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Poets Printery

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Welcome to the Poets Printery Blog, and to the Launch of Inyathi, a Journal of the Arts

Inyathi CoverInyathi Page 2Amitabh MitraWelcome to the blog of The Poets Printery.

I’m very pleased to announce that the formal launching of Inyathi, our arts journal, has been fixed for the 9th November at the Coach House of the Ann Bryant Gallery, St Mark’s Road, Southernwood, East London, for 7 pm (tel 043 722 4044). Mr. Billy Nel, MEC for Finance, will uncover the inaugural edition and Dr. Cornelius Thomas – a contributor – will give a talk.

Here is the editoral for issue 1, followed by a list of contributors:

Ever since I took up as the Chairperson of the East London Fine Arts Society, I was amazed at new people visiting the gallery and participating in the exhibitions. I am happier to find students from various art schools and technical colleges come up shyly, bringing their creativity for exhibiting. It reminded me of my days, a few years back when I was not really sure what I am doing was really art. It is a dilemma fortunately suffered by most artists. The great Indian Artist who took France and later Europe by storm was well known for only painting a dot (A Bindu in Hindi). I always wondered and only much later found out the great spirituality hidden behind each bindu – I am a poet first and then an artist. It was due to this reason I started pushing artists to write, not an easy request to fulfil. One artist told me that she is an artist and I mustn’t bother her for writing. True as it may seem so, most of our artists are not academic oriented. I encountered Mr. John Steele, Head of the Arts Faculty in Walter Sisulu University and I asked him, “John how do you manage to publish articles on Art in South Africa and elsewhere. “The idea of publishing Inyathi, an academic journal on Arts was born”

Inyathi belongs to Eastern Cape; it celebrates the rich culture and heritage that we are so proud off. Artists from far-flung corners of Eastern Cape will find Inyathi their home. I would like to thank specially a great friend, Hon MEC for Finance, Mr. Billy Nel who has been always supportive to any small or big exhibition we put up. He will find time from his busy schedule to be with us on any evening. I talked on the telephone to the MEC for Art and Culture Ms Abraham- Ntantiso. A very kind lady, she supported the venture immediately.

So, Inyathi is here and so are articles depicting the contemporary trends in South African Art. In his book, “Contemporary African Art in South Africa”, Professor. E.J. de Jager wrote, “It is by means of our art that we can be aware of how we Africans in South Africa live and fulfil themselves, the need for self identification and the desire for self expression remains the foremost.”

Inyathi reminds me of my poem on Johannesburg and Gwalior,

december in johannesburg
brought the heat wave
so familiar
to an anger torn again in
a brittle feeling of windswept leaves
high pitched laughter in
soweto shebeens and lilywhite
close corporate parties before a final
predictable violence of words
dying of maimed wounds in a brisk
afternoon of illegitimate reason.
another heat wave back home in gwalior
had cracked the north end fort wall
assaulting repeatedly the loneliness of
an earthy immortality
and sudden moments of madness that had once grappled
to stay in the shade of
your eye.

Contributors to Inyathi issue 1

1. Terry Flynn works at the Ann Bryant Art Gallery as an Assistant Curator and as such, often sits on the bench on the gallery’s stoep and looks up at the trees he has depicted in watercolours in the inside cover of this issue.

2. Amitabh Mitra is a medical doctor practicing in East London Hospital Complex. He is a poet and an artist and has exhibited his works in various galleries. Amitabh edits the international quarterly print poetry journal titled ‘A Hudson View’. He is the editor of Inyathi. More about his works at

3. Kaustav Mitra is fourteen years and studies at the Selborne College. He is keen on photography and swimming. Kaustav has done the layout and designing of front and the back covers.

4. Mathemba Ncoyini went to school in the former Transkei, and obtained his B.Tech: Fine Art Degree at Walter Sisulu University, East London, at the end of 2006. Many of the works Exhibited at this Degree Exhibition are featured in this article. He is currently employed at the Mdantsane Prison as Visual Arts Instructor.

5. John Steele is a potter who has worked in Rhodes Village and Mthatha before moving to East London in the early 1990s. He supervised Ncoyini’s B.Tech studies, and is presently Head: Walter Sisulu University Dept. Fine Art.

6. Cornelius Thomas is currently director of the National Heritage and Cultural Studies Centre at the University of Fort Hare. He is a historian, writer, photographer, curator and archivist. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame. Cornelius hails from Cape Town, where he was born in 1956. A seminal work on student politics, ‘Wakker Wakker en aan die Brand’, flowed from his pen. He is currently writing a biography of Donald Card. He is married to Kathy, and lives in East London and Alice.

7. Daphne West, 1915-1997, is a descendant of the great French symbolist painter, Puvis de Chavannes, 1824-1898. Her work adorns the back cover of the journal.

