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10 March 2020 | Story Rulanzen Martin | Photo Victor Sguassero (kykNET)
Chris Vorster
Chris was on stage in 'Die Hart Verklap' at the Toyota US Woordfees in Stellenbosch recently.

“Difficult and very strange,” is how Chris Vorster, veteran actor and Drama lecturer at the University of the Free State (UFS) describes his role as Bas Koorts in the supernatural thriller Die Spreeus

For Chris, the biggest challenge during the filming of Die Spreeus was to work in front of a green screen. “You never see the monsters and things attacking you, it is only added later on during the editing process,” he said. Therefore, he and his co-actors were expected to use their own imagination “to be frightened, and to duck and dive from something that does not exist.” 

This Afrikaans thriller series has recently been nominated in five categories of the South African Film and Television Awards, including Best Television Drama, Best Cinematography, and Original Sound and Sound Editing. 

Chris was also nominated for a Fiësta award in 2019 for his one-man performance in the theatre production, Die Hart verklap. “It is fantastic to still be recognised for my work,” he said, “but I also have to give recognition to Dion van Niekerk, because without a good director, any actor will be lost.” Van Niekerk also lectures Drama at the UFS.

Being a lecturer broadens his knowledge 

Chris joined the UFS Department of Drama and Theatre Arts in 2015 as lecturer in the programme for Film en Visual Media. “Everything I learn in the industry I apply as lecturer, and research and teaching feed more knowledge on acting, directing, and especially writing,” he said. After five years, being involved with the UFS Department of Drama is still exciting to him. “This is where both lecturers and students get encouraged to do more than just breathing.” 

With his busy schedule of teaching and acting, it remains important to him that South Africans are still able to tell stories – “in any language”. He considers it a privilege for anyone to work in their mother tongue. This is also why the symbiosis between his work as actor and lecturer is so appealing.

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Vermeulen’s work on display at Johannes Stegmann Art Gallery
2015-10-26

 

Dot Vermeulen, Anthropology (2014),
Oil on plywood, 300 x 200cm.
Photo: Supplied

“I am primarily fascinated in the travelling or movement of images in different spaces and media. By moving images from one medium into another, or posting and reposting them in different urban and virtual spaces, I ask questions about media presence and space.”

According to the late artist Dot Vermeulen, this is what the work for her Master’s degree was about. She was still completing it at the Department of Fine Arts at the University of the Free State (UFS).

Her work, called Posting Presence, is currently on display at the Johannes Stegmann Art Gallery on the Bloemfontein Campus. The exhibition is running from 1-30 October 2015.

Vermeulen was a junior lecturer at the Department of Fine Arts before she passed away in a car accident in April 2015.

According to Angela de Jesus, curator of the UFS Art Galery, the exhibition would have been part of Vermeulen’s final evaluation for her Master’s degree. She was one of South Africa’s most promising young artists, and won the prestigious Sasol New Signatures art competition in 2013.

In the work she had done in Posting Presence, Vermeulen said the spaces represented were derived from areas under bridges in an urban space where the visual messages left, speak of an accumulation of movement.

Exhibition event

An exhibition event was held on Friday 16 October 2015 at the Johannes Stegmann Art Gallery to celebrate Vermeulen’s work.

Janine Allen-Spies
and Prof Suzanne Human, the supervisors of her Master’s degree,spoke about the work to those attending.

Catalogue


De Jesus said a catalogue of Vermeulen’s research for Posting Presence had also been compiled, and would be available at the UFS Sasol Library in order for others to “use her work for further research”.

•    Vermeulen’s work can be seen from 08:30-16:30 daily until 30 October at the Johannes Stegmann Art Gallery on the Bloemfontein Campus.

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