18 January 2011 by Dianne Tipping-Woods

Arting around Pretoria

I have travelled more than 8000 kilometres in the last month. Right now, even a trip to Joburg feels like more of a journey than I want to undertake. So I’ve been keeping it local the last few weeks and have discovered a few events that I otherwise may have missed.

Like the annual Pretoria Arts Association‘s member’s exhibition. The contributors are all amateur artists with various levels of skill and experience. There must have been about 50 or 60 paintings on display, with one or two photographic prints and a handful of sculptures. Paintings were priced between R750.00 and R3000.00 and represented great value for money.

I am also an amateur painter. I probably shouldn’t call myself that judging by the high standard of work on display at the event and the fact that I haven’t done anything in about 3 years. To quote Stephen Wright “I’ve been doing a lot of abstract painting lately, extremely abstract. No brush, no paint, no canvas, I just think about it.”

But being at the event reminded me of some of the reasons I love art - making my own and admiring that of others. Apparently Pretoria is full of people who feel the same way. We share a compulsion to capture fragments of the world as we live it, either on paper, through sculpture or with words. We strive to communicate something of an experience or articulate something about our lives that we momentarily comprehend, before it slips away.

The degree to which the rest of us get to share this experience increases proportionately with the skill of the artist. So we study and admire the most talented of painters, sculptors and photographers. We are grateful for the generosity of their works and amazed when it pulls something out from inside of us that we didn’t know was there.

So while my road tripping is on hold for a month or two, I’m going to take a different kind of trip in 2011. I’m going to find myself an art class to join and see what I discover along the way.

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