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Thursday, January 28, 2016


(Pen and ink drawing of J Coney & Son, Corner of Chapel (Peter Kerchhoff) and Pietermaritz streets, Pietermaritzburg, made by Carola Brotherton in 1967)

An exhibition titled Building History: Drawings and Prints of historic Pietermaritzburg buildings by Carola Brotherton opens at the Tatham Art Gallery in Pietermaritzburg on February 7.

Artist Carola Gordon (nee Brotherton) was born in India in 1940 but grew up in Pietermaritzburg. In the 1960s, when she was a student and teacher in the Department of Fine Art, University of Natal (now University of KwaZulu-Natal), she created art works around many old inner city buildings.

This exhibition from the Gallery’s permanent collection comprises pen & ink drawings and linoprints of a number of Victorian and Edwardian buildings in the centre of Pietermaritzburg. Carola focused on the exteriors of the buildings, often emphasizing the two-dimensional character of their cast iron decorations.

On the exhibition each building is juxtaposed with a photographic image of what is found at that street address in August 2015. The display shows that, subsequent to Carola’s documentation, some buildings have been restored, some altered, and some have developed signs of deterioration. Two of the buildings have been demolished.

Carola and her husband, Martin Gordon, now live in Edinburgh, where she is a well-known Scottish artist who still pursues her lifelong interest in depicting historic buildings.

Building History: Drawings and prints of historic Pietermaritzburg buildings by Carola Brotherton will be officially opened on February 7 in the Tatham Art Gallery’s Schreiner Gallery at 10h30 for 11h00. The opening speaker will be the Tatham’s Director, Brendan Bell.

Catalogues will be avalable at a cost of R100 each.

A full educational programme has been planned around Building History which includes:

February 13 at 11h00: Free Talk - Pietermaritzburg buildings from 1860 to the present - by Simon Haw in the Lecture Theatre
February 20 from 14h30 to 16h30: Bring-and-Tell Day
February 27 at 11h00: Free Talk - The advent of electricity in Pietermaritzburg - by Debbie Whelan in the Lecture Theatre
Bookings are essential through Kobie at 033 3922 819 or

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. Café Tatham is open on Saturdays. Safe parking with a car guard available. More information on 033 392 2801 or visit