Digital Arts Students Display Work at Jack Heath Gallery
Senior and honours Digital Arts students exhibited their 3D work and comic books at the Jack Heath Gallery at UKZN’s Centre for Visual Art (CVA).
The material on show was printed on the new 3D and 2D printers bought from funds given to the Digital Arts Programme by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the College of Humanities, Professor Cheryl Potgieter.
The exhibition introduced Potgieter to the current work being done by Digital Arts and gave her the opportunity to engage with students on their studies, leading to a discussion on the future development of the Digital Arts programme.
‘The work being done by the students is excellent and indicative of what is being produced by the next generation of artists,’ said Potgieter.
Potgieter was presented with a model of one of the students’ designs.
Digital Arts Lecturer Ms Michelle Stewart, who was both proud and excited to spearhead the exhibit, said: ‘The work of the students is of international standard and has a South African feel to it. The graphic stories and motion comics are done in a sophisticated way while highlighting the personal voice of the artist.’
Student Ms Charmane Mbambo’s work was inspired by anime, manga and Victorian and futuristic aesthetic from architecture to fashion. The display gave her the opportunity to put all her interests together in a steampunk/cyberpunk anime inspired comic.
‘It’s an honour to exhibit with my peers because I know the amount of work that went into each of our pieces. I’m also happy about digital art being recognised as a legitimate art form because that allows us to be proud of our work,’ said Mbambo.
Honours student Mr Njabulo Dladla’s work is a short illustrated film themed on the depiction of dreams in movies and delving deeper into the subconscious battle versus the conscious and the unconscious and the surrealist, cubistic and abstract nature of such dreams. Dladla’s piece, Psychotherapy House, is a psychotherapy session which tells the narrative of the illustrated film between the protagonist and the psychotherapist.
The Distorted Bedroom is an example of how the dream world can be projected, as the perspective is distorted and reality and logic are questioned, while Door to Door is another example of the distortion in reality and the bizarre nature of dreams.
Ms Kimara Moodley’s exhibit was a post-media artwork that involved bringing together the art and skills of graphic drawing, motion graphics and film. ‘The subject of the short illustrated film is my life - the truth in animation and graphic drawing of the ways in which I have had more love and death than one would normally know. I wish for this piece of art to not only hold the experiential truth of what love and death hold, but to also show that the events of life - though difficult at times - always give us something beautiful,’ she explained.
Student Ms Tess Galbraith said: ‘I feel privileged to be part of this exhibition as it allows my work to be seen by a larger audience than usual. The Digital Arts programme is growing with more and more external interest which makes me happy as it is my passion and I hope to pursue a career in developing and enlightening people about the art form.
‘This exhibition is a great opportunity for the University to see what we as arts students are capable of and how our work is useful in many fields other than purely art/aesthetics. Being a Digital Art student takes a lot of patience and time while learning new programmes and coming up with diverse ways to portray our ideas. So being a part of this exhibition makes me feel like I have accomplished something. I feel proud and honoured.’