Why art?

Hello everyone. I present to you a mini video from Mzomvelo stofile. A Grahamstown local who takes drawing as a hobby.

He choose to do this drawing because it reminds him of the time he was a baby in his mother’s arms.



As the Artistry blog is about showcasing artists and their art, be it handcrafted pieces or paintings. I took some time and browsed through some blogs here in WordPress that are related to my beat to get some sense of how other bloggers work, and an interesting post on a blog called Word & Music (https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/80645609 )   caught my eye. The writer of the blog is Debbidbu who in his first blog post says he’s over 50 years old, I bet you can also imagine the experience he has. The blog is not about art per se, it is about book and movie reviews, the television show “frequent rants” and current events concerning culture topic, personal stories, musings on life and love. This interesting post I saw is dated 17 July 2019 and the heading is “A word about abstract art” and you can also find the full post on this link: https://debrichard.com/2019/07/17/a-word-about-abstract-art/.

This piece caught my eye because it is a bit off from his usual beat, its focus is on art, precisely “abstract art”. In the post, he is providing clarity of what “abstract art” is and how to identify it from representational art. In the post, he goes on about how on google mostly when one searches for abstract art some representational art images appear. He then provides a meaning of what abstract art is, in which he took on the glossary of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York which states abstract art as “A term that is generally used to describe art that is not representational or based on external reality or nature.”  He further explains “That means that abstract art is not a picture of anything–it can’t be tied to a representation of any recognizable object, animal, or person.” I believe that the explanation of the term he provided is understandable, one can understand it nicely, it is not complicated.

 This post pushed me to know the meaning of the word ‘abstract’ because I got a bit confused. When I googled the term abstract, this definition appeared “existing in thought or as an idea but not having a physical or concrete existence”. I then went on google and searched ‘abstract art’ and that is then when I realized that I did not know much about art and indeed google does have images that are not abstract, but then again if abstract art is based on an artist’s imagination. An artist can imagine a person and that is abstract, well for me. If one could not have an imagination of a person, I don’t believe dolls would be available but then again that is a subjective matter. I guess only artists can only tell me that. My main point here is that maybe google is not showing representational images of art but abstract ones. I make my point because of image six: Composition 8, Vasily Kandinsky (1923), the painting has shapes, the one I can easily identify is the triangle and I believe it can be tied to reality but because he imagined it, it is abstract.

He also touches on what I feel like is an important point, that after the emergence of camera artists did not feel compelled to show something recognizable in their work and just focus on color, line, form, and texture. Basically they got the freedom to run wild with their imagination and the camera was left to capture the recognizable for preservation of history. That is not to say artists stop representational art. Knowing that the article would not be complete without the visuals because the post was is about art he, towards the end of the post attached images.

The images he provided showed what he means about representational and abstract. The images are clearly label and have a brief explanation. I like that he mentioned representational art and examples of what representational is about. I feel like it provided the differences between representational and abstract art. For me, the post is well focused, and I would not have written it any better. Also, I like the fact that he put images to show representational art and the abstract ones. On representational images, he put image three: three musicians, Pablo Picasso (1921), this image one would have mistaken it to be abstract as he also states that, but he clarifies that it is not. I love that he also put images and classified them abstract and others representational and with stories behind the painting- the brief description. On the image parts, I would have loved to have seen some 21st-century paintings of abstract and representational art.

Nevertheless the post is very effective for me. I has gained so much knowledge about the two different kinds of art. What I have noticed on the knowledge that I gained from the post I believe I can be able to differentiate between abstract art and representational art.The post is well focused, and I would not have written it any better.

Below I have images that I believe are abstract and ones I believe are representational that I found myself and also ones I took from Debbidbu post of examples of abstract and representational art images. You, the reader can show me in the comment section your representational and abstract images.

An abstract art piece. Its focus its paint and color. I guess the artist was running wild with his or her imagination. Photo credit: Canav logo maker website.https://www.canva.com/
A representational art piece. These visuals can be tied to a person, insects and animal. photo credit: Canav logo maker: https://www.canva.com/

Three Musicians, Pablo Picasso (1921). A representational art. Accessed from:https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/3121879/posts/588

Composition 8, Vasily Kandinsky (1923). An abstract piece. Accessed from:https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/3121879/posts/588


By Louise BourgeoisMaman (1999)
“Louise Bourgeois: I Have Been to Hell and Back” at Moderna 

There is a weird connection between mothers and dreams in 1999. The Guggenheim’s article describes theMamam (1999) as a creature that escaped from a dream that has a powerful physical and psychological shadow. Well, my mother told me that having her firstborn in 1999, which is me was a dream come true. Discovering that she gave birth to a girl was the best because she knew that I will be the pillar. Zisanda is my name, meaning there is more to come and Louise Bourgeois continued making art pieces even after 1999.

 “Art is not about happy moments. Happy people have no stories, but if you have difficulties have trauma you keep repeating the trauma. You trying to process it, and that’s what fuels the work but there is no cure”. These are significant words with a deep meaning said by a very talented woman- Louise Bourgeois who sculptured a magnificent spider piece, Mamam (1999) in memory of her late mother that she lost when she was 21 years old. Its these sad stories that influenced her work.

