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Saturday, October 11, 2008


KZN artists to exhibit in Cape Town.

Julia Meintjes Fine Art announces an exhibition of two exceptional artists, Nicola Leigh and Diamond Bozas – both from KwaZulu-Natal – at the Irma Stern Museum in Cape Town.

While Diamond Bozas is very established in KwaZulu-Natal, this is the first time that his work has been brought to Cape Town. He is now over 80 years old and has not had an exhibition for many years, making this event a unique opportunity for Cape Town residents and visitors to view his highly skilled paintings which invite the viewer into a quiet meditative space.

Born in Isipingo in KZN in 1923, Diamond Bozas now lives in Eshowe. After leaving school, he studied at the Chelsea School of Art in London from 1955 to1960. On his return, he founded the Zululand Society of Arts and was later largely responsible for the establishment of the TEACH Museum in Empangeni in the 1980s. He was also a prime mover in the building of the new Vukani Museum in 2001 in Eshowe which boasts one of the world’s best collections of Zulu art.

Bozas is a man of many artistic talents. His highly skilled oil and watercolour paintings invite the viewer into a quiet meditative space and many of his works celebrate the beauty of the KZN landscape. His work has been shown at numerous group and solo exhibitions in South Africa and he has also exhibited at the Royal Academy in London. In addition, he is represented in public and private collections in South Africa.

In contrast, Nicola (Nicky) Leigh's paintings are emotionally-charged, immediate and intensely coloured, seeming to come out at the viewer from the canvas. The surface of each painting is turbulent with gestural mark-making. She works in a variety of media but tends to use pastel, oil and occasionally watercolour (often the hardest of all, she says). Her subject matter ranges from landscapes, still life, animals, portraits, dream imagery, figures and nudes.

Nicky comments, “I am passionate about landscape, in particular rocks and bushveld. Other favourite subjects are animals, especially horses, nudes in landscapes and flower still life. Many things inspire me – of course, beauty - but often a subject grabs me in an emotional or spiritual way. I try and give the subject a spiritual significance so that the viewer sees the subject through different eyes. Through my recreation of it, it is given significance – everyday sights taken for granted by many take on a new meaning.”

Nicky has had two solo exhibitions and exhibited on numerous joint exhibitions over the years. One exhibition, “Animals in Captivity”, was especially meaningful for her, allowing her to express her feelings about animals in zoos and the violation of their natural habitat by humans.

The youngest generation of the Everard Group, Leigh is an experienced mid-career artist in her 40s. Bozas is twice her age, presenting an exhibition from two people at very different points in their lives. Of interest is that, while their very dissimilar personalities affect the way they approach subject matter, both work from real landscape or still life and both are deeply 'indebted' to Nature.

The exhibition runs at the Irma Stern Museum in Cecil Road, Rosebank, Cape Town, from October 22 to November 8. More information on 011 788-0820 or from Julia Meintjes on 083 675-1825; e-mail: or