St John's College

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A piece by Shammah Bapetel

The Annual St John's College Art Exhibition which opened on Tuesday, 23 October, piqued discussion, contemplation and reaction.

Our UV (matric) and Sixth Form (A Level) students exhibited work of an exceptionally high standard, that not only showed technical brilliance, but also intense conceptual grappling.

With themes such as ‘Out of Place’ and ‘Outside of the Centre’, students were encouraged to explore their personal 'situatedness' and context within South Africa and the world at large. This exploration resulted in very personal responses to issues in fields such as sociology, politics, religion, psychology, anthropology and the environment.

As the opening guest speaker, Mr David Paton (senior lecturer of Visual Arts at the University of Johannesburg) stated, “Our doubts about the visible world make us see it better.” This was made obvious through the works on display, as they all opened the viewer’s eyes to doubts that we experience, collectively, every day, but may not have time to pause and think about.

Mr Paton went on to explain that “the world is too full of visual rubbish, [we should] not let you [the students] add to its heap”.

"It is with great pride that the Art Department can state, with surety, that our students have learnt how to discern between visual pollution and visual integrity. In developing some of the skills required for the fourth industrial revolution, such as mental elasticity, problem solving, creativity and interdisciplinary knowledge, we know that our students will go into the world better prepared for the changes that they will face," said Ms Belinda Donnelly, Head of Visual Arts.

"We wish them all the best for their future endeavours, and encourage them to always remember the life lessons that were learnt in the art class, and in so doing, add to the richness of our country’s future."

Click here for more images from this wonderful showcase of our College and Sixth Form talent.