University of the Free State: UFS artists’ work on exhibition at world-famous NIROX Sculpture Park

Artists from the Department of Fine Arts at the University of the Free State (UFS) had the opportunity to have their work exhibited at the internationally acclaimed NIROX Sculpture Park in Johannesburg as part of the park’s Good Neighbours exhibition, which runs until 31 August 2022.

The department, together with other international African artists and five partnering South African universities, is participating in the exhibition, which reflects the relationship that South Africans have with our neighbours amid global instability. The curated group of artworks from the UFS is titled Fluid Imaginaries, and the works are drawn from the unique characteristics of the playful and creative imagination. It features work by Fine Arts lecturers, alumni, and postgraduate students.

Lyrene Kühn-Botma, a Fine Arts lecturer at the UFS, served as the internal curator for the project.

UFS team an artistic force of note

The artists and sculptors from the UFS who are participating in the project are Adelheid von Maltitz, Bontle Tau, Leon Witthuhn, Lyrene Kühn-Botma, Johandi du Plessis-Kleynhans, and Miné Kleynhans. One of the big names also participating is UFS lecturer and artist, Dr Janine Allen.

“Each participating university was tasked with appointing a curator to respond to the theme of Good Neighbours, resulting in the exhibition consisting of smaller curated groups of artists from each partnering university, all coming together under the broader theme,” says Kühn-Botma.

The curated works investigate the different nuances of the modern-day neighbourhood where interactions, conversations, confrontations, or authentic experiences are explored. “It is in the past and present neighbourhoods of cultures where humans have negotiated and constructed the social and personal systems and techniques we engage with,” writes Kühn-Botma in the curatorial statement.