national Arts Festival Banner

Thursday, May 30, 2013


Derek Staniland, for many years former Dean of the Faculty of Arts at Technikon Natal (now Durban University of Technology - DUT), passed away peacefully earlier this week on May 28, 2013. He taught from the late 60’s at what was formerly the Durban School of Art.

“Derek ran the Saturday morning art classes at the Tech at the end of West Street and one will never know how many of today’s artists got their first taste for art there,” says visual arts luminary, Andrew Verster. “He used to supervise the classes which were taught by senior students for their teaching practice.”

Ian Sutherland, who lectures in Design History at DUT, says: “I have known Derek since 1969 and was one of those Saturday morning students who benefited from his training in basic design and history of art. He was a very warm, nurturing kind of person and as a teacher he was very dedicated. When Tony Aboud (Head of Fashion and Textiles) was suffering from cancer, Derek and his wife Fiona took Tony into his home and cared for him until he passed on.”

As evidence to his dedication to his upliftment of youngsters, Staniland returned to DUT after his retirement and worked since the merger in 2003 on the Foundation Programme, helping students to gain access to the institution’s art and design courses. He was a founder member of the Design Education Forum of Southern Africa (DEFSA).

The funeral service to celebrate Derek's life will be held at St Thomas Anglican Church, Musgrave Road, Musgrave, tomorrow (May 31) at 10h00. In lieu of flowers, a retiring offering will be taken in favour of Highway Hospice.