8. Leon du Preez is the curator of the Ann Bryant Art Gallery, which functions as a National heritage site and art museum. It has an extensive European art collection from the 1700’s – 1900’s as well as an excellent cross section of South African art from the 1920’s onwards. The Gallery is also connected to the East London Fine Art Society. This Society provides exhibitions, talks and art outings for the local art interested community.

“I have exhibited often on the group exhibitions. My work has progressed from portraits to seascapes. My highest qualification is a B-Tech Degree in Fine Art which I completed in 2003. The core of the thesis is provided below. I have moved on from portraiture since becoming very involved with the ocean. My recent works deal with the ocean and all its facets. ”

9. Volkmar G. Dobat was born 1949. He studied in Berlin Electronics, and he achieved his degree 1972. After his study he joined a well-known German company which produced capital medical imaging equipment. His business sales and marketing travel took him all over the world. Volkmar chose South Africa 1992 as his new home. He received his first camera 1963 from his father as present. And since then he has been very active in photography and have had 10 solo national and international photo exhibitions.

10. Judy Fish, born in East London 1953, daughter of Stanton and well-known artist Daphne West. Draws in pencil, ink and charcoal and paints in watercolour, acrylics and oils. Subject matter predominantly landscape, figures and portraits. Work represented in Look-Out Gallery, Plettenberg Bay; Touchwood Gallery, St Francis Bay; Bay Gallery, Langebaan; the Coach House, East London and the Grahamstown Art Studio. 2006 had solo exhibition on the Grahamstown Arts Festival and in previous years works chosen for the Eastern Cape Arts and Culture exhibitions at the monument. She exhibits on the E.L.F.A.S. exhibitions at the Ann Bryant Art Gallery, East London and the S.A.S.A. exhibitions at Kirstenbosch, Cape Town.

11. Barry Gibbs. I was born in Durban; attended Mansfield High School and decided to make a career of art after winning art bursaries each year, the last to do a 3 year commercial design course at the Natal Technical College. After working as a display artist at Greenacres department store for a year, I did a 4 year art teacher’s course at the Natal Tech., and acquired a post at the East London Tech College Art School; specializing in Art History (1961- 1968) I was transferred to what was to become the Belgravia Art Centre in 1969 becoming its Headmaster in 1973, continuing until 1996. During that time I completed my BFA through UNISA and my MFA through Rhodes University. Since retiring I have been an artist having one man shows in Durban, Maritzburg, Pretoria, Port Elizabeth, Stellenbosch, Durbanville and Cape Town; and a free lance lecturer, lecturing annually in Art History in different cities.

12. Pumlani Mbanya obtained his diploma and B-tech: Fine Art Degree at former Border Technikon now known as Walter Sisulu University, East London, 2003. All the works exhibited at this Degree some are featured in this article. He is presently a part time lecturer at Walter Sisulu University Dept. of Fine Arts for five years.

13. Mumtaz Kader did her B. Proc. from the University of Port Elizabeth in 1994, a management degree from Rhodes University in 1996 and further courses in Legislative Drafting from Loyola University, New Orleans, USA in 1999. She is a well known artist, and has given various exhibitions of her works.


Recent comments:

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Kathryn</a>
    November 9th, 2007 @16:19 #

    oh how lovely, i wish i could come!

    i grew up in East London and spent many afternoons wandering thru Ann Bryant. It is a wonderful example of the colonial high life that was lived in the Eastern Cape, a huge warm house with an expansive garden, a coachhouse and tall pines; as a kid this was what my ultimate home would look like. i would wear a hat and a pinafore and i would have a coach and a nanny and eat rock scones in the kitchen. i also went to Belgravia from the age of 6 and at 17 i couldnt decide wether to do art or write (i'm actually not v good at art but i still Believe, as most amateurs do).

    is Inyathi available at book stores in jhb?
    (oh, and i really like ur poem.)

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Amitabh</a>
    November 10th, 2007 @09:07 #

    Thanks a lot Kathryn, my apologies for the delay in reply
    The launch of 'Inyathi' went really well at the Ann Bryant Gallery yesterday night with guests sipping wine and discussing on the academic articles published in the journal. Inyathi is an ad free journal and therefore Mr. Billy Nel Minister for Finance, Government of Eastern Cape, promised financial support for the ongoing publication of the next issues.You are absolutely right. I had sent photographs of the gallery to my friends in India and US.They think that I stay there and I must be a billionaire.
    It is not available in Johannesburg. I will send you a copy. It is priced at R55 and R 4 for postage.

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">mindings</a>
    November 10th, 2007 @21:49 #

    Congratulations on the launch of "Inyathi" may you have every success with the publication.

    Philip G Bell

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Amitabh</a>
    November 11th, 2007 @10:41 #

    Thanks a lot Philip
    I do wish that this journal may attain popularity with the art loving people in South Africa and abroad.


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