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Historic Triennale in town
An artwork by Patrrick Bongoy, “Out of the Weeping”, woven out of recycled rubber, is one of the art pieces at the Stellenboach Triennale starting on 11 February.

The Stellenbosch Triennale aims to make the town a primary destination for multi-disciplinary art in Africa.

This groundbreaking arts event, which was launched Thursday 6 February, will run for more than two months, from 11 February to 30 April, in a place renowned for its halls of academia and historical vineyards.

The international showcase, extraordinary in terms of its international reach and the extent of its art on show, will place creativity in critical dialogue with the society that fosters and exhibits it.

Its theme, Tomorrow There Will Be More of Us, informs the seven multidisciplinary platforms providing meeting points for engagement with a divided past, the collective present and imagined futures.

The Curator’s Exhibition, compiled by chief curator Khanyisile Mbongwa, with Triennale co-curator Bernard Akoi-Jackson, will feature 20 artists from a range of African countries, who will interpret the theme.

The multidisciplinary art exhibition situated at The Woodmill and its surrounding precincts will provide a gateway for visitors to be introduced to the Triennale’s other exhibitions and installations.

“African creatives confront us with what is possible for a renewal to happen, using art as a lens, a course correction, a stimulus around curiosity and imagination,” said Mbongwa.

“Through the Triennale we bring work from the continent to the southernmost tip as an intersection of time, where the past, present and future are in dialogue.”

Triennale has 5 venues

The journey of the Stellenbosch Triennale will take in various sites of engagement, the geographical location supporting ideas of foundation and transition.

The trustees and curators of the Stellenbosch Triennale aim to make Stellenbosch the primary destination of multi-disciplinary art in Africa in 2020, by tapping into the creative impetus that reverberates across the continent.

Trustees of the Stellenbosch Outdoor Sculpture Trust (SOST), established in 2012, are Dr Mike Mavura, France Beyers, Michael van Wyk, Andi Norton and Elana Brundyn.

Says Mavura: “The Triennale turns Stellenbosch into a curated public laboratory for creative expressions and engagements in response to society’s questions now, then and there; what kind of people do we want to be? What relations to nature do we cherish? What knowledge, and what technologies do we deem appropriate? What aesthetic values do we hold?”

The Triennale is structured around a number of exhibitions. These include On The Cusp, an exhibition of artworks by 10 young African artists, curated by Dr Bernard Akoi-Jackson, From The Vault, an archival exploration forming part of the education programme, Die Braak Pavilion, designed by award winning architect Pieter Mathews, will provide a platform for education, talks, information gathering and dialogue.

The Concepts of Freedom Film Festival, curated by Kenyan musician and filmmaker Silas Miami, and shown throughout the town in venues both outdoors and indoors and The Imaginarium, presents a unique learning opportunity for learners of all ages.

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