16 March 2018 Photo Xolisa Mnukwa
Final-year Fine Art students exhibit their work
Petra Schutte describes the “My Wereld – wat sien jy” canvas.

The annual final-year student exhibition of the Department of Fine Arts is underway, with artists such as Danielle Pretorius, Petra Schutte, Dienka Staal and Robynne Gouws showcasing their art at the Johannes Stegman Gallery on the Bloemfontein Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS).

“My artwork grapples with a sense of destiny or chance,” said Danielle Pretorius. It resembles her memories of Alkanstrand, a beach she visited as a child growing up in Richards Bay. She describes her art studio as a temporary, substitute dwelling place of reflection in which her artistic genius comes alive. 

Final-year student Dienka Staal explained that her artwork drawn from life on her family farm in Kalkfontein, Free State. It depicts her memories and involvements with farming, as well as the elements of power and ownership. She employed colours that suggest flesh, bruises, and wounds in order to equate the farm landscape with the human body. She added that her inspiration was in recalling her childhood.

“My work is the result of a growing fascination with bodily movement which coincides with my love of depicting the human body,” said final-year Fine Arts student Robynne Gouws. She said her artwork had the ability to evoke emotions that elicited different empathetic responses. Gouws further outlined that audiences would be able to project their own sense of equilibrium onto her work which in essence would help them appreciate the meaning of her drawings.

Petra Schutte said unconventional objects such as small animal skulls, used tea bags, hair and insects had always fascinated her and subsequently inspired her artworks, revealing an unknown and unexplored territory in art. 

Their art will be on display until 29 March 2018. The Johannes Stegman Gallery at the UFS Sasol Library is open from Monday to Friday for viewing.