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The Association for Visual Arts (AVA) is a non-profit, membership-based arts organisation whose primary aim is the advancement and promotion of South African contemporary art and artists.
In 2004 the AVA received its certified NPO status from the Department of Social Development. The AVA Gallery is based in the heart of Cape Town, having occupied its current premises at 35 Church Street since 1971.It is the oldest non-profit art gallery in Cape Town.
Here contemporary visual art production is promoted through regular exhibitions showcasing all media – from painting through to ceramics, photography, installations and performance – by established and emerging artists. In its choice of artists, the selection committee endeavours to promote the discursive and experimental nature of contemporary art. In doing this the AVA seeks to make important contributions to the ‘open texture’ of South Africa’s art community.
Working with a combination of natural materials such as clay, charcoal and shellac, and combining these with synthetic substances, painter Michael Chitter creates richly layered, textured canvases.
Throughout his extensive career Chitter has delved deeply into both his own family history and the history of land displacement in South Africa, to create landscapes that evoke a strong emotional response from the viewer. Landscape is a symbolic medium I use to work through experiences of the then and now. Landscapes enrich my experience and appreciation for nature. The association of landscape and ownership of land, and delayed trauma of removal from one’s land, however, trigger sadness, regret and anger.
Abdus Salaam is a self-taught, multi-medium artist who works primarily with experimental and progressive classical forms of darkroom photography and oil paint on unconventional materials. Salaam's latest body of photography work is made entirely in the dark, with light forming a collection of abstract darkroom “light paintings". Using light, chemicals, photo paper and spontaneous, intuitive and instinctual gestures, each of Salaam's paintings are based on a unique intention as in “The Ocean of Limitlessness”, the poem that he places central in his exhibition.
Each work is a statement of experience in the search for the light of truth and purpose in an ever darkening world, through the artist’s re-embracing of Islam. This body of work is a holistic sharing of that experience and the understanding of the true nature of the tradition as a self transformative force of inward reflection, discovery and refinement; the struggle against the self “مجحدة” “Mujahada,” as related to the word Jihad meaning to struggle in seeking the highest capacity of ones humility, love, mercy and forgiveness for oneself and all of creation.
Inspired by his travels to various Africa cities, Richard Ketley’s latest body of work is a continued response to the vibrant and salubrious life of these cities.
The title "Bacchus and Boda Boda" blends together a classical, western, mythological figure with a uniquely African element: Bacchus, the Roman god of wine and festivities, and boda-boda, a Ugandan term describing the ubiquitous motorbike taxis, a common feature throughout Africa. The two symbols blend to capture a sense of the boisterous nightlife and youthful energy of African cities, contrasting with the widely held idea of the African city as a scene of poverty and alienation.
Ketley's works are rendered in oil and charcoal on translucent mediums, which allow the drawing to remain within the painting.
For me drawing is rather like my presence in the cities I capture; a rough and immediate and intermediary means of expressing – a flick of the hand, an instance, and observation of a line or movement, the visual equivalence of the sudden clatter of a bottle knocked over against the background of laughter. The painting, on the other hand, captures the sonorous moments of such evenings, interspersed with the clutter of horns and boda-bodas racing through the streets. - Richard Ketley
4 Steenberg Road, Tokai
50 Harrington Street
16 Buiten Street
153a Bree Street
160 Strand Street
Corner of Church and Loop Streets
52 Waterkant Street
64A Wale Street
56 Church Street