- R150 Strauss & Co Masterclass: A short course on Art Appreciation Fully Booked
Presented by Amanda Botha (Art Journalist) and Lizelle Kilbourn (who, together with husband Frank, collects art) will present a short course in art appreciation on Saturday 18 August, at Welgemeend. It is aimed at beginners and intended to make enjoyment and understanding of works of art (paintings, sculptures, etc) more accessible to those with no academic background in art or art history. The course will consist of discussions and “practical work”, in other words, we will study various works of art, and talk about them.
A brief introduction to the South African ‘Art Landscape’ (Museums, Galleries, auction houses, artists, art critics, etc) will be followed by the viewing of specific works of art, and the discussion of a number of relevant topics. Topics and questions that will be addressed include, amongst others: What is art? What is the function of art? How does our assumptions of what art is/should be, influence our opinion about specific works of art? How can art improve and enrich our lives? How should we look at, and analyse a painting or sculpture? What if I do not like a specific work of art, does it mean I am ignorant, or does it mean I am looking at bad art? Is it art if a work looks like a five year old child could have painted it? Why do some works of art fetch prices of millions of rands at art auctions, while others sell for barely a few hundred rands? Is there “good taste” and “bad taste” in art?
Join us for a morning of looking at excellent South African works of art, satisfying discussion and debate, and the opportunity to ask all the art questions that you have always wanted to ask.
Journalist, documentary film director and author of publications on Ballet, Art and Literature
Amanda Elizabeth Botha was born on 17 July 1943 in Johannesburg. She grew up in Cape Town, matriculated from the Hoërskool Jan van Riebeeck and studied at Stellenbosch University. Amanda started her career as a journalist at Die Burger in 1967. Before her freelancing career she worked for Beeld in Johannesburg and later acted as Cape representative for the Johannesburg based newspaper Die Transvaler.
She joined Capab Drama and worked with theatre directors such as Athol Fugard, Dieter Reible, Peter Kleinschmidt, Mavis Taylor, Robert Mohr, Francois Swart, Truida Louw and Pieter Fourie. In 1971 she joined the company of The Space Theatre and worked closely with Fugard, Yvonne Bryceland and Pieter-Dirk Uys. She also joined Chris Pretorius and others to form The Glass Theatre for experimental theatre productions. Amanda joined Capab Opera in 1983 and worked closely with Murray Dickie in the South African premiéres of Wagner and Strauss operas.
She wrote numerous articles on the performing art, especially opera and ballet for both local and international publications. In 1988 Human & Rousseau published her biography on prima ballerina absulutta, Phyllis Spira, complimented with a forward by Margot Fonteyn. She acted for many years as contributing editor to international publications such as Dance and Dancer and World of Ballet and Dance in London and contributed to the New York published book Opera Companies of the World and to the St James Dictionary of Composers.
Amanda has been involved with the visual arts since 1972. She has published extensively on art and artists in South Africa. She has also acted as guest curator for the US Sasol Art Gallery in Stellenbosch and presented retrospective exhibition on the work of Sheila Cussons (2002), Marjorie Wallace (2003) – both for Woordfees, Stellenbosch and the Flemish-South African artist Herman van Nazareth (2004) and many since.
Since 1977 she was closely associated with the Afrikaanse Skrywersgilde and acted as secretary for five years. She organised three annual conferences for the Skrywersgilde. Amanda acted as researcher and scripwriter for many tv documentary programmes on South African artists, screened on SABC TV., amongst them writers such as Louis C Leipoldt, Sheila Cussons, N P van Wyk Louw, Anna M. Louw, Freda Linde and Hennie Aucamp, painters such as Paul du Toit, Sheila Nowers and a award winning programme The state of South African art today and performing artists such as Phyllis Spira, Eduard Greyling and Hermien Dommisse. She has published many articles on writers and writing, mostly in Afrikaans. She also presents a monthly programme on Afrikaans youth books for FM Radio.
Together with the poet Sheila Cussons Amanda has published two analogies of Cussons’s poems under the titles ‘n Engel deur my kop (1997) and die asem van ekstase (2000). She was closely associated with Sir Laurens van der Post and apart from making two television documentary programmes on his life and work, she has together with Sir Laurens wrote a book on their collaboration, titled Conversations at the Cape. Amanda Botha curated Majorie Wallace’s 2003 Retrospective Exhibition.