Jill Trappler - Board
Jill Trappler was born in Benoni in 1957 in the Gauteng Province. She
completed her tertiary training with Bill Ainslie at the Johannesburg
Art Foundation and completed three years of a fine arts degree through
She experimented with ceramic and craftwork and also discovered her
true medium when she went into weaving with Marguerite Weavind, Mooi
River textile factory and the Adult Institute, Islington in London.
She is an artist who consistently explores different modes of
non-representational art in a variety of media. Her work is rarely
literal; she works with poetry, music, metaphor and with associations
that emerge years after the visual stimulus is registered.
She initiated the weaving employment project at Philani Nutrition
Clinics, Crossroads and Khayelitsha, including design, drawing and
colour workshops, story writing and spinning and knitting. She combined
this with lecturing part-time at the University of Cape Town and
various studios, including a teaching program at the South African
National gallery in Cape Town.
In 2009 Trappler decided to prioritise studio work for the first time
in thirty years. Although she has participated in many group and solo
shows, her presence and contribution have to some extent been
over-shadowed by her far-reaching involvement in teaching, mentoring and
project work. As an active participant in the Thupelo Workshop from
its inception, a founder member of the Greatmore Studios in Cape Town, a
Board member of the Fordsburg Artists' Studios (the Bag Factory) in
Johannesburg, and Chair person for a few years of the Association for
Visual Arts, to mention but a few of her activities, Trappler has
participated rigorously in art and craft projects in South Africa and
Jill has exhibited locally and internationally (South Africa,
Germany, New York, France, Australia, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Uganda,
Korea, United Kingdom, United State of America and Wales) since 1990,
and has won a variety of awards including the Provincial award from
Western Cape arts and Culture for contribution to visual arts. Her work
is well represented in South African and international collections.
Lionel Davis - Board
Lionel Davis was born in District Six in 1936, and spent all of his
childhood in the neighborhood. District Six was primarily home to
colored (mixed race) South Africans, but many black and Indian families
lived there as well. The neighborhood tended to break down racial
barriers in an otherwise highly color-conscious society.
Davis took his first formal art classes with CAP, and continued his
art education with the organization for two full years. He then spent
another two years at the Evangelical Arts and Crafts Center at Rorke's
Drift in Natal. At Rorke's Drift, Davis was introduced to the medium of
screen printing, which is used to produce artwork on t-shirts and
posters. Davis realized that this medium had great potential to affect
widespread social change, and he pursued it wholeheartedly with the
intention of teaching the discipline to others. Davis's two years at
Rorke's Drift gave him a degree in Fine Arts, and qualified him to
return to the the Community Arts Project in Cape Town as a teacher.
Davis taught at CAP through the tumultuous 1980's, as harsh
government crackdowns became more frequent and South Africa became
increasingly isolated in the world. As a screen printing instructor, he
assisted a variety of individuals and organizations who opposed
apartheid. South African law made it dangerous for his students to print
posters and t-shirts with overtly revolutionary messages, but their
artwork aided the resistance movement in more subtle ways. Davis's
students produced everything from posters protesting high rents to
t-shirts urging white South Africans to resist army conscription.
Davis is particularly proud of the fact that CAP remained autonomous
throughout the decade, resisting the temptation to align itself with any
particular political organization. This allowed Davis and his fellow
instructors to assist everyone who sought to oppose apartheid, and in so
doing, do their part to encourage all South Africans to bind together
in a united front against their government.
Davis is also proud of the degree to which his work as an art
instructor empowered his students. Education is certainly a subtle form
of resistance, but in the long run, it is perhaps the most potent means
of bringing about positive societal change. Almost all of Davis's
students perceived art as a domain that belonged only to whites, and
their education with CAP thus helped to break down barriers in their own
minds. Art education also gave Davis's students a rare chance to pursue
Apartheid's official Bantu Education curriculum stressed wrote
memorization and strove to dehumanize its black pupils to the greatest
possible extent. Generations of black children had creativity and free
thought drilled out of them as they passed through South Africa's
schools. Through drawing and painting, many of Davis's students were
able freely think and create for the first time in years. Often, this
opportunity set Davis's students on the road to attaining a much
stronger and more profound sense of self.
"Through the medium of art," Davis explains, "you can begin to dignify a person."
Garth Erasmus - Board
Garth Erasmus comes from rural roots in the Eastern Cape . He studied
Fine Arts at Rhodes
University (1978-80) before moving to Cape Town .
He taught art from 1982-1997 before becoming a full-time artist. Erasmus
is well represented in the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of
African Art, Washington DC.
