national Arts Festival Banner

Saturday, April 4, 2009


The Expression of Containment in Contemporary South African Art.

The term “harbour” refers to a sheltered port where ships can take on or discharge cargo; in effect a space for moving things from one place to another; a point of entry or exit. This is the starting point for the exhibition Harbour: The Expression of Containment in Contemporary South African Art which is currently running at the KZNSA Gallery.

A second definition is that of sanctuary; a place of refuge or safety. Here, harbour is used as a conceptual metaphor to extrapolate the separation between the inside and the outside.

Both these definitions refer to the noun and plays out their action in the verb “containment”, a state in South Africa deeply entrenched within societies, geographies, psychologies and biochemical memories. The first component of the exhibition seeks to explore this containment.

The second component of the exhibition examines the verb form of the word “harbour”, altogether a more sinister definition. Here, harbour means to shelter in secret (in the context of fugitives or criminals); or to hold back a thought or feeling (as in to harbour a grudge or resentment). The curatorial interest here is the discrepancy and variability between the enacted and the perceived.

The third component examines the term harbour as the obsessive collection of objects. The curatorial intention is to create links between the collection and harbouring of objects and their re-configurement in order to make new collections, new fields, new harbours.

Curated by Brenton Maart, the exhibition features work by Andrew Verster, Andries Botha, Chad Barber, Clayton Human, Doung Jahanjeer, Greg Streak, Joanne Bloch, Lisa Jaffe, Marco Cianfanelli, Natalie Payne and Tracy Payne.

Harbour: The Expression of Containment in Contemporary South African Art runs until April 19 at the KZNSA Gallery which is situated at 166 Bulwer Road, Glenwood, in Durban. More information on 031 277 1703, fax 031 201 8051 or cell 082 220 0368 or visit