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Friday, September 30, 2022


The KZNSA Gallery is hosting a new exhibition titled Romancing the Stone.

Curated by Alison Kearney, Ann-Marie Tully, Rachel Baasch and Annemi Conradie-Chetty, the exhibition forms part of the Arts Research Kaleidoscope (ARK), a festival emerged from the partnership of the South African Visual Art Historians (SAVAH) conference & the Durban University of Technology, Faculty of Art & Design, Digifest. The ARK theme is Romancing the Stone: Lithic Ecologies & Hard Places in South African Visual Culture (Breaking Rock).

The curators explain: “The relationship between human beings and stone as a medium, metaphor and artefact has a significant and contested history within the visual arts. We use the word in metaphors to signify impermeable ideas and hardened frameworks. We describe ideas and ideologies as set in stone when we feel that they cannot be changed or shifted.

“However, as Monet observed in relation to the shifting light on the Rouen Cathedral, ‘Everything changes, even stone’. A monumental observation that speaks also to the displacement or casting into shadow of the grand narratives of the art canon, that have privileged occidental views. The lithic metaphor is a broad habitus, particularly aligned with KwaZulu Natal, where much rock art and history is drawn from within and around the rock (archaeology, history, and heritage).

"This lithic metaphor is the productive framework for this exhibition comprised of multiple artistic strata, each engaging with the hard places in South African visual culture.

"The rhetoric of romancing the stone is also a warning to be vigilant of the prism of romancing, using cultural, gendered and fetishised lenses, which can obscure a clear view of new, surprising, and transitionary identities."

Romancing the Stone runs until October 16, 2022.

The KZNSA Gallery is situated at 166 Bulwer Road, Glenwood, in Durban. More information on 031 277 1705 or cell 082 220 0368 or visit