Louise’s art pieces are said to be the results of misery, trauma, fear and unhappy childhood she had. As she says, “I am not what I say. I am what I do”. She’s known as a complicated woman who has so much anger but very talented. Her talent can be seen in her artwork. She started making gigantic spiders that are disturbing but popular because they have a frictional aura that draws one’s attention, but the most interesting and popular artwork is the Mamam (1999). The sculpture was a combination of her first drawing of a spider in 1947 and the continuity of 1996.

Mamam (1999) is a silver-grey steel three-dimensional sculptured spider which is 35 feet high and 33 fit wide which has an arachnid theme. The sculpture’s stomach and thorax are made up of textured bronze. Its abdomen has a sac that contains 32 marble eggs. This man-made spider is counted among the worlds’ most largest sculptured pieces. This magnificent piece was created in 1999 and featured in the inaugural commission of The Unilever Series of 2000, at London’s Tate Modern.

For Louise, a spider is clever, protective, patient, reasonable, useful hence she believed her mother who was a weaver possessed features of a spider. The sculptures’ big shadow portrays intimidation as she felt her mother was intimidating. She felt like she was beneath her mother, at the same time felt protected by her. The intimidation also portrays the strength of her mother and the ability to protect.

Ironically, the most interesting piece that was created in 1999 has a deep connection of a relationship between a mother and daughter. Sculptured by a woman who was not popular but highly talented. The inspiration behind was that of Louise’s pillar, her mother, of which is what my mother sees of me.

 The Minds Journal says, “Some people are artists. Some, themselves, are art”. Well, Louise Bourgeois is an artist and me, the 1999 baby is art.

Your decorations are art

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up”- Pablo Picasso. This quote suggests that everyone is born an artist, but the trouble is maintaining the element of artistry . Well, there are different beliefs and understandings for everyone. I believe that not everyone is an artist, but everyone has an eye for art, but the reader might have a different perspective also. I say this because I believe that every household, work-space has decorations, be it paintings, crafted pieces or anything to make the space more welcoming. Museums and libraries have art-work. All the paintings and crafts used in museums and libraries are used for decorations and some are kept for historical preservation purposes. All these paintings and crafts would not be there if artists did not exist

The Artistry blog aims at exposing the art of the young art students of Rhodes University. It aims to put out in the world their excellent work and covering their achievements in hopes that the people, that is my readers will fall in love with their pieces and buy from them. I was interested in choosing this art beat because firstly, Makhanda also known as Grahamstown is a small town that I believe does not provide enough space for artists to get much exposure, especially those who do painting and create handcrafted pieces. Secondly, as they are students, they are still learning so it as a great opportunity to cover their art in the times of growth by capturing their work from the first year till the third year or whatever level they are in. Doing that means that the reader will be able to appreciate them growing a producing even better pieces, and maybe a student might score a collaboration with legendary artists.  

I also plan to capture the art during painting or crafting times and producing mini videos that will be available on the blog, with them sharing how they came about deciding to study art and what influences them to do the certain pieces they do. The blog will not focus only on the Rhodes University Art students but also local artists. I intend on getting the least well-known local artists who have spectacular pieces. There are many art bloggers that I have come across on the internet but I haven’t seen one from Grahamstown but does not mean that there are not any. Therefore, my blog will fill the gap of having an art blogger from Grahamstown and covering the art of the citizens, and if there are any I will add to the number.

The Artistry blog intends on covering mostly Art students from Rhodes University which means it will mostly be focused on undergraduate student. This is in hopes that it will be a platform to reveal their growth from the different pieces they produce or produced every semester and in different years. There will also be coverage of the projects that they will be doing or did in previous years.I hope in covering these pieces the artists will get recognition

There are many art blogs and they produce great quality paintings and hand-crafted pieces. Mine might not be different from them, but for covering students and unpopular artists that mean I will be introducing new talents from the youth of South Africa. As we know that youth is the future in every country. There is an interesting blog I found on the internet called Art times . This art website covers the hottest art events, art features, auction news and art exhibitions of the artists. The site also has interesting articles about the artists and videos of them sharing their experiences. The website is updated daily and has the latest art events, artist news, and art pieces. There are also art paintings that are displayed on the website and they have an Instagram account, SA_Art times  in which they display the artwork and they have more than 10 000 followers. The Instagram account is full of art paintings and I think that is a great way of advertising and gaining buyers and fans.

This blog is created in hopes to give exposure to young talented artists and get a better understanding of how art is created and the deep meanings behind it. I am hoping to share stories of artists that might not only motivate the reader but also push the reader to realize their inner artistic traits. I also hope for the reader to realize the great work of the artists such that they buy their pieces. I am hoping to hope to improve my writing and to engage in discussions with my readers. Below I have some attached some of the photos the Art times website has

Lot 240 – May Ellen Hillhouse (1908-1989)
Abstract Figures, Oil on Canvas, Signed, 45 by 60cm. Accessed from: Art Times
Irma Stern | Grape Packer , oil on canvas. Accessed from Art times


Hey everyone.

I am Zisanda Solwandle, a 20 year old who is a third year student doing Journalism and Media Studies in Rhodes University in the Eastern Cape. This is an art blog hence the name Artistry.

This blog will be displaying some of the crafts, paintings of the Rhodes Arts students that I find mostly interesting and also the works of the artists here in Makhanda also known as Grahamstown

If you are someone who is interested in art be it paintings or hand crafted pieces like I am, you will surely enjoy reading and browsing through the blog. Hopefully you will find more interesting pieces that you would like to buy.

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