Lore Watterson is the Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of Creative Feel Magazine
South African women are celebrated during August and without even trying to publish a ‘women’ issue, Creative Feel did just that; celebrating the women in the arts because they are here, they are making things happen and they are successful. As media partners for the FNB JoburgArtFair (8 to 10 September 2017), we naturally show the success of the Art Fair, now in its tenth edition under Cobi Labuscagne, who has been the director of Artlogic. Congratulations on having grown it to such heights. We talked to Zoe Whitely, the 2017 Guest Curator of Special Projects, about her ten-year anniversary show while Lindiwe Zulu, the Minister of the Department of Small Business Development, shared how her department will be supporting artists at the fair. Creative Feel, true to our mandate has concentrated on the ‘Art Platforms’ at the fair and found that just about all of these Art Platforms are run by women, like the Artist Proof Studio’s Kim Berman, the Bag Factory Artists’ Studios by Thuli Mlambo-James, M Studio Community by Sarah McGee, Marianne Fassler talked about the Friends of the Johannesburg Art Gallery, and many more. And Mandie van der Spuy of Artinsure, which is partnering with the fair for the guided tours.
We feature recent award-winning artists like Beth Diane Armstrong, the gifted Standard Bank Young Artist for Visual Arts 2017, who is bringing her exhibition from Grahamstown to the Standard Bank Gallery in Johannesburg; Zyma Amien, the Sasol New Signatures 2016 winner, who is having her extended solo show in September where she once again highlights the history of the garment workers in South Africa; and the Absa L’Atelier Gerard Sekoto Award winner for 2015, Natalie Moore, who will be exhibiting Sandman at the Absa Gallery in Johannesburg. We also start celebrating 20 years of the National Arts Council, currently under the leadership of Rosemary Mangope, and look at the annual famed South African Women’s Arts Festival (SAWAF) at The Playhouse Company, whose chief executive, Linda Bukhosini is herself a successful artist. There is also, of course, Michelle Constant, CEO of Business and Arts South Africa, our regular contributor.
I even had the honour of speaking to the Queen of the Free State, Jennifer Friedman, about her delightful memoir of growing up in the Free State. Looking at these pages, there is no doubt that South African women are strong, gifted and resourceful and we have to find a way of celebrating not only women during the month of August – we actually have to find a way to instil the rightful respect to all women and stop the violence against women. It is a fundamental way of looking at women in our society that needs to be changed and perhaps showing respect is a small start, the women of South Africa actually deserve that courtesy.