national Arts Festival Banner

Friday, August 25, 2023



Artist Dee Donaldson’s new exhibition of small, rich, emotive paintings - Wednesday 16:43 - opens at Studio 3 at 18h00 on September 8, and runs until the end of the month.

Donaldson is not only widely respected in the South African art world for her own divergent, distinctive works of art, but also as an extraordinary teacher of legendary workshops and classes. Her name is synonymous with art in Durban. 

She studied fine arts at DUT after which she spent some years overseas on the Emma Smith Scholarship. She returned to Durban in the late 90s when she began her studio and teaching practice. Today, her personal studio, gallery and workshop space – Studio 3 - at the Point Waterfront, has become a creative space and springboard for so many.

On September 8, her new exhibition Wednesday 16:43 opens at 18h00.

(Right: Dee Donaldson. Pic supplied)

Wednesday 16:43 is the continuation of a run of small works she began to make out of necessity during lockdown, having to abandon her larger works in her studio and take to her dining room in her (then) Glenwood flat. Her artist’s statement for this exhibition of small, emotive paintings describes not only the When and Why, but the seismic shift in approach to her work:

Donaldson explains: “Not having access to much of the outside world, I found myself looking more immediately around me for subject matter as well as searching back, year by year, on my phone. The somewhat tumultuous decade that precedes this exhibition, seemed to be documented in dying flowers, moments of light on a kitchen sink, people in waiting rooms, chemo bags, Christmas gatherings, lemon trees in winter, and images taken on trips back to my home town. Little moments and big significant life-altering ones were all in little thumbnails on my phone. My interest in working with these has continued post lockdown.”

In addition, the last three years or so have marked a time of deeper technical learning for Donaldson: “I felt I needed to connect more deeply with my process, and discovered I needed to learn more about colour, and change my approach to painting in general.”

She describes Wednesday 16:43 as the works that are beginning to come from that process: “I still feel frustration at times, but a lot more connected to what I’m doing now. July 3rd 10:57 is the time-stamp of one of the images, a noted image, marked in time, ‘remembered in paint.”

Dee Donaldson’s exhibition will open at 18h00 on Friday, September 8, and runs until the end of the month. The date for Artist’s Walkabout will be announced at the opening.

Studio 3 is found at 162 Mahatma Gandhi Road - entrance 3 on Southampton Street - at the Point. There’s secure parking on the doorstep in UShaka Marine World parking lot. 

For updates and further information, keep an eye on: