A recent recipient of an Arts & Culture Trust Development Grant, ROOM will present its 2nd exhibition part of the project’s 2012 artistic programme.
ROOM is a new independent multi-disciplinary exhibition and project-based space, based in the vibrant design hub of Braamfontein. The gallery will host the artist Mandy Johnston’s debut solo exhibition of sculptural works, titled Subject to Change from 19 April to 13 May 2012.
ROOM aims to be a part of an interrogative and constructive urban culture, which draws its references from its surrounding environment and by doing so, informs its visual sensibility, creative programming and values. The Project has recently been selected for a Development Programme grant by the ACT Board of Trustees. The Programme is designed to enhance the continued development of arts and culture in South Africa and provide support for the development and presentation of new work, professional development and training for the youth.
Maseda Ratshikuni, Head of Cause Marketing at Nedbank (which was instrumental in the formation of ACT and continues to support it through its Arts Affinity programme) says “the awarding of an ACT Development grant to ROOM represents the continued commitment of the Trust to developing and showcasing South Africa’s plethora of artistic talent. The ACT Development grants are far more than just financial support for arts and culture initiatives,” explains Ratshikuni, “they are a vital way of ensuring that all forms of South African art enjoy the profile and importance they deserve as promoters of dialogue, cultural unity, and national pride.”
This forms a strong alignment of synergies with the vision of Maria Fidel Regueros, Founder and Artistic Director of ROOM and Urbanart Projects, who says it “hopes to be a context, which increases awareness of the multitude of creative production, through the projects it engages with (be they visual art, poetry, music, performance based); and a platform for young, emerging and established artists, collaborative projects, inter-disciplinary dialogue and exchange.”
“What we aim to showcase at ROOM are exhibitions like Mandy’s which are challenging in nature, encourage debate and thus add dimensionality to what we perceive as Art,” says Maria Fidel Regueros.
Johnston’s exhibition investigates the formation of value, through the use of materials that have both present and historical references. These are substances for which people have given their lives and for which lives have been traded. A series of sculptures incorporate the use of salt, sand, copper, diamond and ruby dust, poppy seeds, ivory, abalone and cowrie shell, steel, silk and plastic. The artist expresses her interest in the notion that things are often defined by their antithesis and that at times the formation of a value is around the threat of absence. “I like that these concepts are slippery and that value will shift with time”, Johnston says.
Johannesburg-born Johnston graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand in 2003 with a Masters Degree in Fine Arts, and currently teaches art part-time. She has been involved in many inner city initiatives and is the workshop co-ordinator for Assemblage – a not-for-profit artist facilitation organisation, with whom she has participated in a number of group shows including the Joburg Fringe Art Fair. She has also been selected for Absa L’Atelier and Sasol New Signatures, and was a 2011 Merit award winner in the PPC Young Concrete Sculptor Awards.
ROOM is proudly supported by the Arts & Culture Trust, Business and Arts South Africa, SBT JUUL Africa, Buz Publicity, Graphic Mail, Glo Lighting & Living, Play Braamfontein, Exposure Gallery & Lomography.
ROOM is a new and independent initiative led by Urbanart Project. It aims to showcase visual arts focused, multi-disciplinary programmes of exhibitions; on-line and off-site projects; and provide mainly emerging artists with agency and opportunities to present their work; and to build workable and effective models for the successful implementation of independent, artist-led and -run projects.
ABOUT THE ARTS & CULTURE TRUST (ACT)
The Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) is South Africa’s premier independent arts funding and development agency. Go to www.act.org.za for more information about ACT, its funding programmes, criteria for assessment and submission of applications online. Follow the ACT on Twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/actorgza or like the Trust’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Arts-Culture-Trust-ACT/162339817162875.
ABOUT NEDBANK ARTS AFFINITY PROGRAMME
The Nedbank Arts Affinity programme is one of four multi-award winning programmes. Since inception the Nedbank Arts Affinity programme has raised over R15 million in support of 670 arts, culture and heritage projects countrywide. The announcement of projects selected for support on 15 March 2012 has seen an increase of projects supported of 36.6% in comparison to the year before. Amongst these projects are the Academic and Non-Fiction Authors Association of South Africa’s national workshops, a Visual Arts Incubator Programme, the Hillbrow Inner City High Schools Drama Festival, ROOM in Braamfontein and the Arts Writers & Critics Mentorship Programme.
Donations to the Nedbank Arts Affinity programme are made as follows:
Credit Cards: a percentage of the purchases made on Nedbank Arts Affinity credit cards is donated to ACT, at no cost to the client;
Savings Account: an initial contribution of R2.50 is made on opening a Nedbank Arts Affinity Savings Account and a percentage of the daily credit balance is donated to the ACT, at no cost to the client;
Current Accounts: when opening a Nedbank Arts Affinity Current Account, clients receive a Nedbank Arts Affinity chequebook and a fixed amount is donated to ACT at no cost to the client for every new chequebook ordered;
Investment Accounts: a percentage of Nedbank Arts Affinity Investment Account, the total donation is based on the client’s average monthly balance - the higher the client’s monthly investment balance, the more Nedbank will donate to ACT, at no cost to the client.
To become involved and make a difference in supporting arts and culture in South Africa please visit any Nedbank branch or call 0860 DO GOOD (364663). For more information please visit www.nedbankarts.co.za
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The Arts & Culture Trust