Studio Visits

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Today I visited the studio of Gordon Froud, artist and sculpture professor at the University of Johannesburg. He’s a colleague and friend of Kim’s and Diane Victor’s husband. His studio is a series of wunderkamers of art he’s collected and made, pieces of detritus he’s assembled to make art, a book collection, record collection, movie collection, living space, entertainment space and more. It’s a magical, visually overwhelming environment. There are three floors of chock-a-block spaces, all built from found materials – a floor dedicated to prints, one to drawings, a space for his own creations. Gordon is an amazingly generous artist and teacher. Much of the work in his studio he bought from his studentsfirst exhibitions. He offers his space to his students for their exhibitions. He hosts an occasional “lunch for 16 interesting people” where he invites 16 people (that’s how many fit around his table) to speak for 1 minute about an interesting thing they are working on and then he cooks them all lunch. He opens his space for weekly movie nights. His collection includes work by well known South African and international artists as well as students. It’s a treasure trove. Here’s a taste of the wonder…

After this incredible visit I went to Maboneng, an arts district in the heart of Joberg to visit David Krut Studio. Jill Ross is the master printer and project manager and she was in my workshop last week. David Krut studio is one of the main printers for William Kentridge. Jill showed me a large multi-plate woodblock print they have been editioning for Kentridge for four years. It’s an intricate puzzle of blocks and paper pieces, put together with an exacting map that Jill devised. We talked about how much she loves pushing the boundaries of printmaking and working experimentally. I am so pleased that she is interested in incorporating some of the safer processes I introduced during the workshop into their practice at David Krut.

The press made in South Africa
Jill Ross
Kentridge woodcut above the tables
Template for the woodcut with proof
Kentridge’s instructions
View into the bookshop
The archive
Jill’s intricate instructions for the Kentridge woodcut

After the studio visits I wandered around Maboneng – the street full of vendors selling local crafts and food; musicians playing and lots of visitors enjoying the gorgeous weather. There are so many neighborhoods where I was told not to go. It was so delightful to feel at ease and to enjoy being outside among people.

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