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Sunday, July 26, 2015


(Claudine Alexander of Premier Foods with the Nyala artpiece that kickstarted the collaboration)

Music might be the food of love but an art exhibition in Durban will help nourish, feed and bring about social change. For the first time, a collaboration between a well-known mixed-media artist and a maize meal brand will support the community at grassroots level through feeding schemes and a sewing project.

Artist, Marian Immerman, was invited by the Umcebo Trust to participate in the Intellectual Property exhibition currently running at the KZNSA Art Gallery. Immerman is one of a select group of artists who is exhibiting work that has a strong eco, recycling or social message.

“For years I have been passionate about what I refer to as the three ‘Rs’ – Renaissance, Rebirth and Restoration - which all talk to taking something old, breathing new life into it to make it new and thus continuing the circle of life, while restoring dignity and respect,” says Immerman. “The piece I am showcasing embraces animal conservation and I have used different mediums, such as fabrics and recycled items, to create a statement piece under the heading ‘Art with a Purpose – Cyclical Journeys’.

She goes on to explain: “The focal point of my multi-faceted piece is the metal armature Nyala, a spiral horned antelope native to Southern Africa, mounted on a dartboard and woven with fabric off cuts, earrings, buttons and belts. The message: there are two kinds of players, those who play the game fairly and those who don’t.”

The Nyala is also the proud logo of a maize meal brand that goes back more than half a century. Milled specifically for Kwa-Zulu Natal, it is enriched with vitamins and minerals and is a firm favourite and a staple in many homes.

“Through my art pieces I have also tried to make a difference to disadvantaged communities in rural areas and so, by using the Nyala, I have co-opted the support of Premier to donate Nyala Super Maize Meal to three projects in the Nsimbini area,” says Immerman.

Around 25% of the 20,000 population in Nsimbini are orphans and one of their greatest needs is food security. Via the auspices of ‘A Centre That Serves’ (ACTS) three deserving projects in the rural area of the KZN South Coast were identified and will receive 30 x 12.5kg bags of Nyala Super Maize Meal to help provide meals for community members. The beneficiaries are: The Khaya Langa Pre-School Feeding, The Nsimbini Community Centre Feeding Project and the Igugu La Bantu Sewing Project.

“Growing Together is Premier’s mantra,” says Brand Manager, Peane Maponyane of Premier, “and we are happy to be working with ACTS and Marian Immerman to help feed those in need. We know our maize meal might be one of the humblest of breakfast porridges but it is an integral part of meal times every day and offers a balanced, nutritious meal that is rich in vitamins, iron, potassium and magnesium. We hope that in some small way our contribution will help enable those in the Nsimbini community to break out from the cycle of poverty.”

Intellectual Property runs until August 15 at the KZNSA Gallery at 166 Bulwer Road, Glenwood, in Durban. More information on 031 277 1703, fax 031 201 8051 or cell 082 220 0368 or visit