Garth Erasmus is a visual artist and musician. Originally from the
Eastern Cape, Garth taught himself to paint at the age of 21 and later
studied art at Rhodes in Grahamstown. He moved to CT in the 80s and was
an integral part of the politically-inclined Vakalisa Artists group on
the Cape Flats. He was also an organizer of the Thupelo Artists
Workshop. In the democratic era his work has shifted in emphasis toward a
more personal approach in the exploration of issues of identity. In the
group Khoi Khonnexion Garth is a musician playing self-made
An important part of this process was his discovery of "the music of
indigenous cultures". This led him to invent instruments: "the music
that I make is the same as the paintings that I make... they're coming
from the same source, the same spiritual and emotional place... I want
to work towards bringing all of them together." Although there have been
changes in his person and in his art, Erasmus still sees himself as
more of a cultural worker than an artist, with concerns about education
and healing prominent in his thinking. "We all know that serious healing
must happen, but for me there's just no imaginative way of going about
this healing... I've become sensitized in my own personal life to what
that healing means, and what that healing is, and I've decided to put
that in practice in my own way in my work."
Velile Soha - Board
Velile Soha developed an interest in art at a very young age.
Encouraged to pursue his talent as an adult, he attended C.A.P. and went
on to study at Rorke's Drift Art School in Kwa Zulu Natal. The school
was founded by the Swedish Missionaries and this was the principal
facility for the black artists in South Africa.
Soha's experiences have continued to inspire him in his artistic
pursuits. He returned to Cape Town in 1984 to teach young artists at the
Nyanga Art Centre and C.A.P. for several years before devoting himself
full time to his art career.
He has participated in several Thupela workshops and he is a current
artist in Residence at Greatmore Studios in Cape Town. His work has been
featured in many solo and group exhibitions across South Africa and in
Namibia, Germany, United Kingdom, Argentina, U.S.A., Holland, Sweden and
Canada. He has worked on mural projects and received many commissions
for book illustrations.
Ndikhumbule Ngqinambi - Board
commenced school at Ngubesizwe Primary school in the former Transkei in
1982. In my early schooling (Sub-B) I started drawing, but not
seriously. I drew on myschool books till my class teacher beat me, after
which I stopped.
I returned to Cape Town to continue my
schooling. There was no art subject, but in Grade 7 an artist held a
workshop at the school and taught us how to paint and draw. Thereafter
my art started showing direction.
In 2000, I studied the foundation
course in Visual Arts at CAP consisting of Visual Arts, Drawing,
Ceramics, Printing, Painting, Visual studies (theory). I took part in
the Community Arts Workshop facilitated by Robert Robson and resulted in
exhibition themed "Question of Identity" took place at the South
African National Gallery - Annex.
Jenny Parsons - Committee
Jenny Parsons is an urban landscape painter, living and working in Cape Town.
Born in 1967 and schooled in Durban, Jenny graduated from the Durban University of Technology with a Higher National Diploma in Fine Arts in 1988.
In 1991 she moved to Cape Town where she has worked with a number of art and educational institutions including Community Arts Project and the Durbanville Cultural Society. Her last full time teaching position was at the Ruth Prowse College of Art and Design where she was head of the Fine Art department in 1998 and 1999.
Parsons works as a full-time artist from her studio in Observatory, exhibiting regularly in South African galleries.
Dathini Mzayiya - Committee
Born 1979 in South Africa. Dathini has worked collaboratively and individually on variety of socially engaged interdisciplinary projects. He is a founding member of several South African art initiatives namely Gugulective, (an artist collective), Africa South Art Initiative (ASAI) an artists network and website, Bataki (artist cooperative) and City Skin, a public space design project. His education has seen him complete visual art studies at the Community Arts Projects, as well as art workshops both in Africa and Europe. Mzayiya’s work has been exhibited in a number of group and one-person shows in South Africa, Ethiopia, Liberia, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and the Netherlands. Working in a number of media including oil paint, charcoal drawings, video and sound installation. His practice and execution displays a strong interest in community involvement and is inspired by everyday life experience and its complexities. With a strong belief in the philosophy where “each one teaches one”. Mzayiya continues to work in his own space at the Greatmore Art Studios in Woodstock, Cape Town.
Igshaan Adams - Committee
Born in Bonteheuwel, Cape Town, in 1982, Adams graduated from the Ruth Prowse School of Art and is currently a resident artist at Greatmore Studios in Cape Town. He was included on the AVA’s Greatest Hits of 2009 and held his first solo show, Vinyl, at the AVA in 2010. He took part in the Infecting the City festival in 2011, and was included on the Swallow my Pride at Blank Projects, Cape Town, in 2010.
As part of the side gallery series, Adams presented his installation, In Between at Stevenson in 2011.