Tag Archives: Artivism

HANNELIE COETZEE | Dark Sky Walk (Part 2)

24 Oct
‘DARK SKY WALK’ (PART 2) – 3 November 2022
Hannelie Coetzee, Fireflies, 2022. Olivedale Corner. Image courtesy of the artist.

Artist Hannelie Coetzee and scientist Bernard WT Coetzee invite you on a dark sky walk on Thursday, 3 November 2022, the second to be hosted by NIROX. During the walk, visitors are encouraged to explore our relationship with darkness, reflecting on dark skies, light pollution, our fear of the dark, and how we can reduce skyglow so as not to interfere with nocturnal ecosystems. Writing about the previous dark sky walk on 4 July, Bronwyn Law-Viljoen wrote:“ Winding our way along the bush path at NIROX at sunset allowed us to forget loadshedding and other woes for a while. It was a perfectly still winter evening, the quiet broken by the gurgle of the stream that we crossed several times before we arrived at the eye of the fountain. Leaving the forest we headed west, up the koppie to the plateau where we gathered in a small knot and watched two dozen Cape Vultures take wing from their perches on the giant electricity pylons, marching in an impressive phalanx from north to south. Not fifty metres from where we stood, a small herd of zebra, barely visible in the gathering dark, studied us. The walk, organised by the artist Hannelie Coetzee and the biologist Bernard WT Coetzee, from the University of Pretoria, was a kind of dusk vigil to draw our attention to the significant effects of ‘sky glow’ on night-time pollinators and other insects. We stood for a while in the gathering dark and then headed home. Walking without artificial light over uneven ground, we allowed our anger at Eskom’s mismanagement of the electricity grid to be softened by a newfound awareness that darkness, for some creatures, is the best place to be.”
PROGRAMME FOR THE DARK SKY WALK ON 3 NOVEMBER (5 – 9PM):5:30PM: Arrive at NIROX Sculpture Park’s Gate 3

5:45PM: Welcome with tea and coffee at the Lawn Pavilion.

6:00PM: 6.5 km Walk from the Lawn Pavilion into the reserve at dusk (please bring sturdy walking shoes, warm clothes, a thermos, and a headlamp or torch. The terrain can be tricky in the dark and there is game. It’s also snake season).

7:30PM: Blind Drawing session with the artist

8PM: Wind down with delicious, vegan-friendly summer soup.TICKETS: R450 pp
To purchase tickets; click button below:Tickets

This includes a 6.5km, informative night hike, led by Hannelie and Bernard, light food (vegan friendly), tea and coffee. All ages are welcome. There are limited tickets available for this event, so please book well in advance. Tickets can be purchased here. If you want to extend your experience and avoid the roads, you can book accommodation at Farmhouse58 for the night of 3 November here.

Available artwork by HANNELIE COETZEE.

CHOICHUN LEUNG’s solo “The Watchful Eyes” reviewed in The Washington Post

6 Feb

Arts & Entertainment


In the galleries: Artist’s imagery examines community-building in the aftermath of trauma

Choichun Leung’s decade-long Young Girl Project focuses on a show of solidarity

By Mark Jenkins

Contributing reporter

February 4, 2022 at 6:00 a.m. EST

Choichun Leung, The Watchful Eyes, 2021, 64″x55″, acrylic, pen and graphite on canvas. Courtesy of the artist and Morton Fine Art.

In Choichun Leung’s “The Watchful Eyes,” a show of paintings and drawings at Morton Fine Art, the drawings seem to dominate. That’s not because the paintings, which are bigger and more colorful, are less compelling on their own terms. But the black-and-white renderings of girls, which speak to the artist’s concern with childhood sexual abuse, set the tone for all the work. Images from the drawings infiltrate the paintings, where they become more abstract yet remain charged and haunting.

Leung is a Chinese-British artist who grew up in Wales and is now based in Brooklyn. She performed traditional Chinese music and earned a degree in metalsmithing before teaching herself to paint. Her original style was abstract and aqueous, suggesting the sea that laps three sides of her childhood homeland. There are glimmers of that style in Leung’s more recent work, but the pictures are dominated by the figures of girls, often banded together as multitudes. In the show’s title work, dozens of heads float amid a profusion of disembodied hands and dotted lines that represent energy flowing within and among bodies.

This show marks the 10th anniversary of the Young Girl Project, an anti-abuse organization Leung founded in 2012. A drawing the artist made that year, “Bound Girl,” shows a child wrapped almost entirely in rope. That captive figure reappears in later works, but always accompanied — in an imagined show of solidarity — by other, unfettered children. In the strikingly arrayed “Girl Gang,” from 2020, a tight cluster of dark-haired heads is surrounded by smaller heads in the distance. (Perhaps because they’re in some sense autobiographical, the girls in these pictures always appear Asian, but a wider array of ethnicities, as well as a boy, appear in Leung’s drawings on the Young Girl Project’s website.)

Brightly hued and more complexly composed, the paintings place the girls in appealingly surreal landscapes. Leung once worked as an assistant to pop artist Peter Max, and her pictures have some of his comic-book-like directness and verve. In such pictures as “Four Girls in the Dreamworld,” rendered in ink and gouache, the hard-edge figures move among soft shapes and watery colors. Leung’s glowing reveries are animated by trauma, but they can look like places of refuge.

Choichun Leung: The Watchful Eyes Through Feb. 17 at Morton Fine Art, 52 O St. NW, #302. Open by appointment.

Available Artwork by CHOICHUN LEUNG