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Sunday, August 17, 2014


(“Which Way?” - enamel work by Jean Powell)

Running in the Schreiner Gallery of the Tatham Art Gallery in Pietermaritzburg is Jean Powell: A Retrospective.

Now in her mid-80s, Jean Powell is an artist remembered as an active committee member of the KZNSA, the Friends of the Durban Art Gallery and other bodies. However, she is less well-known for her own productivity. She has discovered, taught and helped countless young people to develop skills and talents but few know the breadth of her work, nor her journey through life.

The exhibition shows selected examples of her fabric works, traditional graphic works, botanic studies, calligraphy, and her collaborations with architects in vitreous enamel and etched glass.

Powell trained in Britain, working in Kenya before coming to South Africa. She is one of the few art teachers still alive who taught on Salisbury Island in Durban. She went on to teach textile design at the University of Durban Westville, before moving to the Natal Technical College (now the Durban University of Technology). She was one of a group of dedicated artists that developed the talents of various communities in Natal under trying circumstances.

Jean Powell: A Retrospective runs until October 5 at 17h00. The Tatham Art Gallery is situated opposite the Town Hall in Chief Albert Luthuli Street, Pietermaritzburg. It is open from Tuesdays to Sundays from 10h00 to 17h00. More information on 033 392 2801 or visit