Greatest Hits at AVA Gallery

The Exhibition

Greatest Hits 2009 is a selected exhibition of graduate works, it will employ the four gallery spaces of the AVA. Works have been selected from Michaelis school of Fine Art UCT, Ruth Prowse School of Art and Stellenbosch University. The exhibition offers an overview of the local and broader discourses that run through the three schools and reflects the quality of work produced by the graduate students in 2009. Participating artists: Igshaan Adams, Robyn Birkett, Klara-Mari den Heijer, Danni Isaacs, Janodien January, Kristine Kronje, Matthew Alexander King, Tim Leibbrandt, Gerald Machona, Mohau Modisakeng, Daniella Mooney, Jody Paulsen, Katherine-Mary Pichulik, Monique Prinsloo, David Rossouw, Olivia Stephan, Christopher James Swift, Thuthuka Tumelo Tumie, Hugh Upsher, Tamzyn Varney, Claire May van Blerck, Jade Doreen Waller.

The Gallery

The Association For Visual Arts (AVA) Gallery in partnership with Spier, 35 Church Street, Cape Town, is one of Cape Town’s oldest non-profit art galleries, showcasing contemporary South African art in all media. The gallery has been situated in these premises, in the heart of the city centre, since 1971, first as the Metropolitan Gallery, and then in partnership with Spier, who recently bought the building from Metropolitan.

AVA’s main priority and objective is the promotion and advancement of visual art and artists in South Africa, with particular emphasis on artists from the Western Cape, both established and emerging, formally trained and self-taught.

The Art

The piece included to represent Chris Swift’s main body of work was titled Untitled (hurdles) and is made from re-appropriated school desk slat & legs, dismantled farm spades, found barbell handles.

“This work is self-evident. The official Olympic hurdle height for the men’s 110m event is 110cm. What I intended through the marriage of these objects was to create an instillation that created questions around either the high unemployment rate, or the constantly lessening value of a matric/grade 12 to qualify for a job, or the political systems past that have perpetuated joblessness, or the unrealistic chances of success coming from a labour background, or the contemporary farm laborer leaving the farm for the trappings and promise of urban living– you may have an entirely different take on it, and of course, you would be right”. Chris Swift

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