Friday, 17 February 2012

The piano is here!

Our music room is neither large nor grand. It is tucked into the corner of the secondary school here, an austere and neglected building on the top of the hill, its only saving grace being an amazing view of the sweep of the Keiskamma valley, river and Indian Ocean beyond. The other classrooms are empty broken shells; cracked windows, damaged excuses for desks and chairs, floors which are cratered and scarred. But our room is a little refuge; bright noticeboards, a clutter of music stands, marimbas waiting to be brought to life from under their grey protective covers.

Well now our room is just a little more crowded – but in the nicest possible way! A kind sponsor donated a piano to the Music Academy, which had to be transported all the way from Cape Town. And that is why, a couple of weeks ago during our regular Saturday workshop, a solid little van struggled up the hill towards school to the children's excited cries of, 'the piano is here!'

So yes, the piano was here, but accompanied only by the driver, who had no trolley or tools and then quietly requested that we summon six men to help him unload it! 6 men!! Jen and I looked mournfully at each other. Even with all our combined Canadian and British charm working flat out, it was going to be difficult to raise six sturdy males to assist early on a Saturday morning!

In the end we settled for two, and so the resourceful young Jon Liam, and Thabang our Trust Director, managed with a mixture of science and strength to prise it out of its wooden carton and manoeuvre it into place. As the children watched, suddenly hushed and curious, Jen carefully opened the lid of our new treasure and fingered a few notes. It had survived, and sounded remarkably sweet and tuneful after its long journey.

Now the first boy to start keyboard, Mkhululi, has graduated on to the piano, and many more are eager to learn. The beautiful sounds of Jen and Lisa playing in between their lessons further inspires our musical crew.

We extend a huge thank you to our donor, Anneke Viljoen,who parted with something very special in order to give these young people a richer musical experience. Thank you too to Peter Whelan, who organised and paid for the piano's road trip! And of course thank you to all our KMA friends and donors who help in so many ways to give the gift of Music.

Brenda Fishwick February '12

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Keiskamma Trust, Kidzpositive and Good Gifts partnership

As a thank you token for their Bike for a bakkie fundraiser, the Keiskamma Trust gave 370 dolls to Kidzpositive as gifts to the children they work with in Cape Town. These dolls are made by the Keiskamma Art Project with sponsorship from Good Gifts, a UK charity.

Read more:

Sunday, 5 February 2012

The A.R.T. Show / Make Art Stop AIDS

The A.R.T show has its KZNSA opening on Friday 10th of February at 6:00 pm.
To be opened by David Gere of UCLA.
It is presenting a printed and embroidered version of the Keiskamma Guernica.

The A.R.T. Show looks at the current HIV/AIDS situation where theoretically there is now widespread access to treatment. How is this reality affecting the lives of individuals, and the social structure of our society? This exhibition represents a variety of artworks examining both the triumphs and trials of this new phase in the AIDS epidemic.

The A.R.T. Show is curated by David Gere and Carol Brown. David will open the exhibition. There will also be a spoken word performance by EWOK.

David Gere will present a walkabout in the Gallery on FRIDAY 10 FEBRUARY at 11am – all welcome.

David Gere is a UCLA Professor and Executive Director of the Art and Global Health Centre. He teaches in the department of World Arts and Cultures where his focus is HIV and AIDS and arts activism.

Participating artists are: William Kentridge, Sara Anjargolian, Narineh Mirzaeian, Lunga Kama, Fritha Langerman, Daniel Goldstein, Gideon Mendel, Andrew Verster, Rosemarie Marriot, Peter Rippon, Gordon Froud, Trevor Makhoba, Lolette Smith, Clive Van den Berg, Jenny Stretton, Kim Berman, Vaughn Sadie, Akiko Nakaji, Jenna Burchell. Several collectives were commissioned - The Keiskamma Art Project, Woza Moya (Hillcrest AIDS Centre), Ardmore and the Siyazama Project. Xavier Clarisse designed and constructed the A.R.T. Cabinet.

The A.R.T Show opened at the Tatham Art Gallery in Pietermaritzburg on World AIDS Day, December 1st 2011. Following its showing at the KZNSA Gallery the exhibition will travel nationally and internationally.