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Exploring a new art adventure: Imbali Artbooks website launches soon

Imbali Artbooks: carefully chosen themes and artworks

The artbooks are filled with vivid pictures of real artworks by South African artists across a range of generations and styles. Sack explains how these artworks were chosen: ‘We were careful to include South African artists whose works speak to young people, artists whose work reflects those multiple facets of the complex world that young people find themselves in, in this country especially. Although some of the works are accessible and approachable, many are more challenging; and all that were chosen are images that invite repeated looking, thinking about, and discussion – offering layers of meaning, formal analysis, or possibilities of interpretation and response.
     ‘We wanted to reflect the diversity of art and artists in this country, and artists who reflected or commented on their society at each point in our history. We were conscious of including some artists of the “canon”, i.e. from the pantheon of great artists in the history of South African art and culture. A knowledge of these is essential to a shared “cultural literacy” and a basic understanding of what our common art-language and our arts heritage has developed from (one that new artists and artworks both build upon and rebel against).

     ‘But it was equally essential to include younger and more contemporary artists – with whom our learner-constituency could identify, or from whom they can find new languages, or who give us insight into what it means to be South Africans now.’
     Watterson adds that ‘With these books we really wanted to excite teachers and learners, not only with the beautiful design and rich imagery, but also with the content, engaging the reader to think critically about themselves and their place in the world. Many of the art-making activities require deep thinking and engagement with a range of topics both intensely personal and of relevance to the world we live in. The questions asked about artworks similarly draw on personal individual responses as well as research, calling the reader to discover and learn new things, thus broadening horizons and enriching their world.

      ‘One of our key underlying motivations for the thematic approach taken in the books is to show that art is part of life, not something removed and remote from our everyday reality. If you develop an awareness of the world around you, you can find inspiration for art everywhere. The view out of the classroom window can become the inspiration for a landscape painting. The textures on the school desk can become the inspiration for a surreal pencil work, the children’s own faces can become the subject of peer or self-portraits.’

Navigate the article:
Back to the beginning
MTN SA & Imbali: 20 years of partnership
Adventuring into artbooks
Imbali Artbooks: carefully chosen themes and artworks
Book launch and roll-out
A brand new, interactive website

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