Bag Factory Art, Johannesburg, South Africa 05 Apr 2019 - 06 Apr 2019
Vincent Baloyi, "The Wind", 2016. Courtesy of the Artist
The Bag Factory Artists’ Studios, The Swedish Embassy in Pretoria, the Wits School of Arts, and the Department of Visual Arts and Sloyd Education at Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts and Design (Stockholm, Sweden) are organising an open two-day symposium.
Following the Rorke’s Drift and Konstfack – Stories told and yet not told seminar held at Konstfack on 18 April 2018, the symposium takes as its starting point the shared history Sweden and South Africa have in relation to the specific connection to the Evangelical Lutheran Church’s (ELC) Arts and Craft Centre at Rorke’s Drift. Today, 56 years since its inception, some of this history is known, but few people know about the impact ELC Arts and Craft Centre has had on the South African art scene. Equally, few know that it was a young Swedish art teacher trained at Konstfack, Peder Gowenius and his wife Ulla Gowenius, a textile artist also from Konstfack, who played a key role in establishing the Centre in 1963.
What can we learn from histories about (the fight for) democracy, culture, education and the arts? South African photographer and filmmaker Cedric Nunn’s documentary film Rorke’s Drift Revisited , will be screened along with a film made by Konstfack lecturer Viktoria Kindstrand. In the latter film, Kindstrand interviews Peder Gowenius who tells his story about both struggle and success with the ELC Arts and Craft Centre. These screenings, in conjunction with a panel discussion and presentations, will frame a wider discussion about bilateral collaboration, the need for ongoing research, existing projects and artistic and pedagogical exchange.