A selection of some of the best work from the portfolios of the Matrics of 2010 was exhibited at the Iziko National Art Gallery in Cape Town.  By chance, I saw an article about the exhibition in a weekend paper and my daughter, a Grade 10 art student and I made the trip. We were delighted to see that Fish Hoek and Muizenberg High art students were well represented.

`Who am I’ was one of the 2010 Matric Art themes and it was exciting to see the variety, quality and creativity of the young artists responses.  As I am neither an artist nor a critic I prefer simply to write about what appealed to me or made me think.

Muizenberg students had a number of fun and funky pottery figures. A delightful and all too true response to `Who am I’ was a bright pottery figure, a hamburger man that would have done McDonalds proud.  Titled `You are what you eat’, hamburger man was just that. He had a well stuffed hamburger for a body and podgy legs and arms.  His small head was clearly less in charge of decisions about food than his tum-tyre which was a large burger patty.  

Dries du Preez of the Tigerberg Art Center created a delightful 3D frieze of the life size skeleton of a dog. It had an appealing environmental message along the lines of  – if we don’t start living with respect for the environment, even man’s best friend could become extinct. He depicts this with his Pompey style cast of a dog caught in the act of peeing on a fire hydrant an instant before being incinerated by a gas explosion from a buried refuse dump. (See picture on RHS)

In contrast, a Wynberg Girls High student has a celebratory view of the future. She has drawn herself life size and loosely wrapped in a film strip of bright, happy photos which presumably represent her dreams about all the exciting possibilities her future holds. (See picture on the LHS )

The art work which achieved the highest marks in the Western Cape for the 2010 Matric practical is a charcoal drawing by Melissa Oosthuisen of Fish Hoek High called Identity Document.  Her depiction of `Who am I’ is of a girl and her shadow / spirit / alter-ego(?) in a metro-rail underground presumably waiting for a train to the future.  As the appreciative non-artist, I am awed by the haunting and translucent quality that the artist achieved with charcoal. Have a look at the picture on the RHS and see for yourself.

Three other Fish Hoek High art students work was also on display.  Qhamani Bangani chose to do his self portrait by painting with coffee on a piece of carpet.  It is not just clever, but it works to create an attractive portrait with a very different medium.

In addition to the fine art, five FH Design students, Karen Mellet, Amy Dean, Simone Biggs, Jo-Anne Devitt and Kelly Jeffrey displayed their fabric designs called Pop Florals.

The technical ability and creativity of the students wowed me and I look forward to future exhibitions of young artistry.