Finding context in artistic expression

Nokubonga Mabaso with Irish guest, Austyn Finnegan.

Two Newcastles searching for a shared context.

This theme tied together a trip to Ireland by the Newcastle Creative Network (NCN) earlier this year, and the Townships Arts Festival in October.

The third festival opened with a Fashion and Book Indaba.

Hosted at Blackrock Casino, the indaba served as an opportunity for exhibitors and visitors to forge connections and share the joy of working creatively in Northern KwaZulu-Natal.

It was organised by budding poet and writer, Lindelwa Tshabala, a new face of the NCN.

Following on from the success of the indaba, the festival was host to several top KZN writers, such as Lunga Ntuli, Muzi Mlambo and Karen Langley.

“It’s a contemporary art festival, covering a variety of genres with artworks from local and international artists,” explained organisers.

As always, the Newcastle Township Arts Festival consisted of a series of exhibitions and live performances, including a showcase of local artist Mbongiseni Msani, workshops by Maninzi Kwatshube and acclaimed Vusi Twala.

Locals also put on a fantastic display.

Reflecting on the success of this year, and looking forward to the next Township Art Festival, organisers said the theme and topic for 2016 would relate to the second centenary of the formation of the Zulu Nation.

“A major component of the festival and activities for next year will be the hosting of a Film Festival in Ulundi. This will contribute to the conversation around History, Experience and the Experience of History.”

Thanking all supporters and sponsors of the Township Arts Festival, organisers said more information was available on request: info@newcastlecreativenetwork.org or www.newcastlecreativenetwork.org

  AUTHOR
Bruce Douglas
Journalist

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