extend the case studies emerging from these sites. These collaborative projects have provided evidence of how creativity can become more central to the experiences of teachers, learners and artists in school contexts.
For more information please contact
Marcus Neustetter 082 929 1569 – firstname.lastname@example.org
David Andrew 082 451 3987 – David.Andrew@wits.ac.za