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Monday, September 4, 2017


There will be three much-anticipated, internationally-acclaimed major art exhibitions, as well as over 100 local artists to see this year.

This year, the main Grindrod Theatre complex houses four exciting exhibitions. Situated in the Norman Dunn Gallery on the ground floor, is A Significant Life, the world’s foremost photographic collection on the life and times of venerated South African anti-apartheid politician, activist and philanthropist, who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela presented by commissioned photographer to Mandela, Matthew Willman.

You can join Willman at his two lectures, and hear his touching story, poignant memories and personal anecdotes in Memorial Hall: A Significant Life (September 17 @10h00) and A Life Less Ordinary (September 16 at 13h00).

Upstairs in the library, Africa Media Online is thrilled to announce the World Press Photo Exhibition. This is the first time in many years that the exhibition will be presented in KwaZulu-Natal, and the first time at the province’s foremost arts festival. In conjunction with the exhibition, Africa Media Online will be screening eight documentaries about the lives and works of leading photographers over the festival. The exhibition / screening package is a ticketed event. The exhibition and screenings will be in the Raymond Slater Library in the Centenary Centre at Hilton College. DocuFest Africa will be held in Lecture Theatre A.

Another first at the fest, a series of sketches by Maestro Federico Fellini will be on display in the theatre foyer and Centenary Room. The exhibition is made up of 21 A1 prints by the iconic film-maker in different periods of his career, displaying his wicked sense of humour, his somewhat wacky world view and charmingly captured moments. Many drawings are from the famed The Book of Dreams, the dream-diary Fellini wrote for about 30 years, and some give insight into his fixation with food, and have an overt food / dining motif. Complimenting the drawings, there will be screenings of two short movies: Food in the Cinema of Fellini and Long Journey – a short animation based on the Maestro’s drawings

Also in the Centenary Centre is photography exhibition by Harry Lock, entitled Out of Character. Lock has for several years captured behind-the-scenes portraits of people involved in the festival. Often without make-up, and away from the spotlight, easel, microphone and instrument - Lock has captured well-known names in magnificent portraits. This year, the portrait exhibition looks back on the 2016 festival.

Two affiliated events of interest to lovers of art are Strauss and Co who will be at the festival. Their Strauss Online auction runs concurrently with the Hilton Arts Festival this year. Their September online auction goes live on September 8 and closes September 18. Festival guests can participate in the auction from the Strauss and Co stand in the Centenary Room. Experts will be on hand to give information about the online buying platform and artist information. They will also offer free valuations of works of art.

On Saturday at 16h30, Alastair Meredith presents a well-illustrated detailed lecture on famed South African artist, JH Peerneef: A Period of Discovery and Mastery about his life, his commissions and his travel. Meredith is with Strauss and Co, and has a particular interest in 20th Century South African painting and art curating.

For the first time at Hilton, a new initiative will be launched. Art lovers can glimpse behind the scenes and enjoy the process of creativity. Painters Grant Wood and Tony Durrheim will ‘perform’ three live demonstrations each over the three days. Wood, a watercolourist, will be painting boats and reflections on Friday; a seascape on Saturday and a typical street scene on Sunday. Durrehim, a painter in oils, starts off with a stormy Karoo scene, sharing the seascape theme on Saturday and on Sunday a rocky forest stream. Space is limited for this free demonstration, so booking is essential.

Exhibiting in the recently-revamped Campbell Exhibition Centre, the N3 Gateway Tourism Association welcomes patrons to discover creative gems from sensational tourism destinations from Pretoria to Durban, Lesotho to the KwaZulu-Natal battlefields. Crafters situated along the N3 route will be showcasing their craft. They will be joined by exceptional landscape photographer Stephen Pryke, along with wintery warm woollen creations from Tsa Lapeng and beautiful linen from Senzakahle.

Alongside the N3 Gateway Tourism project, the VinLee Art Gallery shares their carefully selected choice of collectables.

The Midlands Meander has taken residence for the second year in the Art Block, where they will be sharing their artistic pride and joy from their region.

The art hub of the festival is bursting at the seams at the PWC Perspective Art Exhibition situated alongside the Bell Tower. The three marquees boast a variety of artists work adorning the spaces. Over 60 artists and photographers works will be displayed and are for sale.

The festival would not be possible without the generous support of Hilton College, Tiso Black Star, Grindrod Bank, Black Coffee, DWR, PWC, Bidvest Car Rental, Indwe Risk Services, Assitej South Africa, Loud Crowd, Sappi, Redlands Hotel, Zultrans, KZN Dept of Arts & Culture, BASA, Castle Lite, Maritzburg Sun, Caxton.

For more information visit or like the Facebook page, Hilton Arts Festival. Follow on Twitter @HiltonFest, Instagram or download the free APP Hilton Arts Festival for both Android and IOS.

The festival takes place at Hilton College from September 15 to 17, 2017. All enquiries on 033 383 0126 / 7 or

Booking enquiries:

The full Africa Media Online DocuFest programme can be viewed on

Tickets will be available at the door.